Tuition Will Rise In July

Isabel Shaw, Staff Writer

Brookdale students can expect a 3 percent increase in tuition costs, Teresa Manfreda, vice president of Finance and Operations at Brookdale explained to the Board of Trustees Tuesday, Jan. 25, just before the board adopted the proposed budget. That increase, combined with a 1 percent decrease in mandatory fees, will cost a full-time Monmouth County student an additional $72.30 beginning July 1, Manfreda said.
Brookdale President Dr. David Stout addressed the increase: “We have identified a pot of money from federal stimulus funds, and we intend to apply any unused stimulus money to offset any additional costs for our students. That $72.30 may not actually be real dollars that we see students having to pay.”
Tuition and fees make up 51 percent of Brookdale’s revenue, and there has been a steady decline in full-time enrollment over the last 4 years, with a 4.5 percent decline for 2022.
Effective July 1, Monmouth County residents will pay $153.00 per credit to study at Brookdale, while residents of other counties will pay $258.50 per credit. Out-of-state students will pay $283.50 per credit.
The possibility of reducing the number of required general education credits from 45 to 33 for students pursuing an associate of arts degree is being considered across the state and was discussed at the meeting. “The change would allow students to more broadly explore other interests that they have,” Trustee Barbara Horl said.
The New Jersey Council of County Colleges has plans to advocate for a change to state regulations by reducing the general education credits, but each county college would have flexibility in their adjustment to the change. Amy Clark, president of the faculty association, was not in favor of the reduction in general education credits.
“This is an issue that has come up quite a bit with our members and the consensus was that the planned regulation was not good for our students. Specifically, the reduction in the General Education requirements would lead to a student having to re-pay for the needed credits [at a higher rate] when they go to a four-year institution.”
Clark noted that “We are all on the same page here in promoting our students’ success, but it’s important to save them money wherever possible too.” Horl shared an update about the Jan. 18 passage of Assembly bill 3007 which requires institutions of higher learning to provide access to mental health services.
Specifically, colleges and universities are required to create and maintain a 24-hour toll-free telephone hotline for students seeking counseling for stress, depression and other kinds of emotional tension. All students must be provided with on-campus mental health services, and each student must have access regarding the availability of those resources.
Access to the hotline is to be posted in all libraries, student centers and residence halls on college campuses as well as other common areas. The bill is set to take effect immediately for the remainder of the 2021-2022 academic year and each year afterward.
The meeting ended with a public statement from Dr. James Schmidt, a Brookdale adjunct. Schmidt said he is advocating for “A fair treatment of our adjunct faculty who are underpaid and exploited for far too long.” He asked the Brookdale administration for a fair and equitable contract going forward.
“Multi-year negotiations have failed. The money spent on legal activity could have contributed to a just and fair contract for our adjunct faculty. I have a dream that one day the Brookdale administration will finally walk the talk.”