As a bill advances through state legislature that would freeze tuition hikes for local students in public and private universities, the focus turns to where money for the schools will come from. Aspiring and current students should know these numbers, how they will affect their payment plans, and get an idea of the investments being made into their school of choice.
Within Newark’s University Heights area, investments will depend on the needs of the colleges. For Essex County College, this has ranged from going more paperless and introducing more technology to the classroom. These types of changes, in light of tuition freezes, have led to student fees going up. Therefore, students pay more still to meet the needs of a school in constant transition. Some of those students are low-income, and rely on vouchers from financial aid to purchase their books.
For the Rutgers community overall, big changes occurred and their effects are being felt on the Newark campus. When looking at current numbers, one will see that Rutgers has two campuses in The Bricks: the traditional Newark campus, and the medical school which used to be UMDNJ before the merger back in 2013.
There was also some moving around in regards to the computer labs. Right now, the one in Hill Hall has been closed down for good, while the computer lab in Dana Library was renovated. Consider this move somewhere between budget cut and investment.
Though these are examples from only two colleges in Newark, it does give a glimpse into the state of tuition beyond numbers. Common methods colleges use to cut costs, including those specific to a department, affect printing limits for students and teachers, as well as full-time to part-time ratio of faculty and staff. Couple this with the rapid development of the city itself, and it is clear how much work must be done to stay ahead of the curve.
I, for one, am grateful for programs such as the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), who look to give low-income students a head start on college life, including management of finances and extra aid. EOF has chapters in the Essex County College, Rutgers-Newark, and other colleges in the area. Still, they too were the victim of budget cuts, making it tough for them to continue their mission. While they still give the tools to succeed, one must be aggressive in getting things in order themselves, or finding ways to get help in doing so.
It’s always been part of the track (tenure or not) that education must be done to get to the education. In other words, research is key to finding the right college and staying there for as long as one needs to (some do not finish within two or four years due to financial constraints). Couple this with development occurring elsewhere in the city, and other mounting problems relating to education in Newark, and the need to stay ahead of the curve.
Consider these links to the numbers as way for you to get a head start on things.
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