Tuition and fees increase, College introduces provisional program for waitlisted students

President R. Barbara Gitenstein and the Board of Trustees eased their way through their public meeting on Tuesday, July 10, discussing the 2013 budget, the current professor contract situation and a few changes regarding admittance for future classes.

During the meeting, a budget was unanimously approved for the 2013 fiscal year that will cause an increase in tuition and fees of 3.3 percent for full-time, in-state undergraduate students and 3.4 percent for full-time, out-of-state undergraduate students.

This amounts to a $342 increase for in-state students, while out-of-state tuition rose by $685. Room and board went up from $10,677 to $10,998 for all students.

Tuition and fees for graduate students, in-state and out-of-state, increased 3.5 percent in all categories.

The highest increase came under the student activity fee, which shot up 6 percent, a move recommended by the Student Finance Board and Student Government, according to the public meeting agenda.

Jorge A. Caballero, a member of the board, reported that these increases were the second lowest in the state — Rowan University comes in at the lowest with a 3 percent increase, according to Lloyd Ricketts, associate treasurer at the College.

President Gitenstein said that the College will be able to “see additional investments as a result of the tuition increase and cost containment.”

Caballero said it was important to recognize that the College was putting money into “investments that we must make, but also investments that we want to make.”

These investments include additional resources for library acquisitions, student and faculty research, staff development, scholarships and tuition waivers as well as salary adjustments, according to Gitenstein.

Those salary adjustments come in association with the recently ratified contracts with the state, in addition to the contracts with the American Federation of Teachers that have not been ratified yet, according to the Board of Trustees.

Gitenstein said that the strategic planning involved in the budget has “established a foundation for future direction.”

The trustees also announced that this year’s class was the largest pool of applicants in the College’s history. Those students that were accepted averaged an SAT score of 1262 and ranked in the 91 percentile of their graduation class.

“The applicant pool in number and quality continues to indicate that (the College) is an excellent opportunity for students of great promise and talent,” Gitenstein said. “We are becoming more and more competitive.”

Along the lines of improving the quality of the College’s students, the trustees announced an opportunity for students placed on the wait list, known as the Provisional Student Pilot Program. This program allows students who were not admitted to take three courses at a reduced fee, according to Robert A. Altman’s address to the Board of Trustees.

If these students perform well, they will become “regularly matriculated students in the spring,” Gitenstein said. She explained that the program is designed to fill rooms left over from students who decide to study abroad in the spring.

Altman also announced that the SAT will be optional for future students who wish to come to the College majoring in art.

The trustees included time in their meeting to honor 2012 graduate Randi Lynn Veenstra and professor John McCarty for their service to the Board of Trustees.

The meeting concluded with the approval for resolutions that will name an early childhood classroom after Marilyn Grinwis Gray and the varsity softball field for June Walker.