Montclair State University to freeze tuition, plans to offer in-person and online classes

Montclair State University is one of the many schools across New Jersey looking to the fall, and making some big changes to the way it does things, but one thing that won't change is tuition costs.

News 12 Staff

Jul 16, 2020, 2:35 PM

Updated 1,371 days ago

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Montclair State University is one of the many schools across New Jersey looking to the fall, and making some big changes to the way it does things, but one thing that won't change is tuition costs.
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The university says it is freezing its tuition – including tuition, fees, room and board rates, both for undergrads and graduate students, who, on average pay about $18,000 a year.
“We could not raise our tuition,” says Joseph Brennan, vice president of communications and marketing at the university. “That would not be responsible.”
The university says tuition and fees for next summer of 2021 will continue to be 12% lower than the fall and spring rates.
“New Jersey has a financial crisis and they’ve cut our funding back by about 26%, so that’s $10 million that we are not going to have to be able to provide this education,” says Brennan.
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President Susan Cole says, “In the current very difficult economic environment, any increase in the costs of attendance would pose a hardship for many students. Although the pandemic has caused significant reductions to our revenues and increases to our expenses, including a substantial cut in state funding, it would not be responsible to ask our students to cover a continuing shift of the cost of public higher education from the state to families."
Fall classes are scheduled to begin Aug. 25 and end on Dec. 14 -- both are a week earlier than normal. No students will return to campus for instruction following Thanksgiving, and everything will be remote.

The university is planning to offer in-person, online and hybrid classes. Dorms, dining halls, study areas and shuttle busses will have reduced capacity. Everything will be set-up for more social distancing, with more cleaning and sanitizing.
“The unions voluntarily agreed to negotiate with the state and take 12 unpaid furlough days,” says Brennan. “We appreciate that it’s really going to help us close our budget gap at the same time the non-unionized workforce. We’ve cut back by 10% with vacancies and a hiring freeze. We’re really tight in our boat here at Montclair State. The one thing we’re not going to cut back on is a faculty. The faculty at the university, they are the university, who teach the classes. So, we’re not cutting back there, but we’re cutting back in the back-office areas.”
In all, the university has a 65-page plan on how it plans to proceed in the fall, under the assumption that New Jersey allows campuses to reopen under stage three of the reopening plan.


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