Tuition freezes, other costs going up

By Mikenna Barcelona, Staff Writer

Tuition will not go up at Newman next year, but on-campus housing and meal plans will.

Late last week, Newman President Kathleen Jagger sent out an email to students that shared updates about next year’s costs. 

Undergraduate tuition will remain frozen at $35,000, she said in the email.

“Of course, that is before your financial aid is applied to your account,” she said, adding that Newman’s decision to freeze tuition “goes against national and state trends.”

Later in the message, Jagger said that Newman would have to modify residence hall fees and would implement a 3% bump in on-campus dorm costs plus a 3% increase in meal plans. 

First-year and sophomore students living in Carrocci and Beata will have to buy the 19-meals-per-week plan. Juniors and seniors living in Fugate can pick between a 19-meal plan or a 120-meals-per-semester plan. They can also choose to have no meal plan. 

Also, any full-time, non-residential student or residential student without a meal plan will be charged $60 a semester, which they can then use to buy food either at Sacred Grounds coffee shop in Dugan or at the Mabee Dining Center.

The fee is necessary, Jagger said, “to continue providing food and drink options outside of Mabee Cafeteria hours.”

The housing costs increase, Jagger said, was in response to “challenging economic factors which have impacted everyone over the past several years

“The modest increase will help us ensure high-quality residential facilities for students,” the email said. 

As Newman students have absorbed the news over the past week, some say they’ve felt confused and frustrated. 

Alex Schreiner, a sophomore from Kingman, said that she’d rather have the option to cook for herself and save money.

“As I approach being an upperclassman, why do I need a 19-meal plan?” she said. “I chose to live in Beata for a reason. Having the 19-meal plan would limit me from cooking on my own as well as buying groceries because the meal plan is expensive.”

Some students said that balancing their schedules with dining hours can be challenging, especially if they have classes or work during those times.

Haleigh Pearson, a sophomore from Beloit, said that she feels like she’s wasting money.

“Personally I work during my lunch time, and I only use around 10 meals a week, so it seems like a waste of meals and money.”

Bella Callaba, a freshman from Lake Charles, Louisiana, also is unhappy with meal plan requirements.

“Personally, I disagree with the decision because I see no rationale in investing money in meals that are going to waste,” she said. “It's essential to be prudent with expenses, especially when it comes to allocating funds for necessities that align with one's lifestyle and preferences. Therefore, I find it impractical to commit to a more extensive meal plan when I know I won't fully benefit from it.”

PHOTO: Vantage file photo