Rowan community reacts to tuition statistics

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American college students are no strangers to incurring debt for the sake of a Bachelor’s degree and in the last few years, this debt has gone from a realizable challenge to a bank account-crushing problem.

The modern day student is increasingly tasked with shopping for an education on a budget to preserve their fiscal future. All the ominous warnings of student loans and financial ruin can weigh heavy on a student’s mind. However, Rowan provides a silver lining for New Jerseyan collegiates.  

According to a recent NJ.com article, Rowan University is ranked as the 6 cheapest four-year school in New Jersey. Out of the 27 colleges and universities included in the survey, Rowan was the #22 most expensive, falling in between Stockton University at #23 and Ramapo College at #21.

Interestingly, Stockton and Ramapo have less than half the number of undergraduate students than Rowan, yet Rowan’s tuition falls around the same price. Given these numbers, it’s clear that something about Rowan draws in students more so than its neighboring ranks. For many students, the school’s abundance of opportunities and resources have prompted what senior Jennilee Bruynell, calls the “Rowan Renaissance.”

This revitalization of the campus wouldn’t exist without the generous donations of alumni, members of the community and Henry Rowan himself as freshman, Tara Lonsdorf pointed out.

“Rowan is revolutionizing the idea of affordable public education. [By being so involved] in the community, large donations come Rowan’s way,” Lonsdorf said. “Look at Henry Rowan he didn’t go to this school, but because he lived in Glassboro and believed in public education he changed the whole university for the better.”

For others, like freshman Ashley Hermansen, Rowan’s reputation as a university precedes itself and leads to positive recognition, compared to other colleges in the area.

“Stockton is a party school [and] I don’t know Ramapo,” Hermansen said. “Rowan has more integrity.”

Despite the fact that Rowan has the 6th cheapest tuition in the state, for some the cost of room and board, which was not included in NJ.com’s original article, can be a deciding factor when choosing what college to attend.  

Freshmen Julia Gibbins and Nicole Tota both found commuting the best option.

“Room and board doubles tuition,” Tota said.

Gibbins also agreed, “I came to Rowan because I knew I could commute and it was affordable.”

Though senior Kristen Lorentzen highlights that, “[The cost of room and board] around here is all about the same.”

Room and board aside, for students here, the eventuality of paying back student loans is ever present. Therefore the price tag is, as freshman Jess Pratt puts it, the “whole shabang.”

“My entire goal in going to college is to graduate with no debt,” she said.

Senior Sean Velarides expresses a similar sentiment, “Down the line I will have to pay [the loans for tuition] back; my parents aren’t paying for me.”  

“At first I didn’t care [about the price tag], but for my mom it was a big deal. Now as a junior I understand why my mom helped make the [decision to attend Rowan] with me,” said junior Marisa Rios.

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