NSU grapples with rising tuition costs

By Kathleen Hilliard.

The impact of college costs is directly influencing the masses of students that choose to attend college after high school. The increase in the amount of tuition state-wide affects students, especially those who cannot afford the full tuition price.

Currently, the tuition for students at NSU is $8,748 for the fall and spring. Yet, the room and board along with fees such as provided health services bringing it to about $10,000.

“The Board of Trustees approved a modest General Fee increase of 2% beginning Spring 2019,” said Chief Financial Officer Patrick Jones when asked about any increases that NSU will experience.

The 2 percent increase totals to about $84 per student. While it doesn’t seem like too much, the total number of students who put out loans in the past year totaled to 6,017 and averaged $9,059.

“While the state used to pay 75-80 percent of tuition while students paid 20 percent, that number has now flipped,” said Dean of Students Frances Conine. When asked about what students can do if they can’t afford the tuition, Conine mentioned the numerous aids like Pell Grants, loans, scholarships and TOPS.

“ It’s too expensive and not everyone can handle paying for it. There are a lot of really intelligent students that would like to come to a place like this but can’t because they can’t afford to [take out loans],” says freshman Ashleigh Klein. Klein studies radiology at NSU, and opened up about the tuition and other fees being an issue.

Yet, NSU is relatively lower than other schools in the Universities of Louisiana.

“We’re relatively less than others, the rise after the fall semester won’t be as much besides the 2 percent increase,” said Conine. Conine also mentioned what NSU is doing to help keep the costs for its students at a moderate price.

“We really fundraised. We’re always looking to give back,” said Conine. She spoke of how the alumni’s and fundraisers together give a large amount to scholarships and the school to help lower costs.

“We encourage students to visit with Financial Aid counselors regarding avenues to help pay costs. Our NSU Foundation should be contacted for any potential private scholarships available,” said Jones in regards to what students could do if they were struggling to pay the costs.