Fordham Announces 6% Tuition Increase


In 2022, Fordham University was ranked 32 of the 50 most expensive universities in the U.S., according to CBS News. (Courtesy of Unsplash/ Mathew Lancaster)

On March. 30, the Office of the President sent an email to the Fordham community stating that there will be a “painful 6% increase in tuition and room-and-board fees” for the 2023-24 academic year.

As of March, inflation in the U.S. was at 6%. This has resulted in an increase in costs for goods and services across the country. At Fordham, this has meant a rise in costs for “supplies, health care and maintaining [Fordham’s] campuses,” according to the email. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the university lost $119 million in funds, which they “continue to recover from.”

The announcement is preceded by numerous United Student Government meetings that have cited inflation as the reason for club budget cuts. They recently held a referendum to raise the student activities fee to $95.

Bob Howe, associate vice president for communications and special adviser to the president, stated that the tuition increase was decided at this year’s budget meeting.

For last year’s budget, Nicholas Milowski, vice president for finance and assistant treasurer, justified a 4% increase in May. “We’re giving most first-year incoming undergraduate students a 50% reduction off of their sticker price,” said Milowski at May’s spring budget forum. He stated that “students save a significant amount of money through financial aid.”

Following this drastic change, President Tetlow said that the budget for financial aid will be increased by $10 million to “help lighten this burden for as many families as [Fordham] can.” Additionally, the university has committed to easing the financial burden of rising tuition costs for families that need it the most.

“We will do our very best to increase financial aid for those of you who cannot afford to help us pay these rising costs,” said Tetlow in the aforementioned email.

In 2022, the university was ranked 32 of the 50 most expensive universities in the U.S., according to CBS News.

“Response has been muted,” said Howe on how the community has responded to these changes.
Tuition increases happen every year at private universities, typically in accordance with market rates. While 6% is larger than usual, it is likely that Fordham’s price tag will rise with rates of inflation and efforts to recoup financial loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I feel like the biggest complaint students have with tuition increases is the fact that there’s so little transparency as to how the money is being spent,” said Jordan Gomes, FCRH ’25.

“We all understand that all colleges do tuition increases, but when the increase is higher than that of schools with even stronger academic profiles than Fordham, such as NYU and Columbia, which raised tuition by 4.9% as opposed to 6%, you start to wonder what warrants the price hike. I can absolutely see this affecting Fordham’s enrollment and retention rate over the next couple years.”
Christina Boniello, GSB ’23, held similar concerns.

“I think the increase in tuition is absurd. Where is the money going? We see it’s in the landscaping and buildings. We have so many endowments — so much money flowing through this campus, it’s insane that they want more from these students that don’t have the money to do it.”
The sentiment of injustice was echoed amongst the student body.

“As someone who commutes, Fordham is already expensive enough,” said Michael Costello, FCRH ’25. “My family is already going through a rough time, so this is just a bummer.”

“Frankly, I think it’s ridiculous to have a 10% increase in tuition in the past two years,” said Darin McFarlane, FCRH ’25. “I understand where the president is coming from, but I think that was the wrong message to provide to us — to say that they’re hurting as well. What about the many students who cannot afford tuition or those who pay their tuition themselves?”