Aiming to reduce the financial burden of a college education, the New York-based St. John’s University has enacted a tuition freeze for the 2015-2016 school year, along with other efforts to keep costs low for students. “Addressing the rising cost of higher education must be a priority, particularly in view of St. John’s mission as a Catholic and Vincentian University that is committed to providing students with an affordable education,” Dominic Scianna, a spokesperson for St. John’s University, told CNA June 4. “It is our sincere hope that this initiative will provide students who otherwise would not be able to afford college the opportunity to realize that dream at St. John’s University.” The university decided not to implement a planned three percent annual increase in tuition for the upcoming academic year. Instead, it froze tuition, fees, and room and board costs at its Queens, Manhattan, Oakdale and Rome campuses. This means each full-time student will save about $1,140 per year. Part-time undergraduates and graduate students will also benefit. The university also reduced the cost of undergraduate tuition by $10,370 at its Staten Island campus, while freezing room and board costs and other fees at current levels. Scianna said the tuition freeze was decided due to the “significant financial burden” facing students and their families. He reported that the move has received a “very positive” response from both students and parents. The freeze on tuition and other costs was possible because of the university’s work to reduce expenses and increase efficiency. The university’s Staten Island campus has also undergone administrative restructuring. Over 15,700 undergraduates were enrolled at the university, as of fall 2013. Scianna said that almost all students receive financial aid. The university could not yet tell whether the freeze on costs affected enrollment because it is continuing to accept applications for the 2015-2016 year.
Catholic News Agency was founded in 2004, in response to Pope St. John Paul II’s call for a “New Evangelization." It is an apostolate of EWTN News.