Courtesy Stockton University

Will petition state for additional funding

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – Stockton University announced today it will raise tuition and fees 2.5 percent for the 2018-19 academic year and petition the state for more funding.

The Board of Trustees approved the increase July 18.

“We remain committed to providing a state-of-the-art education to our students at an affordable cost,” President Harvey Kesselman said in a news release. “Our new Science Center 2 and Health Sciences Center on the Galloway campus, and the new Atlantic City campus will provide students with wonderful new opportunities for research, internships, and community involvement.”

Kesselman said the state must revise its funding process for higher education to make sure Stockton has sufficient funds to operate and remain affordable.

Stockton currently receives the lowest per-student state aid among the state public colleges, the release stated. Stockton officials have been working with state legislators to review and revise how public colleges are funded.

“We will do everything we can to ensure equitable funding,” Kesselman said. “This is critical for Stockton which has been under-funded since its first commencement. We are fighting for that.”

Tuition and fees for a full-time undergraduate in-state student will cost $13,738 for the academic year, an increase of just $335 from the previous year.

Stockton’s flat-rate tuition allows students to take from 12 to 20 credits per semester at no additional cost, potentially saving thousands of dollars.

The 2.5 percent increase will also apply to out-of-state tuition and fees, per-credit classes and graduate programs.

Kesselman said the cost fees, meal plan and housing costs were also kept low, with many having no increase for 2018-19. The end result is that the total cost of attendance is closer to a 2 percent increase.

In May, Stockton dedicated a new Science Center and Health Sciences Center, which include a new Sustainability Lab, Exercise Science lab, nursing simulation suites, a vivarium and greenhouse facilities. The Atlantic City campus, which will open in September, offers beachfront living and learning in the heart of Atlantic County’s growing hospitality and tourism industry.

Stockton is offering a special 12-month housing option at the new Atlantic City campus for students who want to remain in the area during the summer for academic, internship and employment opportunities.

The trustees also approved contracts for utilities and other services for the new Atlantic City campus, and extended Kesselman’s contract for another three years through 2021-22 when the university will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

“This sends a message to the community that we are united and have stable leadership,” said trustee Leo Schoffer. “We are working together as a Stockton community with tremendous leadership to take us to the next level.”

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.