August 13, 2020
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College releases new budget: find out the costs and cuts

By Esther Morales
Reviews Editor

In her most recent community-missive, released on Tuesday, July 2, College President Kathryn Foster outlined the awaited Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget, which the College’s Board of Trustees passed during their public meeting on June 30. The budget includes a 4 percent decrease in funding, bringing the College’s total to $246 million compared to the prior year of $256 million.

For students and families, the budget reflects no change in tuition from the prior school year, as opposed to the originally anticipated 2 percent increase. According to the College website, FY20 tuition for an in-state undergraduate was $6,619.40, and for an out-of-state undergraduate student it was $12,608.52. 

Students won’t see an increase in tuition for the upcoming fall semester despite financial strains due to the coronavirus pandemic (Jhon Beltran / Photo Editor).

Students will not see the additional charges for Card Service and Student Activity reflected on their bill for the upcoming semester, along with the Brower Student Center fee. The undergraduate term bills reflect a “decrease in the net cost of attendance for undergraduates of 3.5 percent for in-state students and 2.5 percent for out-of-state students,” Foster wrote in her missive.

Board charges have been reduced to reflect the change in dining experience related to COVID-19, but at this time no further information has been provided on the total decrease in cost. 

The College also plans to save an estimated $6 million in employment through the implementation of 12 furlough days throughout the year, deferred merit raises on non-unit employees and deferred cost-of-living adjustments. Along with this, both vacant positions being placed on a freeze and reductions in staffing budgets will account for $13 million in employment actions. 

Other elements of the budget are College revenue, commitments, investments and expense management. The College has estimated a $33 million preliminary deficit in revenue accounting for the 38 percent reduction in housing occupancy, a 55 percent reduction in operating expenses and a substantial decrease in enrollment from continuing and incoming students. 

Non-personnel expenses have been cut by $29 million, a large portion of $8 million being reduced in expense management. According to the community-missive statement, among some of the expenses, this includes IT hardware, software, travel, fuel, utilities, services and supplies. 

After implementing these cuts and reductions, the College now has a balanced budget with the full budget deficit for the FY21 of $44.2 million accounted for.

2 Comments on College releases new budget: find out the costs and cuts

  1. It’s about time TCNJ was forced to tighten its belt. The College administration has felt that they were unconstrained in forcing fee and tuition increases on the students and families. Look at the long term history of tuition and fee hikes! TCNJ is the most expensive public university in New Jersey and one of the most expensive in the country! The number of faculty hasn’t changed materially? What changed? Look at all the administrators and their high salaries. Check out TCNJ administrator salaries – they are higher than the governor and other State leaders. The Board of Trustees acts as a rubber stamp as College administrators line their pockets. Maybe something good will come out of the Corona virus after all. Why not start by selling some of the extensive properties owned by the College?

  2. Mr. Alum has a good point. The college owns millions of dollars of property in Ewing and Hopewell. Why not start by selling the presidential mansion in Pennington. I was there for a staff event and it’s quite luxurious for one person. As usual, it seems like only the faculty, staff and students bear the brunt of the budget problems, not the senior administrators. Someone should do a personnel audit and share that information with the community. I think we’d all be surprised by how much the administration has grown and the salaries that are paid while the rest of us suffer.

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