John E. Brown Sr. founded the University “for economically disadvantaged young people who are ‘rich in aspirations, ideals, personality and integrity,’” according to the timeline on JBU’s website.
Students at JBU understand that the University has in many ways tried to stay true to this goal.
This does not mean students were not angry and frustrated when JBU announced the rise in tuition, but we knew this was coming. We understand that the costs of maintaining this school will continue to grow.
Finding another job, rethinking that unpaid summer internship, applying for off-campus housing to cut costs or even transferring to a state school are all decisions JBU students like myself are having to make because of rising tuition costs.
Some of these choices are not even possible for students. The University decided to wait until after students had to send in their off-campus housing forms.
The University waited until after the majority of incoming freshmen made decisions to attend JBU in the fall.
This decision was held until after students had already signed up for missions trips and unpaid internships that cut down on the amount of money they could potentially make in the summer. And most conveniently, after Family Weekend.
This ensured that the visiting parents would not have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with financial aid, the business department or the administration office about the tuition increase.
The exact rise in the cost of tuition is something students and their families were not able to consider when trying to find ways to pay for their education.
One of many things I don’t understand in this situation is why the University continues to force students to live on campus and buy meal plans–two of the easiest ways a student could potentially reduce the price of their education.
I know that the University has stated in the past that they want to foster the community of this campus by choosing to have students only move off campus under very strict requirements, but all they are accomplishing is driving disadvantaged students out of JBU.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the community offered here at JBU with the “granolas” out on the quad, the foreign languages I hear in the caf and the hall worship nights spent singing and drinking hot cocoa.
But I would rather live off campus and not eat my meals in the caf than be forced to take out a second loan or to transfer to a state school. Thus, completely missing out on what JBU has to offer.
Personally, I won’t be in a position to avoid these costs until my senior year but I cannot say for sure I will still be at JBU. I hope I will be, but I cannot sacrifice my education or the financial security of my family simply for the “community” offered at JBU.
That is one choice this “economically disadvantaged young person” can still make.