NIU should show good, bad of changes in cost

NIU needs to illustrate costs for all new students when comparing tuition, fees and room and board between the 2015 and 2016 academic school years.

Next year’s new students will pay $578 less than the $23,284 in tuition, fees and room and board paid by this year’s freshmen and transfer students, according to numbers from the Board of Trustees Finance, Facilities and Operations Committee’s agenda from its Thursday meeting. But, the university did not emphasize that new students who do not live on campus will pay $222 more than new students who lived off-campus the year before.

The numbers displayed in the committee’s agenda are misleading because they show cost of attendance is cheaper only when compared to new students who will live on campus and not the rest of the student population.

NIU needs to equally emphasize negative and positive changes to tuition, fees and room and board rather than gloss over them with positive changes that only affect a portion of the student population.

This can be done by holding open forums and emailing reports to students when changes in tuition, fees and room and board are proposed so students can learn how they will be affected financially.

Students deserve to understand why changes to their cost of attendance are necessary, what the pros and cons will be.