By: Arianna Adan, Writer / Follow South Jersey Higher Education Intern
DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Rowan College of South Jersey’s Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to freeze its current tuition rate through at least the summer 2021 semester. RCSJ already has one of the lowest tuition rates in the state, but the college acknowledges the demand for further measures to be put into place to help ease the financial anxiety that can be caused by higher education for families experiencing some form of economic distress caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, RCSJ has reworked its payment process to make it more convenient for students. Set-up fees have been eliminated, and students can now register for classes before making their initial payments for each semester. Those who registered for the fall semester will have their accounts credited back for any set-up fees charged prior to the Board of Trustees’ decision to eliminate them.
“Higher education remains linked to workplace success and increased financial compensation. As our nation’s economy and workforce struggle under the challenges of this pandemic, higher education remains a solid investment in one’s future,” a university spokesperson said in a press release. “In accordance with this reality and the principles this institution was founded on, RCSJ remains committed to continuing to explore ways to make a college education more affordable and accessible for its students.”
The Financial Aid office is engaged in helping students analyze the full range of funding opportunities accessible to them. A portion of programs and grants like the Community College Opportunity Grant, which implements a free education to qualifying students with their household income being less than $65,000, are in place to assist students’ needs.
RCSJ will also ensure that students have access to virtual courses by working with its Barnes & Noble campus bookstores to make sure “competitively-priced laptops” are available for purchase. Students who don’t have the means to purchase a laptop can apply for RCSJ’s Student Emergency Assistance program, which also covers the cost of webcams and mobile hotspots to ensure students stay connected and are able to attend virtual classes.
Earlier this summer, Rowan University also opted to freeze tuition for the 2020-21 academic year. Rowan College of South Jersey has joined the university in making education more affordable amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.