Tuition at Notre Dame de Namur University for 2016-2017 is as high as $52k, is their significant transparency given on bills? Where does the money go?
“To be completely honest with you, I don’t even know what our tuition is paying for I don’t feel like they make it clear enough on our bill breakdowns. I understood that part of our tuition was paying for the renovation of Ralston Hall and students would be able to access it. I do not see any difference, and by the time it is accessible I would probably have graduated,” said senior Renae Roque.
Roque was puzzled by rumors about improvements to the campus because she feels that not much has changed. “As a commuter, I wished they provided better services for us. The commuter lounge is really small, and there are not enough lockers to go around.”
Some students felt neglected and kept in the dark, as they did not even know where to find the breakdown of their tuition bills. Roque mentioned, “It took me a while to find mine. It almost felt as if the school was making it hard to find.” Once students do find the breakdowns, they are disappointed to see the lack of transparency.
Although students may be able to see a breakdown of where their expenses are going, they are still curious about how much actually goes to the teachers and school maintenance.
Antionette Watson, a senior, who plays on the NDNU softball team, lives on campus. “Definitely going straight to the nuns, no doubt about it, part of our tuition pays for their groceries, health, you name it.” Watson has started to speculate because of the lack of transparency by the school.
As a student athlete, Watson mentioned, “wish we had a bigger gym, more people could exercise and workout. Also, it would be great if we had a bigger softball field, the one we have is small. The balls were hitting the nun’s windows and cars, they got mad, so we use the high school’s softball field, but sometimes our schedules collide with the high school softball teams’.” For NDNU residents, there are other financial charges they have faced. As Watson acknowledged, “I feel like in some spots they can be more specific. They got me for a room damage fee and they have yet to tell me what it’s for. There’s nothing wrong with my room. I have asked, called, and emailed Annabelle Bautista at housing and she never responded. So, I am convinced I was randomly selected to pay $25 to housing.”
For teachers, listening to student’s complaints might be stressful, but one Communications professor at NDNU, Richard Rossi, he felt for the students, the faculty, and the administration. “The administration we currently have is trying very hard to work on our students’ needs as well as the faculty’s, they were left with a lot on their plate from previous administrations.” Rossi argues that it is not solely the admin’s fault that a number of students are unsatisfied. “But I do think that the school could be more transparent with students and faculty. I think we take in a lot of students who are underprepared for this type of school environment,” mentioned Rossi.
Rossi does agree the school could better inform their students about what they are paying for. “Tuition does not go to pay for the nun’s expenses; they have their own sources of income. And it doesn’t pay for fixing up Ralston Hall. We raised money from donors specifically for that,” said Rossi. Rossi also mentioned, “Students should also know that we offer the cheapest tuition for a private school education in the state, but yes the Bay Area is an expensive place to live. If there was more transparency there might be fewer complaints.”