BY CLARISSA-JAN LIM | The Big Apple is famous for its extravagances. Add a four-year education at New York University to the list.
According to a report by Business Insider, N.Y.U. is America’s most expensive higher-education institution. A year at the Greenwich Village school can cost up to $61,977.
That figure — which includes tuition and fees, plus room and board — is out of reach for many, without even adding in the city’s high living expenses. Meanwhile, a year at a State University of New York school costs about $30,000, including room and board.
Lilia J., now doing pre-undergrad work before starting at N.Y.U. in the fall, has received a generous 80 percent scholarship. However, she conceded the cost of studying at the Village school is absurd.
‘What has pushed N.Y.U. higher on the list in terms of total cost of attendance is the expensiveness of New York City, and
“I wouldn’t be going here if they weren’t paying,” she said.
A former N.Y.U. law school student, Stephanie M., paid about $33,000 in tuition per year, despite having a 30 percent scholarship. The rest of her tuition was financed by personal loans.
U.S. higher education’s rising cost has seen many students take on loans, saddling them with decades of debt.
Toluwanimi Adeyemo figured he pays $60,000 in tuition per year, though offset by his $8,000 scholarship. He lamented he would be paying off his student loans, “basically my entire lifetime,” adding that, “only in hindsight” did he fully grasp this.
To finance his slightly more than $1,000 in monthly personal expenses, Adeyemo works two part-time jobs and an internship, on top of his classes.
N.Y.U.’s student housing is a big part of the cost, too. According to the N.Y.U Web site, housing costs range from $7,414 to $25,354 per academic year.
Stephanie said her year in N.Y.U. married-student housing cost $10,500.
Adeyemo, a rising senior in the Tisch School of Arts, paid about $16,000 for N.Y.U. housing his first year, then switched to lower-cost housing, for which he paid about $11,000 per year. He now lives in Williamsburg.
However, John Beckman, N.Y.U. vice president for public affairs, said that the school’s tuition is not one of the highest in the U.S.
“What has pushed N.Y.U. higher on the list in terms of total cost of attendance is the expensiveness of New York City, and particularly housing,” he explained. “So while New York — the greatest city in the world — is one of the principal attractions for both the students and faculty we recruit, it also presents challenges. We are careful in our annual budget process to keep the impact of the cost of tuition, housing, meals and fees on families at the forefront of our thoughts.”
The expenses of living in this city can come as a shock to many students. In January, The New York Times reported that someone in Manhattan would have to make almost twice the amount of money that his or her counterpart would in any other place in the U.S. to “enjoy the same purchasing power.”
Lilia doesn’t yet know how much she will pay in living expenses, but estimated she has already spent $2,000 furnishing her on-campus place with purchases like “a fridge, because a fridge isn’t provided. All that kind of little stuff adds up,” she said.
Yet, Stephanie said, even without her scholarship, she still would have gone to N.Y.U.
“For the most part, students who graduate from the law school tend to get very good jobs,” she said. “And I graduated employed, so for me, it was worth it.”
Justin Burr, 25, who is just starting his three-year graduate program in physical therapy at N.Y.U. Steinhardt, said his program’s graduates have a 100 percent placement rate, so he knows he will get a job.
However, Adeyemo said, if he were in a program at N.Y.U. other than the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, he might reconsider spending so much for college.
“It would be less worth it if I was in any other department where I could get the same kind of education for cheaper,” he noted. “My department is specialized, and it’s smaller.” Famed producer Clive Davis is the recorded music program’s chief adviser.
“It’s one of the leading programs that are very innovative in the music industry, so it’s very worth it,” Adeyemo said. “I’ve gotten a lifetime’s worth of education and connections. N.Y.U.’s experience is fantastic — it’s just the logistics of coming here are difficult.”