Barnard students just received an email announcing tuition and fees for next year, as well as changes to the dining plan. Though Barnard students lost JJ’s Place access last year, they will once again be able to swipe into the dining hall in the fall.
The email announced other changes as well, such as dinner being offered in the Diana Café. As part of this, too, students will be able to use meal swipes (instead of points) for Diana dinner. Hewitt and Diana Dining halls will also now be open whenever residence halls are open, meaning students will be able to use their meal swipes and points during Fall, Thanksgiving, and Spring breaks. Winter break housing is also expanding: Plimpton will remain open (as always), and eligible students will be able to get access during winter break, but along with this, other residence halls will remain open for a greater period of time over winter break. Students will be able to move back into dorms starting January 11, six days before classes.
It all comes at a cost, though: Barnard is increasing tuition to $50,349, a $3,251 jump from last year.
You can read the full email below:
We are writing to let you know that the Barnard Board of Trustees has approved the 2016-17 rates for tuition, fees, room, and board. We know that any increase can be difficult for many of our families, so we wanted to take a moment to explain the details and our approach. We also want to make an exciting announcement about changes to the meal plan, and tell you about several key changes to our policy for winter break housing.
Tuition and Fees for 2016-2017
For the upcoming academic year, the total rate for tuition, fees, room and board will be $65,992—an increase of $3,251 from this year’s rates. This rise is directly related to societal increases in the cost of living and, for Barnard, reflects the growing costs associated with recruiting and retaining our faculty and staff, fully funding financial aid to maintain need blind admissions, implementing the new curriculum, and expanding a variety of services in response to student requests.
The breakdown of the total cost are as follows:
• Tuition and the comprehensive fee will cost $50,394, including $48,614 for tuition and $1,780 for the comprehensive fee.
• The price for multiple rooms will be $9,230 per year. Rates for single rooms will be $10,712, and the rate for studio apartments will be $16,000.
• The price for the Platinum plan (19 meals per week) is $6,368.
Meal Plan Changes
We are pleased to announce some exciting changes to the meal plan. Over the past year or so, students have raised a number of concerns regarding access to dining facilities at Columbia, food quality, and operations during school breaks. This past fall, SGA hosted a town hall focused on food services that identified, in a very constructive way, potential areas of improvement. In response, we recently renegotiated our long-standing agreement with Aramark. Under the new arrangement that will begin in fall of 2016:
• The Diana Second Floor Dining Room will be open for meal swipes during dinner.
• Barnard students will continue to have meal swipe access at John Jay and Ferris Booth.
• For the first time, Barnard students will also have meal swipe access to JJ’s Place, adding a third Columbia location to our meal plan options.
• This means that, in total, Barnard students will have meal swipe access at five locations on the Barnard and Columbia campuses: Hewitt, Diana, Ferris Booth, John Jay and JJ’s Place.
• In addition, there will be a full-time, on-site Executive Chef at Hewitt who will be responsible for ensuring overall food quality and handling specific dietary needs of students as they arise.
We also know that some of our students deal with issues of food insecurity each and every day, which is unacceptable in a small and supportive community like ours. This is a difficult issue and together we need to be vigilant and proactive in understanding the magnitude of the problem on our campus and finding ways to fix it. Currently, we plan to do the following:
• Make meal services available whenever residence halls are open. Beginning this fall, students will have access to meal services on campus, either in Hewitt or Diana, during fall break, Thanksgiving break, spring break, and when residence halls open for the spring semester.
• Change the structure of the convenience meal plan option by offering different combinations of meals and points that we encourage students living outside the quad to seriously consider. Students will still be able to add meals and points in small increments throughout the year.
• Work with Aramark, SGA, and other groups on campus to find additional ways of enhancing ongoing meal donation programs.
Winter Break Housing
Finally, we know that last year’s winter break housing policy was a cause of confusion and concern. We appreciate the thoughtful suggestions that SGA has made regarding how best to assist students during the holiday season. Please know that while the College will continue to remain officially closed during the winter holiday season, we will make some important changes for next winter to accommodate student needs.
First, we will continue to keep Plimpton Hall open and available to students requiring housing during the break. Campus tour guides, varsity athletes, students with unsafe home situations, international students on Barnard financial aid, and students with academic responsibilities that must be completed on campus will all be eligible to stay in Plimpton during the break. The Office of Residential Life will implement an application process to review and respond to any requests for winter break housing, and will help students who do not already live in Plimpton to find an available room there.
Second, we will be opening the College’s residence halls earlier than we have in the past. All residence halls will open to students on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 (six days before the start of classes), along with dining facilities, either at Hewitt or Diana Second Floor. We will also open Health Services, in order to ensure that all students have access to services upon their return to campus after winter break.
We are confident that the combination of these measures—easier access to Plimpton for those who need it, and an earlier return for all students—will go a long way towards addressing the issues of food and housing insecurity among members of our community.
We hope that this gives you a clearer sense of the College’s plans for the coming year. The costs of providing the best possible education for our students continue to rise, but we are committed to doing our best to keep the increase as modest as possible, to expand services in the areas of greatest need and, as always, to maintain Barnard’s long-standing devotion to excellence.
Rob Goldberg, Chief Operating Officer
Avis Hinkson, Dean of the College
Update, 2:32: This post was updated with information about winter housing, tuition increases, and dining halls.
Update, 3:50: We have edited the title of this post to clarify that Barnard students never officially had JJ’s Place swipe access. Nevertheless, Barnard students were able to swipe into JJ’s until September 2014.
JJ’s used to be a bar via Columbia Dining