Kutztown Welcomes Jersey Students

pa-sign.jpgKutztown University gets a lot of students from New Jersey.

Why so many? We are in Eastern PA, less than an hour west of the Delaware River. I grew up in New Jersey and must admit I always resented this sign: Welcome to Pennsylvania: America Starts Here. I suppose it wasn’t meant as an insult.

The other day at our faculty meeting we were discussing Kutztown’s cost vs. a NJ state school. They pay far, far more taxes in NJ, so it should be cheaper there, right ? Communication Design Chair Prof. Todd McFeely insisted Kutztown U is a comparative bargain. I decided to crunch the numbers. BTW, Communication Design here consists of graphic design, ad design, interactive design, and illustration concentrations.

Another odd billboard on the way from New Jersey.

Universities market themselves by quoting tuition by semester. Instate tuition at Montclair State in NJ is $5886.15 per semester, plus mandatory fees of $1629.90, plus miscellaneous fees like a $225 first year fee, studio and lab fees of up to $260 per class. I add tuition and fees, include the first year fee, but not lab fees to get a yearly cost of $15,257.10. Here is Montclair State’s website, if you want to check my figures.

Illustrator Jerry Pinkney visiting Kutztown U CD class.

Lets compare that to out-of-state tuition at Kutztown University of PA. Tuition and mandatory fees per year: $20,114.50. Turns out we have a first year fee of $238 (who knew?) which I included. That is nearly $5,000 more. However, as my chairperson rightly points out, Kutztown offers a generous tuition reduction program to “above average” students.

I’ll paste the details here: “New first-year students must have a high school GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and a minimum SAT score of 1,000 (combined math and critical reading) or an ACT composite score of 21. Students receive a 40% reduction of the out-of-state tuition.”  Truth is, 1000 SAT’s are not that rare. I’ll crunch these numbers- 40% of annual out-of-state tuition = $7,060.  $20,114.50 minus $7,060 means a a cost of $13054.5 for that NJ student with modestly impressive credentials.

Main St. Kutztown, PA, watercolor ©2015 Jamie Basile, KU grad

Bottom Line: Kutztown can be $2,000 less than Montclair State. My chair was right, as long as you have the grades, we are the better deal. The full out-of-state tuition reduction plan can be seen here.

Kutztown University has been attracting fewer students in recent years. Largely, this is due to the demographics of Eastern PA. Our Communication Design program is first-rate and very competitive, yet even our application numbers are down this year. We have extended the application deadline for our program until Feb 26.

art student FRY
“Weston Sharadin, art student & Highland bull” © Sierra Fry, KU

We hope to get a few more good applicants. If you can’t find the info you need on this page , get in touch with the CD Dept, 610-683-4530, or contact me, Kevin McCloskey: mccloske@kutztown.edu. Note: I used my beloved New Jersey as an example, but any out-of-state applicant gets this deal.

Is Kutztown the right school for you? That’s for you to decide. I wrote about picking an art college in 2011. I advise prospective students not go into debt for a degree in the arts, even the applied arts, like communication design. See Picking an Art School and Picking an Art School Part 2.


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