Prospective NYU student starts petition to lower rising school costs

An prospective NYU student is rallying her peers online to call on the school to curb its rising costs.

Nia Mirza, of Pakistan, launched a change.org petition urging NYU to rethink the $70,974 total costs, which includes tuition, fees, books, transportation and other categories, for the 2015-16 school year. Mirza, who didn’t return messages for comment, said the announcement came as a shock to early decision applicants, who were given lower estimates before they accepted the offer to attend NYU.

“They know they have to go to NYU by hook or by crook because they have no other option anymore,” she posted on the petition page, which had more than 2,600 signatures as of Tuesday.

Gothamist first reported the petition Tuesday. Early decision students are allowed to apply before the common deadline and get notfied months in advance if they are accepted.

A spokesman for NYU said the estimates that early decision students received reflected the 2014-2015 numbers because the costs for the next school year had yet to bet determined. Spokesman John Beckman said the cost of admission for 2014-15 is $66,542 not $64,000 as the petition claims.

He added that this year, NYU tacked $2,044 to the 2015-2016 figures as an estimated cost for student travel and transportation expenses.

“In the past, because of the variability of travel and transit needs for NYU students, we hadn’t cited a figure,”Beckman said in statement.

Beckman said NYU increased its financial aid budget “by 130% since 2002.”

Mirza, however, argued on her petition page that a lot of that assistance is loans, which end up being a burden on students and parents.

“We support education for all and we wish to graduate debt-free like students from many other top-tier colleges,” she wrote.