The Price of Fordham Friendship
By: Bria McNeal
As a second-semester senior at Fordham, I’ve begun to catch myself reminiscing on all the memories I’ve made here. From spring afternoons on Eddie’s, to living in dorms, group meals, and endless study nights - I’ve been lucky enough to meet some amazing friends. As someone, somewhere, once said, “Friendship is a priceless treasure, never to be bought or sold - it can only be cherished.”
And that’s cute, it really is... But, well, I did the math, and all of my treasured Fordham pals cost roughly 74k a year. If you really think about it, we’ve only met because we both go to school here, and we only go to school here because we pay to … so, is friendship really a “priceless treasure?”
If any of my friends are reading this, don’t freak out. Y'all are great. But this isn’t about that. This is about business.
Let me break it down.
Fordham Friendship: The Breakdown
Tuition - $51,285
Fordham’s tuition is the biggest chunk of my parents’ yearly paychecks to Father McShane & Co. It covers the price of classes, along with campus facilities...but how do these fees factor into our friendship budget?
Classes: Technically, this is why I came to Fordham - to receive a valuable and bougie Jesuit education. While the enriching academia is great, everyone knows that “class” is really just a code word for networking. Linkedin will never be as valuable as the connections made through shared Quizlets and chainmail study guides.
Gym: I’m not sure if we’re paying for the actual gym or, rather, the ability to pass it everyday and make fake plans to get in shape.
“Yoga on Monday!”
“Friday, spin class?”
And what do we do when those plans fall through? Bond with everyone else who didn’t go. Now you have friends as lazy as you, and a confidence boost. That’s money well spent.
Health Center: Flu shots, strep kits, physical exams - They’ve got it all! Unless you need condoms, birth control, or anything of that nature. In that case, they definitely don't got that. But, don’t worry, your money is going towards something even more valuable. That’s right… the waiting room. A prime location to mingle with other sicklings when everyone else is afraid to talk to you.
Career Services: Everyone knows someone who constantly plugs Career Services. They probably went once, got help with their resume/cover letter, and learned how to use Handshake to “pursue the career of their dreams.” It’s a solid resource, but what people forget is that Career Services is basically just a training center. Once a student steps in, they leave fully certified in job hunting. Find the Career Service stans, compliment their trendy-yet-professional interview outfit, and now you’ve got a new friend and a job coach.
Dorms - $18,000
Oh, the dorms… the sweet, roach-infested, overpopulated dorms. This is where I made some of my first friends at Fordham. From late-night investigations into the Loschert mystery pooper (to make a long story short someone shit in the showers), to post-finals mourning vigils in the lounge, and crying in the bathroom before Wednesday 8:30s, living in these overpriced hell-holes was the easiest way to ensure 24/7 companionship. If your parents never paid for summer camp when you were little. This is the next best thing.
Meal Plans - $3,200
I can still remember my tour guide’s attempts at hyping up Fordham’s dining halls. She totally lied about all the “delicious” options, but she did get one thing right: It is the perfect place to waste time. Take the caf for example. It’s great for a late-night feast, midday snack, or even a Sunday morning “brunch” where you can discuss the weekend’s mistakes over a fountain of chocolate and half-toasted bagel. Seeing all your peers slump into McGinley for meals they’ll soon regret is a special experience you’ll only find here. So hop in line and use the wait-time to chat with someone who’s getting their third cookie.
Miscellaneous - $1,800
Fordham’s financial breakdown page literally has a section titled “Miscellaneous.” Shady, I know, but I can only hope that they were trying to predict our yearly contribution to Fordham’s local economy. From last minute holiday gifts from TJ maxx, to secret library snacks from Chipotle, and party city costumes you’ll never wear again, these tiny treasures are what kill your bank account but are probably - no, definitely, 100 % necessary in the spirit of friendship.
I guess I could wrap this up with a sweet reminder about how the money doesn’t matter because the memories were priceless. But I’m not going to do that. It defeats my entire point, and I’ve taken enough E.P. courses (which, for the record, I would not have purchased if I had a choice) to know that you never contradict yourself in a concluding statement. For the sake of a well-rounded argument, I’ll end with this:
College is overpriced, and I’ll probably never stop complaining about it. But at least four years of tuition has given me a solid group of friends to keep me sane when the student loan payments start rolling in.