Rutgers Board to Vote on Proposed 2.2% Tuition Increase

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Board of Governors, Rutgers' highest administrative body, is proposing an average tuition increase of 2.2% at its upcoming July 16 meeting. 

If approved, full-time undergraduates enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences would see their tuition increase by $236, from $10,718 up to $10,954.

For residents of New Jersey, tuition increase would not excede $300 for undergraduate full-time students in any of the schools. Students from out of state may not be so lucky, with a proposed average increase close to $1,000. 

In the graduate schools, tuition could increase on average by $20 per credit for in-state students, and $100 per credit for out-of-state students. 

Student fees, which cover non-academic expenses, will increase by 2.79% at the New Brunswick campus, if the Board approves the proposals.

In 2013, the Board of Governors enacted a 2.4% tuition increase, with a 2.5% increase in 2012 and a 1.8% increase in 2011.

A 1.8% increase came amidst the legendary 2011 Rutgers tuition protests.  That year, the Board of Governors voted to cut the proposed 3.6% increase in half, over the objections of then-President Richard McCormick.

Back in April of this year, the Board of Governors held an open tuition hearing to receive input from students who could be impacted by tuition increase.

A small demonstration began outside across from the Rutgers Student Center, where students held signs and chanted slogans. 

"Stop taking our money", one sign read. 

Protestors demanded a tuition freeze, and many students spoke before the Board of Governors, telling personal stories on how they had been effected by increases to tuition. 

Nancy Winterbauer, Vice President of University Budgeting, told students that the state had been facing financial struggles, and that with the decreasing level of state aid, the University still had to close the gap.

Indeed, aid from state and federal sources have decreased in the past 20 years, while that money had in turn been made up for with tuition and student fees.

Rutgers brings in 27.6% of its budget revenue from tuition and fees, 21% from state appropriations, 20% from federal, state and municipal grants and contracts, and 0.2% from federal appropriations.

State appropriations decrased from  67% of revenue in 1990 to 32% in 2013, while tuition increased from 33% in 1990 to 68% in 2013. 

In 2004, the New Brunswick campus received nearly $320 million from Trenton.  However, for the upcoming 2014-2015 budget, Rutgers-New Brunswick is projected to receive $205.6 million, over $100 million less than just a decade ago.

For the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Rutgers-New Brunswick received $8.5 million in federal aid, though that number is projected to go down to $7.5 million this year.

Tuition and student fees would ultimately bring in $608.5 million for the 2014-2015 fiscal year if the increases are approved.

The Board of Governors are scheduled to meet at 1pm on July 16 in Winants Hall, 7 College Avenue.  The meeting is open to the general public.