Rutgers University raises tuition

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    The Rutgers University Board of Governors last week voted to raise tuition by 8 percent for the upcoming school year. On average, an undergraduate student from New Jersey will pay $7,336 in tuition for the 2005-06 school year starting in September, up from $6,793 the previous year. A typical out-of-state undergraduate student will pay $14,934 in 2005-06, up from $13,838. Students living on campus will find themselves paying an average $8,578 in room and board, up from $8,357 the year before. Fees, which pay for things such as transportation and student activities, will total $1,885, up from $1,771. ``The increase still makes Rutgers' education affordable and still makes Rutgers' education good for the people of New Jersey,'' said Albert R. Gamper, chairman of the board. The tuition hike comes just days before an expected university report that will propose streamlining the university by eliminating four of Rutgers' five New Brunswick colleges and melding them together under one system, according to the head of the task force that crafted the report. ``It is a total quagmire of rules and structure that we are trying to address,'' said Barry Qualls, the task force chairman and a professor of literature. ``It's a Byzantine structure that students can't understand and faculty can't understand.'' The higher tuition and fees at Rutgers reflects trends across all of the public colleges and universities in the state, according to Paul Shelly, spokesman for the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities. Tuition on average went up about 7 to 8 percent at The College of New Jersey, Kean University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Ramapo College, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Rowan University and William Paterson University, Shelly said. The tight nature of state funding, Shelly said, makes tuition increases inevitable. During the late 1980s, the state funded about 70 percent of college budgets, which received 30 percent from tuition, but the ratio has now changed to a 50-50 split. ``It would be nice if we didn't have to increase tuition at all and if we had years of flush funding, we might be able to do that kind of thing,'' Shelly said. The state budget held public colleges and universities to an 8 percent cap on tuition increases. Schools that surpassed the cap faced large cuts in state funding. The state budget also turned out to more generous on funding salaries and fringe benefits for college and university employees than what was initially proposed by acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, said Jeanne Oswald, executive director of the state Commission on Higher Education. The $27.9 billion budget also offered Rutgers $18 million to help pay for a new business school facility in Newark and an additional $5.5 million for stem cell research. Extra funding, though, was still not enough to stave off tuition increases, Oswald said. ``They did not get their full salary program money. They got double what had been suggested by the governor, but it still does not cover the negotiated salary increases they are bound to pay,'' Oswald said.