BOG agrees on 1.8 percent tuition increase
After hearing the concerns of students, faculty and staff about rising tuition and salary freezes, the Board of Governors decided to raise in-state tuition for the 2011-2012 fiscal year by 1.8 percent at its meeting yesterday in Winants Hall on the College Avenue campus.
The Committee on Finance and Facilities recommended a 3-percent raise, the lowest raise offered in the last 10 years, but Board of Governors Chair Ralph Izzo felt an amendment was necessary to further help students pay tuition.
"These are different times, we have high unemployment, and academia is second to health care in [rising] costs," he said. "We can't continue this lower."
Catherine Lugg, a professor in the Graduate School of Education, felt disappointed in the University's priorities as reflected in its spending $27 million to subsidize the athletics department.
"[Spending] this to rescue a non-academic department is embarrassing," she said. "Tuition and fees are spiraling up and denial of contractual raises for talented scholars is scaring them away. We're in danger of becoming second me."
Renee Coppola, a member of the Rutgers One coalition which organized a rally outside of the meeting yesterday, shared her personal struggle to pay rising tuition at the University.
"I'm going into my sophomore year and I'm $14,000 in debt," she said. "Rutgers with its high tuition costs is limiting economic and racial diversity on campus. Average Rutgers students graduate with $20,000 in student adopted."
Aside from setting tuition and fees at the meeting, the Board of Governors addressed fall enrollment projections at the University. On all three campuses, enrollment is at an all-time high of about 12,000 first-year and transfer students.
"It's an outstanding class, the most academically competitive [to date]," McCormick said.
The incoming first-year class has an average SAT score 300 points more than the national average. Ten percent of the class ranked in the top 5 percent of their high school class, bringing a record 120 presidential scholars, students who have their tuition and fees fully covered by the University, to campus.
McCormick said about 125 incoming freshmen were the valedictorians and salutatorians of their classes.
The average grade point average for incoming transfers is 3.4. This is the first year the Rutgers Business School accepted transfer students, and those accepted had an average of 3.6.
Enrollment out of state has increased 15 percent, with the most international students coming from South Korea and India. The incoming students are also as diverse as ever, with 20 percent coming from a Latino or African American background.