By Kelly Heyboer, NJ Advance Media for

NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers University should celebrate its 250th anniversary by giving students a gift – a 2.5 percent tuition decrease, according to a coalition of student and faculty groups.

Rutgers One, a coalition that includes the faculty union and student groups, plans to hold a rally Thursday calling for the tuition cut before a hearing held by the Rutgers Board of Governors, the board that is preparing to set the state university’s 2016-2017 tuition rates.

“The time is right and the money is available to take the revolutionary step of reducing tuition at Rutgers,” said anthropology professor David Hughes, president of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, the university’s faculty union.


The Rutgers One coalition plans to hold a 6 p.m. rally outside the Rutgers Student Center in New Brunswick before the hearing to call for a tuition decrease.

The rally follows a resolution approved last week by the executive council of Rutgers’ faculty union that called for the Rutgers board to tap into surplus money in its budget to cut tuition for the entire 65,000-student university next fall.

Rutgers students have called for tuition freezes several times over the last few years, with no success. Since 2011, Rutgers’ annual tuition hikes have ranged from 1.6 percent to 3.3 percent.

“If the administration wanted to do something particularly revolutionary in honor of our 250th anniversary, a tuition decrease of 2.5 percent would fit the bill nicely,” said Patrick Gibson, a junior computer science and American studies major from Metuchen and member of the Rutgers One coalition.


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