By Nikhilesh De

Students discussed the impact a tuition rollback
Photo by Dimitri Rodriguez | Students discussed the impact a tuition rollback would have on their lives at an open hearing on the Rutgers budget hosted by the Board of Governors Thursday night.

The Rutgers Board of Governors hosted an open hearing on tuition rates Thursday night in the College Avenue Student Center multipurpose room, where members of the University community could discuss what a tuition increase or rollback would mean to them.

One student opened by saying she was $60,000 in debt. Another’s father discussed how he had to take out a loan to help his daughter pay for college, despite being a retiree.

A student’s advisor recommended that she take on a full-time job to help her pay for her last semester at Rutgers.

Several students prepared questions to ask the Board of Governors during the hearing, said David Hughes, president of the American Association of University Professors— American Association of Teachers. They hoped to engage with the members present rather than just have a one-sided conversation. Students at the meeting also requested a tuition rollback of 2.5 percent in the next budget.

“We’re going to actually rhetorically hold the governors and President (Robert L.) Barchi accountable for the misery that they have put upon this generation of students,” he said. “We see this hearing as being a two-way process. We want to know some things from them (so) we’ll ask them some questions and we’ll be expecting some answers.”

The value was a “modest one” to match Rutgers’ 250th birthday, Hughes said. The school’s $74 million surplus this year is a small fraction of the overall tuition revenue, but a 2.5 percent rollback still leaves a large chunk of these funds intact.


Members of the Rutgers One campaign asked several of the Board of Governors to discuss whether they would vote for a budget that included an increase on tuition, said Patrick Gibson, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.

“The way these meetings are (structured), we have this one annual meeting where we get up to two minutes to talk to them,” he said. “There’s no real way to hold them accountable.”


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