Monday, November 14, 2016

Tempers Arise in Rutgers University Due to Tuition Increases


NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ Rutgers University tuition is rising and it seems like so are the tempers of many of its students.

Many RU students learned earlier this Fall semester that the Board of Governors approved the 1.7 percent tuition increase.

 Rutgers University students interviewed expressed their frustration in the tuition hike for the 2016-2017 school year primarily because it increasingly becomes more difficult to find a means to pay for it every year.

“I don’t look forward to my term bill late August,” Omar Morsy, a third year Computer Science major in Rutgers University said. “Last year, I paid two thousand dollars out of pocket and this year I paid five thousand dollars out of pocket. I don’t benefit from it at all.”

Morsy and other students agree, while they understand tuition increase may be necessary to revitalize the campus, the consecutive tuition increases on top of other student fees places a financial block in their lives.

“I owe it to myself,” Bobby Cruz a third year Economics major confessed. “I worked two jobs this past summer in order to prepare for college. I get no financial aid. The system does not take into consideration our individual financial struggles.”

According to one RU student who will graduate next Spring, the cost of tuition has increased by 2.4 percent every year and though this year it increased by 1.7 percent, other student fees increased.

“I can’t wait to leave,” Engy Mikhail a last year Pharmacy student said. “Pharmacy school has increased their tuition every year and it’s an additional one thousand dollars to the School of Arts & Sciences. I don’t know how many times I wanted to just transfer and become a Biology major instead.”

Ruben Cruz, senior in Biology, showed concern on how the university was dealing with existing money.

“I’m worried with how and where money is spent in this school,” Cruz said. “There are student fees that are unnecessary in my eyes which the school should cut and use in replacement to tuition increase. There is also a worry if RU is allocating too many funds into a failing athletic department or any other department.”

Though there was a clear concern on tuition increase, some students felt it was necessary.

Noel Taide, a Computer Science Major, and Abishek Patel, an Engineer student, agreed that tuition increases were vital in compensating for the student body growth in Rutgers University.

“Rutgers University is a big school; the school needs to find ways to cover services to support the incoming wave of students,” Taide said. “So I don’t find the hike to be a surprise. I get it.”

Patel, on the other hand, saw it as an investment into his education and student life in Rutgers University.

“I see Rutgers stepping up their game in providing new amenities to its students.” Abishek remarked. “So, if I have to pay more money I’m going to do it whether I like it or not. It’s my education.”

Rutgers students displaeased with recent tuition spike

Rutgers students say they are displeased about the recent tuition increase.
Year after year as Rutgers students look into their term bill before each fall semester, they each notice a common trend. The total tuition continues to rise every year, to the displeasure of many/ if not all of current Rutgers students.
Fellow sophomore John Garcia seemed concerned by the increase. “Being a commuter at Rutgers, I do not have to pay for housing. However, I notice how the university spends so much money toward the football program. With the fees rising each year, it makes me wonder if both are related to each other in some way.
Garcia and other students find themselves working more than one job to pay the tuition.
“I have to work two jobs to help pay the tuition and looking at the tuition rise definitely puts more pressure on me. It does not help too that my grants that were given to me the last two years also lowered”.
Due to inflation, and several other reasons, students have to compromise and pay the tuition every year despite the cost of attendance increasing. Students are upset because they already have a difficult time acquiring the money to attend school whether it is via financial aid, loans, scholarships, etc.
In addition to the limited financial resources, students have also grown angry with the university for failing to improve existing parts to the school while increasing the tuition.
Junior Skylar Davis believes the increases are not justified. “  
“I would be more accepting to the increase if the quality of certain things here improved but sadly they still are still sub-par. There is still poor housing for students. The quad dorms still have asbestos and the Newell’s apartments have mold and issues with clean water. The school also has not addressed not having enough buses to make the service work smoother. All of these problems still exist but we have to pay more money. I want to pay for what I am actually getting”.
More and more students believe that they are not getting their money’s worth. While Rutgers is a prestige university, students do not agree with how the university is spending its money.
Junior Anthony Belgrave feels that Rutgers is not prioritizing fixing the current problems.
“Belgrave says, “While I'm not surprised that the tuition continues to increase, I am a little frustrated at times by the university’s decision making in regards to the funds.
Belgrave and other students point to the Starbucks trucks as examples of unnecessary additions.
“I felt that the purchase of two Starbucks trucks were unnecessary. While there is a profit from Starbucks, there are also many Starbucks stores on campus. I feel as though that money can be used to improve the existing infrastructure so that incidents like the Cook/Douglass power outage do not occur”.

With incidents such as the power outage occurring, Rutgers students believe that the university is not focused on improving the right assets. A common belief is that Rutgers is consumed with primarily financing the football team as a BIG 10 school when other problems exist.
          Senior Kristen Charlery has grown frustrated by the universities’ funds primarily going toward the football program.
“I think it is really messed up how we pay so much tuition just for it to be put into football. Rutgers tries so hard to be viewed as a football school yet we barely focus on what is bringing success to the university which is our students and their academics”.
Charlery believes the tuition increase shows how the university does not appreciate its students.
“Rutgers is considered a prestige academic school yet all the students get in return for their hard work is a tuition increase. It shows you just what their true focus is. That focus is athletics but football in particular”.
Overall, the majority of Rutgers students do not agree with the tuition increase. Many are dissatisfied due to financial circumstances while others want to see a significant change occur to warrant an increase.
With a potential increase bound to happen next year as well, more and more Rutgers students will continue to be outraged and face financial struggles to overcome the increase. This will not be the last we hear about this issue as students could potentially voice their opinions in the future if the tuition continues to increase.

Rutgers Tuition Increases Again for Fifth Straight Year

Rutgers students have mixed emotions about the 1.7 % increase in undergraduate tuition this year at Rutgers University.
While school officials have called the increase in tuition costs “modest but necessary,” some students are frustrated and are confused as to the reason why the tuition went up, which is an increase of about $241.
Meme Fletcher, a player on the Rutgers Women’s volleyball team, says that while she is currently on a full academic scholarship, she is annoyed that her rent has gone up another $447 and questions the reasons why.
“Every year, things tend to be more expensive and I’m not really sure why,” says Fletcher.
Fletcher feels that students are bringing in the same amount of money each year from working small jobs to pay for college and despite this, the tuition continues to go up. In other words, she says wages haven’t gone up enough to match the increase in tuition.
The rising tuition though has hit the ones who are paying directly out of pocket harder, making it more difficult for them to afford a good education.
Ethel Osorio, a commuter from Clark, is one of those students who doesn’t necessarily see the tuition increases as something that is good or bad but simply hard.
“I feel the University needs to pay certain things but it just makes it hard sometimes. As a commuter too, it doesn’t really help me at all or make things any easier,” Osorio says.  
Osorio, who commutes a half hour to school each day, says she needs money more for things such as gas for her car and school supplies. She says her Mom is paying 100% out of pocket and isn’t getting any type of federal aid or supplement, which makes it difficult for herself and her family.
However, the general consensus among the students was questioning exactly what the additional money was going toward.
Some students, such as Jon Spilletti, speculated that the money could be going toward the Athletic department but said that this wouldn’t necessarily be a help for the students.
“Is it going to the Athletics department? Is it going to the faculty staff? The student body? We really don’t know,” says Spilletti.
Spilletti said he expects a backlash from the student body because nobody is certain what the increase in tuition is for. He feels the increase would be more justified and understandable if it was clear what the extra money was intended to help.
Many students such as Spilletti did say though they would be in favor of tuition increases if the money would be used for the betterment of the student body and student services on campus.
“If it means better classrooms, a better and more efficient bus system, better dorms, then I’m all for that. But, if it doesn’t go toward things that positively affect the student body, then the increase is meaningless,” Spilletti concluded.
The tuition for students at Rutgers University has steadily increased over the past five years. The question remains whether it will increase again for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Rutgers’ Reacts to Tuition Increase

Rutgers’ Reacts to Tuition Increase

Rutgers’ students are outraged over the 1.7% increase in the upcoming 2016 academic school year. 

Tim Catalfamo, a senior at Rutgers University, is not angry over the tuition increase, but instead over the allocation of funds. 

“Tuition has gone up steadily the last couple of years, it has been constant, [but] it makes me wonder where all that money is going” states Catalfamo. 

He expressed that although tuition increases are necessary, he feels that Rutgers’ is obligated to use the money in order to advance and better his education and experience as a student. Catalfamo goes on to state that there are many things that need improvement such as more buses so that transportation becomes quicker. 

The issue of fund allocation is considered troublesome for many students. According to The Daily Targum, Mariah Wood, a student at Rutgers University, also believes that majority of the money goes towards construction projects that most students will not benefit from.

Students, like Sayeeda Rab and Mitul Patel, are angry over the tuition increase because they do not see improvement in important issues such as the quality of food in the dinning halls, but instead see the unnecessary display screen in The Yard.

Rutger students believe that if the tuition has to increase, then it has to be geared toward improving their education.

After Rutgers tragic loss to Michigan State University, 78 to nothing, several students lividly stated that, that was a clear indicator of the problem at Rutgers. Many funds go into Rutgers football and many other sports while conditions in the class room are in need of attention. 

“Why do we keep throwing our money at Rutgers football when I am sitting in a classroom where only half of the room has light” states Rab. 

Not only is the allocation of funds an issue, but many students coming from lower income families suffer a big hit as tuition increases. 

A junior majoring in Psychology, Lamar Nero, is concerned where or not he will be able to study in the upcoming 2016 spring semester due to the tuition increase. 

“I’m angry because I might not be able to study in the spring and that’s just terrible. Education should be made available to all despite your economic standing” says Nero. 

Many students like Nero, whose father was recently unemployed, would like Rutgers to make education more accessible to students from many economic backgrounds. 

Nero goes on to say, “the thing about tuition increases in general is that they force students to take out loans, and loans haunt you long after your college years are over” 

As tuition increases, students are faced with the harsh reality of paying off loans for years after graduation. Loans are worrisome because many students after college struggle with employment and find no way of paying off their loans.

The 1.7% tuition increase for the 2016 academic school year, has said to be the lowest increase in the last 5 years. 

Although it has been the lowest tuition increase, to say that this increase does not affect Rutgers students is wrong. 

Recent Tuition Cuts Are Negatively Effecting Students

Rutgers Students Find Recent Tuition Cuts Difficult To Deal With

Rutgers University has experienced recent tuition hikes, and the students are not happy.
Students attending Rutgers were interviewed about their thoughts on the hike.

Jackie Burzichelli, a senior noted that Rutgers tuition hikes have been going on for years, and each time she found herself taking out loans.

“I’m glad that I’m a senior”, Burzichelli said. “I’m already close to $30,000 in debt and I don’t need anymore. It’s ridiculous. It’s affecting me and my parents. I will leave college with a lot of loans to pay back”

Another senior, Meg Pesari said that the tuition hikes would be difficult and that her parents would have to, yet again, shell out money.

“Yeah, it’s like c’mon. I have three other siblings that’s going college and my parents can’t keep paying for this”

After getting a hold of former Rutgers Student Ebony Crystal Riggs, who graduated this past summer, she expressed general disinterest. To her, tuition hikes were not uncommon and not of much importance.

“Tuition goes up all the time. It is what it is. It went up when I was there and I just did Work Study”.

Despite this, Riggs also noted that she had to do Work Study each semester her entire time attending Rutgers, so the tuition hike did hurt her pockets.

Student Nadee Lewis who is graduating in May 2017 proclaimed that the recent tuition hike, as with all the others of the past, make it particularly hard to maintain some level of financial stability when it comes to payments.

Her financial aid as of late has not been a consistent stream of guaranteed income and it doesn't help that this additional funding does not seem to take into account the rising costs of this institution.

"Some of us just don't have the resources to accommodate our finances"  Lewis said.

Her friend Nataisiah Davis also graduating in 2017 said that rise in tuition has affected her greatly because her financial aid couldn't cover everything, so in order to receive more finances, she had to appeal to the financial aid office and that still wasn't enough.

So for Davis, the finances needed to come out of pocket which was a hard task on its own.

"It just makes it hard for you to guarantee you will be able to attend school."

According to Adam Clark from, “Tuition and fees for Rutgers University's undergraduate students in New Brunswick will increase 1.7 percent, or about $241 this fall”.

“The university is also raising the price tag for room and board by 1.7 percent. With room and board considered, the average undergraduate from New Jersey on the New Brunswick campus will see a total bill of $26,632, or $447 more than last year.”


Imani Seung
October 5, 2016
Digital News Writing and Reporting
Professor Tom Davis


Recent discussions on another tuition increase at Rutgers University have students rethinking accepting their invitation to be a Scarlet Knight. The State University of New Jersey has raised tuition three times in the last three years and is receiving much criticism from students for another hike in their fees for the 2016-2017 school year.

            “I opted to stay in state because it was supposed to be the cheaper alternative,” states Joanny Ferrerias, a sophomore at Rutgers University. “But had I known that I might end up paying just as much if not more than some out of state schools I might have made a different decision.”

            Ferrerias’ reaction is very similar to that of many other students. Rutgers first raised its tuition in 2013 by 2.4 percent. This was the University’s highest increase in years. The increase resulted in several student protests around the New Brunswick campus.

During the 2014-2015 school year in state students paid $25,561 to attend. This is a total $484 more than attendees paid during the previous year. “I know 500 bucks doesn’t seem like a lot but believe me it adds up,” states junior Stephany Mensah Narh.

And indeed it does add up, as Rutgers has been steadily raising its tuition by less than 4 percent for the past three years. “I have had to pay more and more each year to attend the same school,” Mensah Narh states in frustration. “And the quality of my life here as a student has not increased. So where is my money going?”

According a to a newsletter released by the Rutgers board of directors the recent increase was mandatory.  “We’re a public institution where state funding is flat,” writes vice president of University budgeting, Nancy Winterbauer. “And we simply can't provide the quality of an education that our students need without raising tuition.”

The 7-2 vote to raise tuition once again has been attributed to salary concerns amongst Rutgers teaching staff. Students have requested for a tuition freeze similar to that of fellow New Jersey colleges Essex County College, Rowan University, Seton Hall University, and Richard Stockton College.

However demands for a tuition freeze have not yet been met. “I was at each and every protest and every board member who addressed us basically told us their hands were tied. They gave us the run around,” stated senior Sara Mazzeo. “You educate us to advocate for ourselves, to ask questions so we’ll get answers, but you refuse to help us get those answers. And if tuition keeps increasing at this rate I will be the last in my family who can even afford to come here.”

Mazzeo is the third of six children who have decided to continue their studies on the banks of the old Raritan, but with the recent hike in fees her concerns are valid. If tuition increases continue steadily at this rate it will cost close to $30,000 to attend Rutgers within the next two decades.

The board will be meeting again soon to discuss the budget for the 2017-2018 school year. Talks of another increase are already in the works. But it is safe to assume that if the board continues to vote in favor of increases it may result in a small attendance decrease.


Students react to Rutgers' tuition hike

By Madison Quo

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Oct. 13 - Students at Rutgers University had mixed feelings and opinions about the recent tuition hike for the 2016-2017 school year.
Over the summer, the Rutgers’ Board of Governors made the decision to increase undergraduate tuition and fees by 1.7 percent, which averages to about $241.
Most students were not happy about the increase as they were already concerned with their existing student loans.
Sylvia Pak, a junior majoring in political science, was one of those students. She worries she will not be able to pay off her student loans after graduation, she said.
“A 1.7 percent increase may not seem like a lot, but it does add up,” Pak said. “My term bill likes to remind me.”
Pak, along with many other students, has a part-time job while balancing the workload and life of a full-time student.
“I work at Vivi Bubble Tea on Easton Avenue and I need money so I always try to work on days I don’t have class,” she said.
Khaula Saad, a sophomore with a double major in English and journalism and media studies, has two jobs, one with the Daily Targum and the other with RU-tv. Making money while being in school is beneficial because Rutgers is so expensive, she said.
“It’s not easy working two jobs and going to all my classes,” Saad said. “But I have to. I need to. How else am I going to survive?”
Some students supported Rutgers and the Board’s decision to raise their tuition.
Rutgers is a state university where changes are constantly being made. And these changes are for the better. Take the Yard on College Avenue, for example. They are new apartments and restaurants everyone admires and loves. This all comes from our tuition, junior Aba Nassar said.
“I don’t exactly like it but I can totally see why they’d raise our tuition,” senior Courtney Fee said. “Rutgers is upgrading or at least I hope it is with all the construction they’re doing around here.”
For most students, the tuition hike did not come as a surprise. Faraz Ali, a junior majoring in financial accounting, was not fazed when he heard the news.
“Rutgers’ tuition increases every year,” he said. “It’s really no surprise at all. They’ll just do the same thing again next year and the year after that.”
Students should expect Rutgers to raise their tuition. If it is a surprise and they are not happy with it, they should consider transferring to another school, Serena Ortiz, a sophomore majoring in dance, said.
“My older sister used to go here so my family is completely aware of the tuition change,” she said. “We knew what to expect when I chose to go to Rutgers too.”
One Scarlet Knight, however, was surprised but indifferent about the whole situation because he felt it was not his concern.
“There’s an increase in tuition?” freshman Nick Wong said. “Well it doesn’t affect me. It’s my parents’ problem, not mine. I’ll let them deal with it.”