The Rutgers Board of Governors voted to increase student tuition by 1.7 percent, on top of a 2.3 percent increase from the 2015-2016 academic year.
University Vice President for Budgeting Nancy Winterbauer said this is lower than the average increase of 2.4 percent over the last five years.
Student tuition and fees, not including room and board, amounted to $14,131 for New Jersey residents over the last academic year, or $29,521 for out-of-state students.
During a Board of Governors meeting in April, students and faculty members requested a 2.5 percent rollback in fees, to symbolize the University’s 250th birthday. Several of the attendees asked board members questions.
They did not respond to questions at the time.
David Hughes, president of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, spoke during the meeting about the impact of tuition increases on students.
"We want our (school) to be accessible to the widest swath of students," he said.
Winterbauer presented a slide discussing how Rutgers tuition is on the lower end of public school costs.
Hughes countered, saying tuition is higher than average when absolute numbers are factored in.
Rutgers student Mariah Wood also spoke during the meeting, explaining how her education at Rutgers "changed (her) life."
The loans she took out to pay for college has had a negative impact on her life, she said.
"My mother needs to work until she's 70 to pay for last year's (Direct) PLUS loan," she said. "I don't think we're asking for much when you have a surplus - that's a profit ... you shouldn't be profiting off of students."
Much of Rutgers' budget goes towards construction projects that many students will never be able to take advantage of, she said.
Support for public institutions is flat under the recently-passed 2016-2017 New Jersey budget, though overall education support dropped by one percent, according to nj.com.
Rowan University has increased tuition for the upcoming year, with a $244 increase for in-state students and a $400 increase for out-of-state students. Likewise, New Jersey City University plans to increase tuition for the year.
Student transportation issues were also addressed during the meeting.
Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi announced that two new measures may soon lead to a 10 percent drop in bus ridership.
The first measure involves new computer algorithms that would determine where the buses should go during peak hours.
The other measure will use state-of-the-art "holodecks on steroids" to create remote classroom environments, Barchi said. This technology would allow students to learn without travelling to a different campus to reach their lecture hall.