With a vote on Monday, the Rutgers Board of Governors has increased tuition to attend New Jersey's state university by 10% in two years.

Tuition will increase by 4% for the 2024-2025 academic year. That is on top of a 6% tuition increase approved the previous year.

The increases support a new $56.6 billion dollar budget.

According to the university: "Tuition for a typical full-time arts and sciences undergraduate who is a New Jersey resident will increase on average $274 per semester from $6,837 to $7,111. Fees vary by program, but average mandatory fees are estimated to increase by about $63 per semester."

University officials also claim that 75 percent of Rutgers undergraduates received some form of financial aid.

Rutgers University Faculty Vote To Go On Strike, A First For The 257 Year Old University
Rutgers tuition is going up another 4%.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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J. Michael Gower, Rutgers’ executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer, says they will continue to look for new revenue opportunities to offset the need for future increases.

"We are looking for ways to do things differently and better as we pursue opportunities to generate additional net revenue to fund new initiatives, make maintenance improvements and replenish reserves,” Gower said in a statement.

Rutgers tuition among most expensive in U.S.

The increase in tuition now places Rutgers as the second most expensive school for in-state tuition, according to an analysis from the finance website Moneygeek.

Only in-state students in Oregon pay more with tuition averaging over $20,000 per year.

State schools in the Northeast generally have among the highest tuition, with rates 34% higher than other regions.

Florida has the cheapest tuition for in-state students at less than $4,000 per year.

Spending on athletics remains a drag

Rutgers claims the majority of the $56.6 budget (77%) goes toward academics. They blame this year's increase on "operating costs" that include salaries and benefits as well as "inflationary increases in supplies and general operating expenses."

However, Rutgers has again increased spending on athletics which now consumes 3% of the entire budget.

(AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib/Townsquare Media illustration)
(AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib/Townsquare Media illustration)
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According to an analysis by NJ.com, students pay nearly $13 million dollars in additional fees to support athletics at Rutgers.

Despite joining the Big 10 athletic conference and the promise of more revenue, Rutgers sports programs continue to operate at a huge deficit, spending $24 million dollars more than it brings in.

That is in addition to over $200 million dollars in debt the program continues to carry.

There was hope Rutgers athletics would one day serve as a profit center with revenues helping to make the university more affordable, but Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway has previously said that is not likely.

SHI Stadium at Rutgers University in New Brunswick
Spending on Rutgers athletics is now 3% of the school's total budget.
SHI Stadium at Rutgers University in Piscataway. (Dennis Symons Jr)
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State lawmakers work to cap tuition increases in NJ

Legislation has been introduced in Trenton that would provide some relief against big annual tuition hikes.

One bill in the Assembly (A4538) would cap tuition increases at public schools at 2% per year. The cap would not apply to private universities.

A bill introduced in the state Senate (S2711) would prohibit four consecutive increases in undergraduate tuition following a student’s initial enrollment.

Both bills face an uncertain future in the legislature and Gov. Phil Murphy has not commented on the legislation.

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Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

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