It is no lie to state that tuition plays a significant, if not one of the most important deciding factors when it comes to selecting an institution to study in- no matter the course offerings, location, student to faculty ratio, prestige, etc. Recently, changes were introduced to the Rutgers University budget, with an expected 6% increase in tuition, 5% increase in housing, and 7% increase in meal plans respectively. This increase in tuition plays a larger role on the Camden campus, as compared to the two other campuses in New Brunswick and Newark. The Rutgers University branch in Camden provides a significant amount of financial aid to students, who otherwise would not be able to afford the cost – to attend.
Recently, in response to the increase in tuition, Matthew Brodsky who serves as President of the Rutgers University Camden Student Government Association (RUCSGA) released a statement in response to the change- expressing his disappointment about the Board of Governor’s decision. In the RUCSGA President Matthew Brodsky’s statement, he says “since recently Rutgers University-Camden was deemed a minority serving Institution (MSI) and one that serves as an accessible institution that serves many minority students, non-traditional students, first generation students, student veterans, among others who rely on financial assistance.” “The support plays a crucial role in alleviating the financial burden associated with earning a valuable education which is essential for students in Rutgers University.” The change is unreasonable and simply upsetting. The approved tuition increase could lead to limiting the access of a collegiate education to many, and making the beautiful and inspiring hopes for the future of these youngsters a distant dream.
Image of Statement issued by the RUCSGA by President Matthew Brodsky
Additionally, the President claims that this university-wide increase will “create considerable barriers” for students who primarily rely on financial aid and other financial resources offered through the University, and will be required to seek new ways to address the costs tied to attending and receiving their degree from Rutgers.
Moreover, Matthew urges the school officials, legislators, policy makers to understand the scope of the matter, this issue, from a student’s perspective. He calls on the university to “explore new and emerging revenue channels to help offset future increases to the operating budget so that current and future students can afford education.” Furthermore, Brodsky emphasizes that it is “essential for educational institutions and their leaders, legislators, and policymakers, and society at-large to acknowledge the urgency of addressing the college affordability issue and taking concerted action.”
The RUCSGA, Rutgers University-Camden Student Government Association, is an organization known for advocating for noble causes, to increase equity and fairness within that system and overall management. The SGA is the voice of the students and works to “promote and inspire” students, as their mission states. Ultimately, providing students the platform to share their thoughts, feelings, and insights about the University to increase awareness and inspire change from the higher up.
With key organizations such as the RUCSGA, the students at Rutgers-Camden can trust and ultimately believe that their voices, regarding crucial issues such as these, will be heard and will reach the right ears through the vigilant e-board and members, frequently raising apprehension of such pivotal changes. While there is much the university as a whole must do to ensure that the college is affordable to all students, we can hope that the SGA’s advocacy can help make real noise to these issues.