Recognizing the financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and their families, the Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved a freeze on tuition and all fees for undergraduates for the 2020-2021 academic year.  

“While tuition and fee increases have been consistently low over the last five years, the Board of Governors committed to a zero percent increase this year so students and families can access an affordable Rutgers education during this unprecedented crisis,” said Mark Angelson, chair of the Board of Governors.

For the last five academic years, Rutgers increased tuition and fees an average of 2.2 percent – typically below average increases at institutions in neighboring states under normal circumstances. However, the resolution approved today for the upcoming academic year will keep tuition and mandatory student fees at the 2019-2020 levels.

Tuition and fees help fund the academic programs and university services, including academic advising, library services, computing services, health services, counseling and financial aid, that allow Rutgers to provide a high-quality education to its students, whether delivered in-person or remotely.

“Despite facing extraordinary financial challenges, Rutgers will continue to deliver the highest quality academic programs, research and services without passing on any additional financial burdens during these difficult times to our students,” said Rutgers President Robert Barchi.

A typical in-state, full-time arts and sciences undergraduate at Rutgers University-New Brunswick would be billed $15,407 in combined tuition and mandatory student fees. At Rutgers University-Newark, tuition and fees for a typical full-time arts and sciences undergraduate will be $14,826, and, at Rutgers University-Camden, a typical arts and sciences undergraduate’s tuition and fees will be $15,264. Housing and dining rates at all three campus locations will also hold at last year’s levels.

For nearly 80 percent of Rutgers students, individual student costs are further minimized by federal, state, private or institutional financial aid, including need and merit-based grants and scholarships, loans and more.

The board also approved a $4.5 billion budget for the upcoming academic year – a 2.2 percent reduction from the previous year – to adjust for anticipated significant losses in the next fiscal year through reduced revenues, including tuition and fees.

Compensation costs for university employees account for 66 percent of the total 2020-2021 budget, while the remaining 34 percent of the total budget is allocated for scholarships and fellowships, debt service and other operating expenses.

The 2020-2021 budget reflects reductions from nearly all revenue sources. The tuition and fee freeze, along with expected enrollment impacts, are expected to result in a loss of about $67 million, on top of an estimated reduction of $88 million in state appropriations – which typically account for approximately 10 percent of the university’s total revenue sources each year.

Scholarship and fellowship expenses are also expected to increase by $14.7 million to provide additional financial aid resources for students.

To address the budget deficit, the university implemented cost-saving measures in April including a hiring freeze, pay cuts for senior administrators, limits on salary increases, the suspension of new capital projects and a review of active projects, and a freeze on discretionary spending related to university operations.