Rowan approves 1.9 percent tuition incease

Posted: June 13, 2014

Rowan University's board of trustees on Wednesday approved a 1.9 percent increase in undergraduate tuition and fees for the next academic year.

The board, meeting in Camden, also voted to increase meal plan rates an average of just under 0.5 percent and university housing an average of 2.8 percent.

Tuition and fees for full-time undergraduate students from New Jersey will increase to $12,616 from $12,380. Out-of-state students will pay $20,570, up from $20,186.

"We want to make sure that the cost of education does not rise beyond the means of our students," said Ali A. Houshmand, Rowan's president, saying tuition and fees had risen an average of 1.6 percent over the last three years.

Houshmand recommended the 1.9 percent undergraduate increase in May, citing rising costs for the university. Faculty and staff salaries, the largest portion of Rowan's operating budget, will increase about 3.7 percent, he said in May.

Tuition and fees will rise 1.9 percent for traditional graduate students and MBA students, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University will raise tuition and fees 3 percent. The board also approved a 1.5 percent increase in tuition and fees for students at the School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Linda Rohrer, the chair of the university's board of trustees, called the 1.9 percent increase "very modest," citing other schools and Rowan's own history.

The university's tuition and fees increased 26 percent from the 2004-05 school year to 2013-14, adjusted for inflation. They have risen 187 percent since 1990, an average increase of 8.11 percent from the 1990-91 school year to the 2013-14 school year, adjusted for inflation - in line with other New Jersey senior public colleges, the university said.

Houshmand has pledged not to increase tuition and fees at more than the rate of inflation. Rowan did not increase tuition and fees between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years.

The trustees also approved next year's operating budget, with projected revenue of $441.5 million and expenses of $439.9 million. The budget includes expected state funding of $149 million, which includes the cost of state-paid employee benefits. Rowan received about $137 million in total state aid this year.

The Legislature must pass the state's budget by June 30.

The board also renewed technology contracts and approved the budget for creating parking lots in the current football practice field and field hockey field, near the education building. That parking is meant in part to offset the loss of two parking lots that will be the site of an engineering building and a business school building.

The board also approved new faculty hires; Rowan has hired 29 full-time, tenure-track faculty this year and hopes to hire two more. The university hired 60 such faculty last year, part of an ongoing push to aggressively expand the university's faculty, students, and research.

For the first time in its history, Rowan now has more than 400 tenure-track faculty members.

Rowan's externally sponsored research funding increased 65 percent from last year, Houshmand said, part of the university's expansion and one result of the university's receiving a research designation from the state. Funding from the National Institutes of Health increased 35 percent, he said.


jlai@phillynews.com

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