Increasing College Affordability
Get a Student Vote on the Board of Governors
For the student voice to be strong, we need to not only make sure that we are heard, but we need a real seat at the table. The Board of Governors (BOG) is the most influential decision-making body at Rutgers University. They set the increases in tuition. We have been fighting to get a student voting representative for nearly one year now, and we are closer than ever before. When elected, we plan on finishing the job and securing a student vote on the BOG.
Support a Full Year Pell Grant
Over 10,000 students receive Pell Grants at Rutgers University. If we are going to get control over the cost of higher education, we need to find realistic ways to do this. Making a Pell Grant accessible in summer and winter semesters will increase four year graduation rates, and help students have more time to spread out their course schedule, and even have time for a job. This is a piece of federal legislation that actually has bipartisan support. The time is now to push for a full year Pell Grant.
Make Textbooks More Affordable
Books are outrageously expensive. Students too often have to decide whether or not to even purchase a book for their class because of the price. The use of open source textbooks has been successful thus far, but we need to do more in order for textbooks to be less expensive. For courses that require access codes that need to be purchased, we believe that we can find open source solutions for those too. Creating grants to encourage faculty to cut down textbook cost in classes is another way we can do this.
Work with NJ to Increase Funding
As the student government of The State University of New Jersey, we should always be lobbying our representatives in the state government for more funding. For decades, state funding as a total percentage of University revenue has decreased, leaving students to pick up the tab. It’s time for the state to be held accountable and help students pay for college.
Find Ways to Improve Communication of Rutgers Financial Offices
The poor communication that students receive from Financial Aid offices on campus is a serious problem. There are times when students risk not being able to pay their term bill on time simply because of communication issues about a student’s finances from the office. Conducting a complete investigatory report and recommendations to improve this communication is a priority.
Increase online info About Rutgers Financial Aid Departments
Paying for college is hard enough, but it is even more difficult when the offices are not accurately depicted online. Students could spend hours in a day just trying to track down where they have to go to get their financial aid. With paying tuition being as stressful as it is, we need to at least make sure that the process is easier for students.
Demand a School Fee and campus fee Audit
One of the biggest problems at Rutgers is that students pay, but we end up not getting the full picture of where that money goes. In order for us to cut down on costs, we need to conduct a full audit, specifically on our school fee so that students can accurately fight for funding they want increased and decreased.