Two interesting points (I thought so, anyway) I would like to raise from tonight’s RAA Board of Directors meeting I attended tonight.
1. Instead of applying to Rutgers College, Livingston, or several of the other schools, they will now apply to the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. They will then be placed in to the “appropriate” school as defined by admissions. I assume that students interested in Pharmacy, Engineering, and other speciality schools will still have to indicate that they would like to apply to such schools. I also will go out on a limb and assume you must still have an “F” under gender on your driver’s license to get in to Douglass.
2. The second point is the emphasis placed surrounding the state budget cuts. The allocation to Rutgers will be cut 12% from the prior year, which was already cut mid-year last year. A 4.5% tuitition hike has been proposed to cover some of the cuts as well as the overall increase in expenses, but that won’t cover the whole shortfall.
From the state’s point of view, I can understand. They’re facing an incredible shortfall, in part as a result of the fiscal policy of the prior administration, which cut taxes and increased spending at a time of record government revenues that unsurprisingly turned out to be unsustainable.
In truth, the part that I find frustrating is the fiscal policy at the federal level. While the states have a certain responsibility to cover their own shortfalls, in place of a “silly” (in my opinion) dividend tax cut that will benefit relatively few, the money would be much better spent aiding the states. I have read in several places (and will seek out sources in the near future) that the amount of money from the federal government sent to public higher education institutions has fallen over the past several years/decades. So, it would not be out of character for the federal government to renew their assistance to important social goods such as education. After all, which serves as a better future investment, a dividend tax cut that does little for many, or ensuring that the next generation of Americans is better educated than the previous?