Rowan undergrad tuition to rise 1.92 percent

Rowan University's board of trustees on Wednesday approved a 1.92 percent increase in tuition and fees for undergraduates during the 2016-17 academic year.

The board, meeting at the Chamberlain Student Center on the Glassboro campus, also approved an average 2.5 percent increase in tuition and fees for students in the School of Osteopathic Medicine, and a 3 percent increase for students at Cooper Medical School of Rowan.

This is the fourth year the undergraduate tuition and fees increase at the university has been 2 percent or lower, said president Ali A. Houshmand.

"We have committed that tuition and fees will never increase more than the rate of inflation, and we have stood by that," he said.

For full-time undergraduate students who are New Jersey residents, tuition and fees will rise to $13,108 for the coming academic year from $12,864. Out-of-state undergraduates will pay $21,378 in 2016-17, up from $20,978.

The board also approved an average 1.72 percent increase in meal plan costs and an average increase of 3 percent for university housing.

Rowan's 2016-17 budget projects revenue of $491.2 million and expenditures of about $488 million, with total state support of $148.8 million.

Rowan's full-time undergraduate student enrollment for the next academic year is expected to be roughly 12,500, about 900 more than this past year.

"Our retention rate has improved so significantly," Houshmand said

Houshmand said that along with a stable tuition rate, the university would continue to expand its areas of study and student body. The university added nine degree programs this academic year and expects to fill at least 40 tenure-track faculty positions by September, he said.

The university added $5.6 million to its scholarship funding, to bring the total to $26 million next year.

In other business, the trustees agreed to give Glassboro $35,000 toward fire equipment to increase safety for Rowan students in the surrounding area.

In addition, the board approved building a parking garage - a collaboration between the university and the Camden County Improvement Authority - near the Cooper Medical School in Camden.

The trustees also passed resolutions that called for eliminating fees associated with unofficial transcripts and late graduation applications.

Houshmand said the university was committed to keeping Rowan one of the most affordable schools in the state.

eserpico@philly.com 856-779-3912