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No tuition or fee increase in Rowan College at Burlington County’s proposed 2017 budget

The Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) Board of Trustees approved a proposed budget that would keep tuition and fees at last year’s rates, which were the lowest of any college in New Jersey, continuing to position the college as the affordable model of 21st century education.

In support of students and their families, the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders doubled its contribution to the college. State support remained flat.

“As tuition and student debt levels soar throughout the country, I’m proud that we have developed a model that keeps education affordable for hard-working students in Burlington County,” said Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director Kate Gibbs, a former RCBC Trustee. “Rowan College at Burlington County’s lowest-in-the-state tuition and fees, combined with the innovative Rowan University partnership, mean that students can graduate with an associate, bachelor’s and even master’s degree without large amounts of debt.”

RCBC President Paul Drayton said holding the line on tuition and fee increases aligns nicely with the impending launch of the innovative “3+1” program in which students can earn a Rowan University bachelor’s degree by attending RCBC for three years and the university for one.

“‘3+1’ offers two outstanding degrees for about the same cost of one year at a four-year institution, which is why it has been recognized by Money Magazine as one of the best college affordability programs in the country,” RCBC President Paul Drayton said. “I have always said that tuition increases are a last resort and we are very grateful for the support of the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders who share our vision of transforming lives through outstanding and affordable education.”

In addition to Money Magazine’s recognition of the importance of the 3+1 innovation, RCBC is among the top 3 percent of community colleges in the nation for increasing graduates income according to the nonprofit Brookings Institution and Rowan University ranks among the top 100 public colleges and universities, according to American City Business Journals.

“President Drayton and his staff should be commended for finding new and innovative ways to deliver outstanding education more efficiently without asking students and their families to pay more,” Board Chair George Nyikita said. “Rowan College at Burlington County puts students first, and this budget truly represents that ideal.”

The budget, which was approved by the board unanimously, comes as the college continues to implement its historic partnership with Rowan University that offers guaranteed acceptance to RCBC graduates who can complete a bachelor’s degree in Mount Laurel, online or in Glassboro, as well as transform the Mount Laurel campus into ultimate college experience.

The budget is scheduled to be certified by the Burlington County Board of School Estimate on at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25 in the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholder’s Conference Room