Even after adjusting for inflation, the average New Jersey state college cost has risen 373.2 percent since 1996, according to a new report by New Jersey Policy Perspective, a local think tank. This has put college out of reach for many low- and middle-income families, according to the report. For the 1995-1996 school year, the average cost of going to a New Jersey state college was $2,552, which in today’s dollars would be $4,325. In 2011-2012, the state college average cost was $12,077.
Rutgers has seen the cost of tuition and fees rise 236.9 percent on average since 1996, from $3,786 ($6,416 in today’s dollars) to $12,755. The College of New Jersey has gone from $3,238 ($5,487 today) to $13,887, the state’s highest. The state’s lowest-cost college, NJCU, rose 323.6 percent from $2,370 ($4,016 today) to $10,021.
Even community colleges have seen a rise of 127.7 percent in real dollars, from $2,998 in 1996 to $4,026.