Rutgers Students Paying $1,000 Annually to Support Athletics
We love athletics. What could be better than watching football while sitting on squishy cushions in frigid bleachers? We also love banging together inflated plastic tubes at basketball games. We even love watching college swim meets when all we can see are bobbing swim caps and we have no idea at all who is winning or losing. Go team.
No doubt about it. Sports are big fun. But here’s a sobering question for you. Are you willing to personally pay $1,000 a year to support the athletic program at your university? We are talking about $1,000. That’s a lot of money. It is, in fact, more than an entire freshman year of college if you enroll in StraighterLine’s Freshman Year of College for $999 plan.
And when we cite that $1,000 statistic, we’re not talking theory. A new article in Bloomberg News reports that Rutgers University in New Jersey is currently channeling $28.5 million from student fees to support sports at the school. Since there are about 30,000 undergraduate students at Rutgers, each of them is chipping in about $1,000 to support athletics. Go . . . team?
According to Bloomberg, Rutgers spends more money per student on athletics than any other U.S. university. Bloomberg has amassed the athletic expenditures of more than 50 schools and posted them on a nice big chart that you can view online. Rutgers really is at the top.
Bloomberg quotes Stephen Sweeney, the president of the New Jersey Senate, who says, “Rutgers puts too much money into athletics at the cost of basically every other department . . . the faculty, student body and the families of students who are supporting them through school simply pay too much.”
All we can say is Amen to that, Senator Sweeney. Why pay $1,000 a year for a program unless it really interests you? To make the issue even odder, Bloomberg reports that Rutgers athletics aren’t actually contributing to the bottom line. They are, in fact, losing money every year.
So before Rutgers students yell “go team” one more time, maybe it’s time for them to ask whether they are really getting $1,000 worth of value from the school’s athletic programs.