The full Senate approved Thursday Senator Gerald Cardinale’s “Commission on College Tuition,” which will address the rising costs of higher education in New Jersey.
“Wednesday, we learned rising tuition at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities average the third-highest in the nation,” said Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic). “Since the early 1980s, the cost of college has increased by a rate more than double the increase of median family income. The average graduate of a four-year New Jersey public or private institution leaves with $23,792 in debt.”
“What’s worse is most students and families incur these harrowing burdens without knowing what actually comprises ever-growing expenses and why certain schools’ tuitions and fees cost more than others,” Cardinale added.
Senator Cardinale’s S-1871 establishes a seven-member commission including the Secretary of Higher Education, ex officio, or a designee and six public members representing the higher education community to be appointed by the Governor. Within six months of the commission’s organization, it must study and make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature on the rising costs of higher education in New Jersey. The commission will identify and examine: the factors which contribute to tuition levels in each sector of higher education in the State; how tuition levels have changed over the last 10 years in each sector; and why tuition levels vary across the different sectors of higher education.
“A recent study revealed undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees ranged from $9,347 a year at New Jersey City University to $39,816 a year at Stevens Institute of Technology inHoboken, with room, board, books and other fees potentially adding thousands of dollars more,” Cardinale concluded. “Students and families deserve answers. How a college is administered and managed probably says a lot about the quality of education it provides.”
This measure will next be considered by the Assembly.