Possible “Free” Tuition for NJ Public College Students?

Radical ideas equal radical change, right? In-state tuition for New Jersey public colleges is extraordinarily high when compared to other in-state tuition rates as Rutgers’ in-state students pay over $13,000 in fees and tuition per year. So, what would happen if Jersey state-funded colleges allowed their Jersey residential students to go to school “free” of charge? However, these students would have to agree to give a part of their future salary wages to the state after they become employed. Well, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said this past week he and Assemblywoman Celeste Riley (D-Cumberland), head of the Higher Education Committee, will introduce legislation to establish a seven-member commission to study the idea, called “Pay Forward, Pay Back.”

This program would reduce the amount of student loans taken out for college and raise the attendance rate in the universities. In theory, more less fortunate high school students would have the possibility of attending college without worrying about having to take out loans. GREAT IDEA!

Reasons why this program wouldn’t work: What happens if graduates can’t find jobs immediately after graduation? What happens to students who attend school but don’t graduate? If this program were to go into effect, I’m sure tuition for out-of-state students would sky-rocket, lowering the recruitment rate of New Jersey’s universities. Teachers and faculty would have to take pay-cuts, which is something they would never agree to. How are the universities going to operate with the expected decrease in revenue, higher taxes? New Jersey already some of the highest tax rates in the nation.

Read more on the issue here.

[via State Ledger]


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