Tuition at N.J.’s public colleges, universities third highest in the nation

By Patricia Alex, Staff Writer. The Record.

Tuition at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities is the third highest in the nation, averaging $12,399, according to a report from the College Board released Wednesday.

That price tag — $3,744 above the national average — is up 13 percent over the past five years, as is tuition at the state’s community colleges, which now averages $4,218, according to the report, titled “Trends in College Pricing 2012-2013.”

A high cost of living and a relative lack of state support for public colleges and universities help make New Jersey’s schools expensive for students, experts say. The state ranks 32nd in per-capita spending on higher education, according to the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities.

“That’s not really great for a state that touts itself as a leader” in education, said Paul Shelly, a spokesman for the group.

Only New Hampshire and Vermont have higher in-state tuition for residents. Tuition at New Hampshire’s state schools is the highest in the nation at an average of $14,576, according to the report. Wyoming has the lowest with $4,278.

Rutgers University in New Brunswick costs $13,073 in tuition in fees for state residents, making it the eighth most expensive flagship campus. Penn State in State College, Pa., is first with an annual cost of more than $17,000.

Nationally, the average for tuition for state universities is $8,655, according to the report. The average annual for tuition and fees at a private colleges and universities across the country is $29,056.

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