Advocates for reining in tuition at NJ state colleges rally in Trenton

By Patricia Alex, staff writer, The Record

TRENTON — Student advocates frustrated with the cost of public higher education in New Jersey — which is among the highest in the nation — are pushing for legislation that would cap tuition at state colleges and universities at the rate of inflation.

But the initiatives are likely to face an uphill battle as the state struggles to balance its budget.

In a rally on the steps of the State House on Monday, a coalition of student and union groups called for the tuition cap, which would be tied to the Consumer Price Index, now 2.1 percent.

The group is working with state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, to draft a bill that would mandate the cap. Weinberg spoke at the rally, castigating the administration of Governor Christie for giving corporate tax breaks while funding for higher education stagnated.

“Christie isn’t going to give us help. We’re coming together to help ourselves,” said Jalina Wayser, a student leader from Passaic who attends Rowan University.