College costs addressed at N.J. Higher Education Committee meeting held at Rowan

By Andy Polhamus/South Jersey Times

GLASSBORO — Members of the state assembly’s Higher Education Committee visited Rowan Wednesday morning to confer with administrators and students about a legislative package of 20 bills aimed at overhauling college costs and access to college education.

“Students are being shut out of higher education,” said Jalina Wayser, a Rowan student and member of the student advocacy group NJ United Students before the hearing. “It’s evident that New Jersey needs help. Students need help, faculty needs help, administration needs help, colleges need help.”
[…] While the measure is intended to force schools to provide reasonable credit requirements and academic advising to students, some warned that the timeline would work against students paying their own way through school.

“I used to be able to say to students, ‘cut your hours,'” said Tim Haresign, Stockton College professor and president of the Council of New Jersey State College Locals. “Most students can’t take 18 credits and work 40 hours a week, so they’re not doing well.”

Haresign also addressed Houshmand’s suggestion of charging students by the number of credits they take rather than a flat tuition each semester.

“If you pay per credit you allow students to stretch their dollars,” he said. “But it may affect the four-year graduation rate.”

Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera asked Haresign’s opinion on bill A2801, which would put a limit of 120 credits on the requirement for a bachelor’s degree from a state college.

“It’s not a bad idea, but we need to make sure faculty are involved in that,” Haresign said. “And that nothing is lost for the students.”