By Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for

TRENTON — Three New Jersey public colleges have a “heavy reliance” on millions in mandatory students fees but lack transparency about how that money is spent, according to a new state audit.

The review conducted by the state comptroller focuses on Kean University, the College of New Jersey and William Paterson University. Together, the three colleges collected more than $115 million in mandatory fees in 2012-13, the year for which the state conducted the audit.

Only William Paterson was able to provide documentation justifying its fee increase, and none of the colleges disclosed that a portion of their student fees are used to cover payroll expenses, the audit found.

State Comptroller Philip James Degnan called on the colleges to develop written policies for how and when fees should be assessed, although such policies are not required by state law.


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