college debt

By Jonathan Lai, Staff Writer

A college degree in New Jersey is too expensive and often takes too long to complete, and many families have little understanding of the full cost and options available.

That’s the picture painted by a report released this week by a panel created by the Legislature to study college affordability in New Jersey.

The College Affordability Study Commission made 20 recommendations, grouped under two general ideas: Decrease the time it takes to earn a degree, and increase students’ financial literacy and financial aid options.


Commission member Tim Haresign, a biology professor at Stockton University, issued an accompanying minority report, arguing that the recommendation in support of 3+1 programs was misguided because those programs dilute quality of instruction, dismantle carefully arranged curriculums and academic programs, and decrease transfer options.

“We have to weigh cost savings vs. quality of education,” he said.

Haresign also called on the state to increase higher education funding and consider increased oversight over college administrations.

Citing Stockton’s Showboat casino purchase fiasco and Kean University’s purchase of a nearly $250,000 conference table, Haresign said administrations have little accountability.

“Even more troubling is the fact that at some institutions, the rate of growth in management positions exceeds the rate of growth in full-time faculty positions,” Haresign wrote, “which raises questions about the educational priorities of the institution.”


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