Audit by Office of the State Comptroller Focused on The College of New Jersey, William Paterson University and Kean University; found lack of transparency surrounding fees to be an issue
(TRENTON) – Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Mila Jasey (D-Essex/Morris) issued the following statement Friday in response to a state audit report that faulted three New Jersey colleges and universities for failing to clarify how mandatory student fees are being spent, and in some cases, charging fees almost as high as tuition rates absent justification:
“College students in New Jersey are paying some of the highest tuition rates in the country.
“Given the amount of money that students and families are investing in higher education in the state, it is only right that they are made aware of how their hard-earned money is being spent.
“The audit made clear that this is not happening.
“The audit found that there is a lack of transparency about how these monies are being used. All three schools used these fees to cover payroll expenses without making it clear that the fees were being used for this purpose, and only one out of the three schools audited could justify the increase of its mandatory fees.
“Then there’s the actual cost.
“According to the audit, while the fees are supposed to defray the cost of the schools’ student service and activities, they represent about one-third of student bills.
“Any student who has worried about how he or she will pay for tuition should be rightfully concerned.
“I have reached out to Speaker Prieto and will be holding a hearing to look into this.
“New Jersey families struggling to put their kids through college deserve to know whether the fees are justified and how the money is actually being spent.”