U.S. DOE Report on Cost of College Listing NJ Schools Among Costliest in Nation Further Proof of Legislation’s Importance
(TRENTON) — Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Annette Quijano, Pamela Lampitt, Celeste M. Riley and Valerie Vainieri Huttle that would require educational brochures on college loan repayment schedules to be created and distributed to high school students unanimously passed the Assembly recently.
“Many college-bound students and their families fail to realize how burdensome student loan debt can truly be until they receive their first repayment book after graduation, which often has monthly payments in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Providing critical education before they sign loan documents can help students graduate without being mired in debt.”
The measure (A-3578) would direct the state Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to create a document that will serve to educate high school students about college loan repayment schedules. The brochure would be distributed annually to high school juniors and seniors.
The sponsors said their legislation was especially necessary and timely after an annual report issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Education listed several New Jersey public colleges as among the most expensive in the nation. The New Jersey Institute of Technology and The College of New Jersey ranked fifth and eleventh most expensive public colleges in the nation, respectively, in terms of tuition and fees. Rowan University ranked fourth most expensive in terms of net price — a calculation that factors in the cost of room, board, books and how many students get scholarships, grants and financial aid.
“With a concerning trend of growing student debt loads, it is critical that students receive information on how to manage their student loans intelligently and effectively,” said Lampitt (D-Camden), Chairwoman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee. “I am hopeful this legislation will educate students on how they can protect themselves financially while seeking a top-notch education.”
“With New Jersey families pinching every penny possible nowadays, having as much information as possible when making financial decisions is critical,” said Assemblywoman Riley. “This brochure can provide parents and students with the ability to assess the real, long-term costs of a college education.”
“While a college education is priceless in terms of opportunities and experiences, it is also extremely expensive in terms of financial resources. The cost of higher education has dramatically and disproportionately increased in recent years,” said Vainieri-Huttle (D-Bergen). “Students and their families must be aware of the financial realities of college so they can make smart, informed decisions about what schools they choose to attend and how they finance their education.”