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Cryan-Cunningham Bill Would Provide Consumer Info on Colleges & Professional Schools

Trenton – Students and their families would be provided with consumer information detailing the costs, graduation rates and employment data of recent graduates for all institutions of higher education in New Jersey, including independent schools, and institutions that offer licensed degree programs, under legislation approved by the Senate Higher Education Committee today.

The bill, S-2026, sponsored by Senators Joe Cryan and Sandra Cunningham, would apply the disclosure requirements already in place for four-year public schools under the existing “New Jersey College Student and Parent Consumer Information Act” to all institutions of higher education and proprietary schools that offer academic degrees.

“The cost of a college degree and job training schools is a significant expense meant to be an investment in their future career opportunities,” said Senator Cryan (D-Union). “But these costs can leave them burdened with debt that can be disproportionate to their income potential. They deserve to know what they are paying for and what they can afford.”

“College is a major investment, and selecting a four-year institution is a big decision for young adults. They deserve to know what they can expect when they graduate before they make their choice,” said Senator Cunningham (D-Hudson). “This legislation will allow prospective students to make a more educated choice, based on what is best for their personal, professional and financial future.”

The bill amends current law to require all institutions of higher education and proprietary institutions to disclose the basic information on their websites. Additionally, the measure requires private career schools with programs required for licensed professions or regulated occupations established in the Division of Consumer Affairs or authorized by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to post similar information on their websites.

The legislation requires the Department of Higher Education to establish the guidelines, criteria, and format in reporting the information and calls for NJ Higher Education to create a comparative profile, including an employment comparative report.