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 for-profit schools that offer licensed degree programs, under legislation approved by the Senate Higher Education Committee today.
The bill, S-495, sponsored by Senators Joe Cryan and Sandra Cunningham, would have the Secretary of Higher Education establish a performance quality standard for career-oriented programs of study offered by institutions of higher education and other degree-granting, for-profit institutions. The standards would include an analysis of the ratio of the tuition and fees and the average earnings of workers employed in the specific occupation for which the career-oriented program prepares students.
“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 school 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.”
This would maximize the awareness of students and their families of the costs of enrollment, the institution’s success in ensuring the graduation and employment of its students, and the composition of the teaching faculty, said Senator Cryan and Senator Cunningham.
The legislation would also apply to private career schools.
The committee vote was 3-2.