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Turner Bill to Ensure Accurate Higher Ed Reporting For Financial Aid Clears Committee

Senator Turner

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that directs institutions of higher education and proprietary degree-granting institutions to provide the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority with graduation and transfer rates of State tuition aid grant recipients cleared the Senate Higher Education Committee.

S-1753 would facilitate the greater collection of data from all institutions of higher education to ensure the state is appropriately monitoring their return on investment at all of the states institutes for higher education. Current HESAA regulations require institutions, as a condition of participating in State financial aid programs, to provide detailed information on the graduation and transfer rates of State tuition aid grant recipients.

“This bill is about implementing better policy making decisions, and making sure there is an increased accountability factor in place,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “Parents and students deserve to see exactly what these institutions are producing in terms of graduates. If a student is eligible for financial aid, their needs to be some accountability for how successful those students are in their collegiate career and we need to monitor how financial aid is being distributed.”

Under the bill, all institutions of higher education would be required to annually provide the HESAA with detailed information on the graduation rates of State tuition aid grant recipients. The institutions would also be required to post this on their websites. For cases involving community colleges, the college would be asked to provide HESAA with the transfer rates of the State tuition aid grant recipients.

“A college education is essential for getting a good job and entering the middle class. Yet, despite this reality, college costs are rising beyond the reach of many residents in our state. Having these figures reported will show a great deal of accountability and responsibility for these institutions,” added Senator Turner.

According to their website, HESAA is the only New Jersey state agency with the sole mission of providing students and families with financial and informational resources for students to pursue their education beyond high school.

S-1753 cleared the committee 5-0 and now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.