TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner made the following statement today after hearing testimony from Michael Peters, a representative of the Student Government Association of the College of New Jersey, and Vanessa Frost, an NJ STARS student attending Mercer County College at a public hearing by the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee:
“These two students gave a voice to the frustrations that many New Jersey students face as they try to pay for their college education in New Jersey. As we continue to cut direct aid for our colleges and universities and financial aid programs for our students, we make it harder and harder for them to attend school in their home state.
“The result is a brain drain that hurts our workforce and weakens our economy. For years we have prided ourselves on providing the business community with a highly skilled workforce that allows our financial services, telecommunications and life sciences industries to thrive. If our best and brightest continue to leave New Jersey to earn their degree, I fear these businesses will begin to look elsewhere.
“Our education system, particularly our higher education system, is at the core of our economic strength. We must do everything possible to avoid further cutting our support in this area so that New Jersey’s next generation can get their degree in the Garden State and young people like Michael and Vanessa can continue to keep our state strong.”