Says New Jersey Higher Education Institutions Fared Well, Hopes Continued National Focus Will Encourage Greater State Investment in Colleges, Universities
TRENTON – Reacting to a recent U.S. News & World Report ranking of public colleges and universities, in which New Jersey schools took six of the top 20 spots in regional rankings – including top honors for The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) – State Senator Loretta Weinberg released the following statement, saying that the State has much to be proud of, and urging New Jersey policymakers to commit to supporting higher education in the Garden State moving forward.
“The U.S. News & World Report rankings should be a point of Statewide pride. New Jersey institutions of higher education have once again stood out as some of the best in the nation, and kudos to all those who’ve played a part in our State’s continued solid reputation for having some of the best schools around.
“However, while we have much to be proud of, we have to recognize that New Jersey’s national prominence in higher education is often despite, not because of, the State’s support – or lack thereof –of its colleges and universities.
“New Jersey public colleges continue to rank high in national review because of the quality of our students, the dedication of our teachers, and the creative resourcefulness of our school administrators – not because of overall State support of higher education, be it financial or otherwise. For many years, New Jersey has made a woefully underwhelming effort when it comes to providing the sort of economic and structural support our schools need, particularly during difficult economic times.
“At a time when students’ tuition dollars are stretched to the limit, and many families are struggling to afford higher education, we should be doing more to bring the cost of a college education down. Instead, we’ve cut support, forcing many schools to hike tuition.
“I’m proud that our schools continue to do well despite our failing to live up to our commitment to support them. But I know that if we want to continue to maintain our top spot on college ranking lists, New Jersey has to finally live up to its responsibility to make college affordable for all its residents. I look forward to working with my fellow legislators and the Governor to reverse the trend and stand up for our public colleges and universities moving forward.”