Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R- Morris Passaic) has been named to the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
DeCroce said she is honored to serve on a committee whose oversight of higher education touches the lives of so many families in New Jersey.
“Traditionally, the path to success and social mobility in America has been through our colleges and universities. I want to make sure that a quality higher education is affordable to everyone who has the desire to pursue learning,” said DeCroce.
DeCroce said she is concerned that the cost of college is placing too high a burden on college graduates and their parents. “The spiraling costs of a college education are having a tremendous negative impact on students and families. The debt burden carried by college graduates is impacting their working lives and is proving to be a disincentive to some who want to pursue advanced learning,” said DeCroce.
The assemblywoman said she would like to see more fiscal accountability and cost controls on colleges and universities that accept government financing. “Gov. Christie and the legislature have been fighting successfully to hold down the costs of our primary and secondary public schools and demanding more accountability from teachers and administrators. I believe we need to do the same with our colleges and universities where costs are far outstripping the rate of inflation,” said DeCroce.
DeCroce pointed to a study released last fall that said tuition and mandatory fees for in-state students at the state’s public colleges will range from $10,422 at New Jersey City University to $14,740 at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. Those costs are exclusive of room and board paid by students who live on campus.
Tuition and fees at Rutgers University for the average in-state undergraduate rose this year to $13,073.Students living on campus will pay a total of more than $24,000 once room and board are added to the bill.
DeCroce, a career businesswoman, also noted that college curriculums need to be more relevant to today’s workplace. “The mission of our colleges should be to turn out people who have skills that are readily and immediately adaptable to the available employment opportunities,” said DeCroce.
The assemblywoman said she encourages businesses to become more involved with college administrators in shaping curriculums that give students the skills necessary to meet today’s job requirements.