The Student Government Association’s College Advocates Supporting Higher Education, or CA$H, Committee raises awareness about higher education issues that directly impact us all, especially those that effect our tuition. Every other week, we will discuss a different issue facing higher education.
Did you know New Jersey sends more students to out-of-state institutions than any other state? Data from 2014 shows that 914 students came to New Jersey for public college while 11,813 left New Jersey for other states. That is 13 native New Jerseyans leaving for every out-of-state student that attends a public college in New Jersey.
One suggested reason for this includes the expensive cost of in-state tuition in New Jersey. This presents a problem because the state of New Jersey loses high achieving students to out-of-state institutions. Financial incentives have a strong impact on the college decision-making process for high school seniors. New Jersey public colleges cost on average $12,500 per year for in-state students. Although out-of-state tuition in states such as New York and Pennsylvania can be slightly higher than the New Jersey in-state cost, New Jersey’s high school seniors are lured out of state by scholarships and out-of-state grants.
An additional factor is the limitation of space at New Jersey public colleges. Even if New Jersey students decided to remain in state, there is not enough space to accommodate them. In order to achieve this, the state universities and colleges would have to expand by 44 percent. This includes expanding buildings on campus to support more classrooms, dining services increasing to feed all of these students and residence halls being built to house the incoming residents. New Jersey public colleges are unable to afford projects of this size because of low state funding.
The amount of Ramapo College’s operating budget supported by the State is approximately 27.3 percent for the 2017 fiscal year and continues to trend downward. In terms of current year appropriations, Ramapo ranks next to last in gross funding, ahead of only Thomas Edison State College.
The CA$H Committee meets every Wednesday at 7pm in the SGA Office (SC-225). Feel free to stop by and share your opinion on this and any other higher education issue!