150 West State Street. Trenton NJ 08608 -- 609-989-1100 office

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Association Staff

Michael W. Klein, JD, PhD

Chief Executive Officer



Barbara Berreski, Esq.

Government & Legal Affairs


Patricia A. Berry

Budget & Administration


Pamela J. Hersh

Communications & Marketing


Support Staff

Charlene R. Pipher

Executive Assistant/Web Design


Terry Toth

Part-Time Secretarial Assistant


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New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities

150 West State Street

Trenton, New Jersey 08608

609-989-1100 office

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NJ Student Debt

Americans Losing Faith in College Degrees, Poll Finds

Wall Street Journal

September 7, 2017

Americans are losing faith in the value of a college degree, with majorities of young adults, men and rural residents saying college isn't worth the cost, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey shows.

The findings reflect an increase in public skepticsm of higher education from just four years ago and highlight a growing divide in opinion falling along gender, educational, regional and partisan lines.  They also carry political implications for universities, already under public pressure to rein in their costs and adjust curricula after decades of sharp tuition increases.  Read more here.

Change in Montclair State's Status May Lead to Changes for College Association


August 31, 2017

Montclair State University's recent recognition as a public research university by the state was heralded by many as a positive development, not only for the school but for the overall higher education landscape in New Jersey.

But the upgrade in status had perhaps one unintended consequence:  Because it no longer falls under the category of a "state university," Montclair was removed from the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities, as prescribed by the legislation, NJ A4969 (16R), establishing it as a public research institution.  Read full article here.

The following Letter to the Editor from NJASCU Executive Director Michael Klein was sent in response to a Star-Ledger editorial

July 24, 2017


Dear Editors:

Your editorial on July 23, 2017 “College Sex Assaults: Right Cause But Wrong Leader,” suggests that New Jersey’s colleges and universities should be “required to report every sexual assault allegation to the local prosecutor’s sex crimes unit.” This suggestion overlooks an important right belonging to victims of sexual crimes assaults. The New Jersey Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights Act (N.J.S.A. 18A:61E-1 et seq.) “which has been on the books since 1994” gives victims of sexual assaults the right to be free from pressure from campus personnel “to report crimes if the victim does not wish to do so.” This right extends to victims of sexual assaults that occur on the campus of any public or independent college or university in New Jersey and where the victim or alleged perpetrator is a student, or when the victim is a student involved in an off-campus sexual assault.

The New Jersey Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault recently released its report, which included several excellent recommendations. The state colleges and universities join the Task Force in its aim to “enhance the safety of students on campus, assist students affected by sexual violence, and create healthier campus communities built on respect.”

Thank you for considering my letter,


Michael W. Klein, JD, PhD

Executive Director/CEO

New Jersey Association of State Colleges & Universities

“Colleges Pull Back Tuition’s Long Rise”
July 24, 2017

NJASCU Executive Director Michael Klein responded to a recent Wall Street Journal article in the following manner:

In “Colleges Pull Back Tuition’s Long Rise” (July 24), state legislative mandates to reduce tuition are given the credit for the drop in the average cost of attending the University of Washington in Seattle. That is only half the story. Washington State’s legislature paired the mandate with $200 million in state funds over two years to help public institutions make up the lost tuition revenue.

This kind of partnership between policymakers and state college and university leaders is a valuable lesson for other states to learn. Between fiscal years 2008 and 2016, state support per student at public institutions nationally decreased $1,426, while net tuition revenue per student increased $1,661, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) association. The connection between state funding for public colleges and universities, and the tuition paid by students at those institutions, is inescapable. The more support that states can provide, the less that students will need to pay.

11 Significant Bills Christie Signed Into Law or Vetoed that Impact You
July 24, 2017

NOT on the list of NJ.com’s “significant bills” but among those bills signed into law (the article has the FULL list) is Senate Bill No. 3281/Assembly Bill No. 4969 that establishes Montclair State University as a Public Research University. See NJASCU’s press statement on this legislation.

Key provisions in the Montclair State legislation remove the institution from restrictions under the State College Contracts Law for procurement and construction. The State College Contracts Law is 31 years old and constrains the operation of the remaining state colleges and universities. The New Jersey Higher Education Task Force, in its December 2010 report, stated that the State College Contracts Law restricts the ability of these institutions to enter long-range contracts, slows the pace of construction, and increases procurement and construction costs.

The New Jersey Higher Education Task Force, chaired by former Governor Tom Kean, endorsed a recommendation from the New Jersey Presidents’ Council to revise many provisions of the State College Contracts Law. The New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities looks forward to working with the legislature to cut red tape in the New Jersey’s laws to enable all the state colleges and universities to serve New Jersey’s residents more effectively and efficiently.

Helping Area Youth to “Think Like an Entrepreneur”
July 21, 2017

Some local high school students got the chance to put their entrepreneurial skills to the test and come up with products that we may see hit store shelves someday.

Rowan University’s Rohrer College of Business, with the help of a $7,500 grant from TD Bank, partnered with the Camden Academy Charter High School to give kids a crash course in business while earning college-level credits.

Students Get a Head Start on College with State EOF Grants
July 20, 2017

Eighty-five incoming freshmen for five weeks over the summer are at Stockton University getting a head start on campus life. The first-year students, who are all receiving aid through the state-sponsored Education Opportunity Fund (EOF), are participating in the university’s Summer Academy, where they take classes, study and socialize with other EOF students. The program offers financial and academic assistance for low-income students who are residents of New Jersey.

“It’s a program designed to provide access to institution to individuals who, due to financial or academic unpreparedness, may not get to seek higher education,” said Maralyn Mason, director of EOF at Stockton.

Each year, about 13,000 New Jersey students participate in the EOF program, according to the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.

House Grapples with Higher Ed Budget, Departs From Trump but Pell May Lose


July 20, 2017


The budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year doesn’t suggest nearly as many cuts as were proposed by the White House, but the Pell grant program, in particular, may take a cut.

As Paperwork Goes Missing, Private Student Loan Debts May Be Wiped Away


July 17, 2017


The National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts has repeatedly failed to prove the current ownership of loans that, in an echo of the subprime mortgage crisis, it initially made through banks and then sold to investors.  The troubled loans total at least $5 billion.  Tens of thousands of people who took out private loans to pay for college but have not been able to keep up payments may get their debts wiped away because critical paperwork is missing.

Benefits of Title IX Pass Down Through Generations


July 15, 2017


Three part series on Title IX – “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance” – features The College of New Jersey alumna Jill Cosse, formerly the first women’s lacrosse coach at Kean University.

NJASCU CEO Michael Klein Responds in NJSpotlight.com to a Fund for New Jersey Report


Would Reforms to Small-Business Tax, Minimum Wage, Family-Leave Fix NJ Economy?


July 13, 2017


Despite recent job gains and an improving unemployment rate, a new report on New Jersey’s economy suggests there’s still room for additional growth if state leaders are willing to do more in several key areas to help more people find good-paying jobs.


The report released yesterday by the Fund for New Jersey, a philanthropic organization that encourages informed policymaking (and a funder of NJ Spotlight), makes a number of recommendations that leaders could follow to help the state economy reach its full potential.  They include reorienting state tax incentive programs to benefit small businesses and increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage to bring it more in line with what it takes to survive in a high-cost state like New Jersey.  In addition, the report makes a couple of higher education related recommendation, including improving college graduation rates and implementing more remedial education programs.


NJASCU CEO Mike Klein, who communicated with the report’s author extensively, clarified a couple of the report’s representations/omissions in the “Comments” section for the article on the NJ Spotlight site.


The report recommends increasing college completion rates without acknowledging that New Jersey is already one of the top states in college graduation rates (which measure first-time, full-time students only) and completion rates (which include transfer students and part-time students.  New Jersey’s 11 senior public colleges and universities have the 6th-highest graduation rate in the country (http://collegecompletion.chronicle.com/state/#state=nj&sector=public_four), and the 4th-highest completion rate ( https://nscresearchcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/Signature12aTables.xls).


The recommendation to make “remedial education more available” also fails to acknowledge that every senior public institution already provides remedial education to the students, as reported here: http://www.state.nj.us/highereducation/IP/IP2014/index.shtml#PRU (under “Characteristics of Undergraduate Students” in each report).


Posted by Mike Klein on July 13 at 9:42 p.m.

NJASCU CEO Michael Klein Challenges Assumptions in a June 5, 2017, WSJ Op-Ed
June 23, 2017

Timothy Lemmer
Letters Editor
The Wall Street Journal
1211 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10036

Dear Mr. Lemmer:

Richard Vedder and Justin Strehle ("The Diminishing Returns of a College Degree," June 5) ask: "[How] does knowing a lot about, say, anthropology, make one a more productive worker?" The answer is skills like communication, organization, teamwork, critical thinking, social skills, creativity, and adaptability. These so-called "soft skills" are prized by employers ("The Soft Skills Employers Are Looking For," August 30, 2016) and increasingly recognized and rewarded in liberal arts and humanities majors ("Hunting for Soft Skills, Companies Scoop Up English Majors," October 25, 2016).

Op-Ed: Switching Lottery Profits to Pensions, Another Reckless Budget Gimmick
June 23, 2017

An op-ed column from New Jersey Policy Perspective President Gordon MacInnes raises the question that NJASCU has been asking for the past several weeks: Gov. Chris Christie is pushing hard on the Legislature to approve his bait-and-switch proposal to use the state Lottery's profits for paying off pensions. There's a problem with this idea that has received little attention from the administration or Legislature: Where will New Jersey find the shifted $1 billion to help finance education and institutions?

NJASCU CEO Michael Klein responded to a New York Times article: “Student Debt’s Grip on the Economy,” that appeared in the Sunday Review section on May 21, 2017.


To the Editor:

To your list of recommendations to help student borrowers, I suggest adding one more remedy:  increasing state funding for public colleges and universities to decrease the cost of attendance for the vast majority of college students.  State and local appropriations per student at public institutions - where over 77 percent of undergraduates are enrolled - is 19 percent lower than it was 25 years ago, adjusted for inflation.  Moreover, over the past 25 years, students' share of the cost of their education at public institutions increased from 26 percent to more than 48 percent.  If states would contribute more to support the operation of their public colleges and universities, students could pay less - and borrow less - to attend them.*

Michael W. Klein, JD, PhD

Executive Director/CEO

New Jersey Association of State Colleges & Universities

*  In New Jersey, the appropriations decrease has been greater than the national average - appropriations per full-time equivalent student over the past 25 years has DECREASED by 40.1 percent, while enrollment INCREASED by 63.2 percent.


Now It’s Official:  Harrington (Finally) Sworn in as Education Commissioner - NJSpotlight.com (July 13, 2017)

How We Are Ruining America -The College Admissions Game - NYTimes.com (July 13, 2017)

President Trump’s Support for Apprenticeships Put Them Back into the Spotlight - EducationDive.com (July 12, 2017)

States Require More Disclosure on Student Loans and Doing So Slows the Rate of Borrowing - WSJ.com (July 12, 2017)

State Looks to Private Partners for Help Rebuilding Energy Infrastructure - NJSpotlight.com (July 7, 2017)

Governor Touts Lottery as Answer to NJ’s Pension Problems, but Critics Deride Plan - NJSpotlight.com (July 6, 2017)

Despite Budget Drama and Deadlock, School Funding Changes Survive - NJSpotlight.com (July 5, 2017)

Explainer: The Horizon Law that Helped Trigger a State Shutdown, up Close - NJSpotlight.com (July 5, 2017)
With Budget Signing, State is Back in Business – Just in Time for the 4th - NJSpotlight.com (July 4, 2017)
Budget Deadlock Stretches into Day 3, Thousands of State Workers Idled - NJSpotlight.com (July 3, 2017)
State Government Goes Dark - NJSpotlight.com (July 1, 2017)
Legislators Consider Overhauling Higher Education Act - EducationDive.com (June 26, 2017)
Suicide Third Leading Cause of Death for New Jerseyans Ages 10 to 24 - NJSpotlight.com (June 26, 2017)
Recent College Grads Are Leaving New Jersey in Record Numbers. Here's Why. - NJ.com (June 25, 2017)
Year-Round Pell Grants Will Be Available This Year - Education Week (June 20, 2017)
DACA Students Won't Be Deported - For Now - EducationDive.com (June 19, 2017)
7 Ways to Go to College Tuition-Free in New Jersey - NJ.com (June 14, 2017)

College Transparency Act of 2017 Aims to Improve Data Reporting - May 19, 2017

Adding It Up: Economic Impact of New Jersey’s Private Colleges, Universities - NJSpotlight.com (May 11, 2017)
NJASCU Testifies in Opposition to Proposed Assembly Bill No. 2842 - May 11, 2017
Christie Signs ‘Snooki’ Bill Capping New Jersey College Speaking Fees - NJ.com (May 9, 2017)
New Jersey City University Graduation – May 24th - NJCU.edu (May 8, 2017)
Stockton Will Host Its First Boardwalk Commencement on May 12 - Stockton.edu (May 8, 2017)
The College of New Jersey Students Launching App to ‘Handl’ Your Tasks, Errands - NJ.com (May 7, 2017)
Interactive Multimedia Grads at TCNJ Question Advance Technology at Senior Showcase - TCNJ.edu (May 3, 2017)
Thomas Edison State University Vice President Named American Council on Education Fellow - TESU.edu (May 3, 2017)
Stockton President Harvey Kesselman to Receive American Association for Access, Equity & Diversity Award Stockton.edu (May 2, 2017) 

William Paterson University Listed Among Top University Sales Programs in the Nation for 2017 - WPUNJ.edu (May 1, 2017)

In Trump’s First 100 Days, Higher Ed Sees More Shadow than Substance - Chronicle.com (April 28, 2017)

Stockton Students March Against ‘Rape Culture’ - SNJToday.com (April 27, 2017)

NJCU Students Win Big at Science Research Symposium - NJCU.edu (April 26, 2017)

37.5% - NJSpotlight.com (April 25, 2017)

Two New Jersey Colleges Among Top 15 Best in Nation for ROI - NJBIZ.com (April 24, 2017)

Five NJCU Students and Alumni Receive the Fulbright U.S. Student Awards - NJCU.edu (April 20, 2017)

Stockton Student Named Volunteer of the Year by Mental Health Association of Monmouth County - Stockton.edu (April 20, 2017)

Toys R Us Pledges $100,000 to William Paterson University for Scholarships - WPUNJ.edu (April 20, 2017)

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