‘Pay Forward’ college affordability bill advances another step

TRENTON – The effort to examine a so-called “pay forward’’ approach to college affordability advanced another step Monday.

The Assembly Higher Education Committee unanimously released Chair Celeste Riley’s bill – A444 – that would create a commission to study the concept that would lift from the shoulders of financially beleaguered students their traditional tuition payments in exchange for an agreement to pay back some of their post-college income.

The full Senate was scheduled to vote this afternoon on the bill.

The bill, as amended, would set up a commission that will consist of 10 members including the Secretary of Higher Education, the executive director of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, and eight gubernatorial appointees.

Of those eight, three would be the presidents of a public research school, a county college and a state college.

One would a faculty member and one would be a student from a public college. 

Of the other three, one would recommended by the Senate president, one by the Speaker, and one jointly recommended by the two minority leaders.

Riley said it is about making college more affordable in New Jersey and is spurred by similar efforts in Oregon.

The bill has some opposition. The American Federation of Teachers philosophically is opposed on the grounds that it merely shifts and delays a financial burden rather than addresses it outright.

Supporters included the N.J. Association of State Colleges and Universities.

A3766/S2448: This bill allows public and independent colleges to develop a policy for the emergency administration of epinephrine to a member of the campus community for anaphylaxis when a medical professional is not available. It passed unanimously.

Supporters include the American College of N.J. Physicians, Association of Independent Colleges, Athletic Trainee Society of N.J., and the N.J. Hospital Association.

‘Pay Forward’ college affordability bill advances another step