July 17, 2019 | 78° F

Murphy announces higher education bill of rights

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Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) said his administration was committed to growing the state from the middle out and lifting communities from the bottom up. He aims to achieve this by enhanced partnerships for students and access to fee-free college-preparatory programs.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) and New Jersey Secretary of Education Zakiya Smith Ellis announced yesterday their new plan to ensure higher education meets student needs under the vision of a Student Bill of Rights, affirming the central goal of achieving 65 percent postsecondary attainment by 2025 and committing the state to its vision, according to a governor’s office press release

The plan will also invest an additional $33.5 million for Community College Opportunity Grants, $2.25 million for the Educational Opportunity Fund and $5.03 million for the Tuition Aid Grants, according to the release. 

The announcement, “Where Opportunity Meets Innovation: A Student-Centered Vision for New Jersey Higher Education,” was held at Rutgers University - Newark, according to the release. 

“Today, New Jersey’s great colleges and universities set course to make our state the hub for American innovation and economic opportunity,” Murphy said. “My Administration has committed to growing New Jersey from the middle out and lifting communities from the bottom up. There’s no better way to achieve those goals than strengthening our state’s institutions of higher education. In a knowledge-based global economy, what New Jerseyans know will matter a lot more than who they know.” 

The plan calls for exposing students to postsecondary pathways through enhanced partnerships and access to fee-free college-preparatory programs, to ensure college access and affordability by examining new partnerships between the state and institutions to meaningfully reduce higher education costs for students and their families, to build support systems necessary to make sure students get across the graduation stage and ensure students feel safe, supported and included, according to the press release. 

Murphy’s plan also called for it to “cultivate research, innovation, and talent to deepen and recapture our place as a leader in the innovation economy and effectively prepare students for success after college.”

Rutgers’ University strategic plan, released in 2017, called for an increase of out of state from 17 to 25 percent over the next four to five years, which would be 2021 to 2022.

Brendan Brightman

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