A2800 requires high school students to be assessed using college placement cut scores to determine their readiness for college-level course work and the commissioner of education to develop plans to improve college and career counseling for students.
A2801 provides that no more than 120 credits will be required for a bachelor’s degree awarded by a public institution and no more than 60 credits for an associate degree.
A2802 establishes a statewide reverse transfer agreement under which at least 30 credits that a student earns toward a bachelor’s degree at a four-year public institution are transferrable to any county college for credit toward an associate degree to help encourage re-enrollment and degree completion and help a student know their time and money were not wasted.
A2803 would mandate transparency by requiring four-year public institutions to provide information on their website regarding cost of attendance, graduation rates and information on faculty. Four-year public and independent institutions would also be required to report on their website the number of students required to take remedial instruction and the graduation rates for those students.
A2804 mandates that county college presidents develop a plan to graduate 33 percent of students by 2020 to help increase graduation rates.
A2805 directs the secretary of higher education to oversee the development of a common-core course numbering system for general education core classes leading to an associate or bachelor’s degree.
A2806 establishes the N.J. School Counts County College Scholarship Program, modeled after a similar program at Cumberland County College, in which qualifying students will receive a two-year scholarship to a county college.
A2807 freezes tuition and fees at the same rate for nine semesters following a student’s initial enrollment at a four-year public or independent institution, potentially saving some students more than $10,000 over the course of a six-year degree completion program.
A2808 directs the secretary of higher education to study the prevalence and cost of online courses. If any cost savings are achieved, they should be passed on to students.
A2809 requires higher education institutions to develop open online textbooks available to students at no charge and requires the buyback of used textbooks at 50 percent of the purchase price as a remedy for the growing costs of college textbooks, which have gone up in price 82 percent in 10 years.
A2810 establishes a state income-tax deduction for student loan interest paid equivalent to the federal levels. This would apply to all loans for New Jersey residents as a remedy to what has been labeled the “brain drain.”
A2811 prohibits four-year public and independent institutions from requiring students to purchase meal plans.
A2812 requires the development of a longitudinal statewide data system capable of retaining individual-level information starting when a student enrolls in preschool through entry into the work force to better inform education and labor policies.
A676 directs the secretary of higher education to establish performance-based funding plans for public institutions of higher education.
A2813 requires the closing of a four-year public institution that fails to achieve a six-year graduation rate of at least 50 percent for full-time undergraduate students.
A2814 directs the secretary of higher education to revoke a proprietary school’s license to award academic degrees if the school fails to achieve a six-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent for full-time students enrolled in a four-year degree program.
A2815 requires the N.J. Educational Facilities Authority to annually prepare a report on debt held by public institutions of higher education.
A2816 directs the state auditor to conduct an audit of fees charged by public institutions of higher education to tell how these fees are being distributed and how they are benefiting the college student.
PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS
A2817 requires institutions participating in dual enrollment programs to charge a reduced tuition rate to high school students participating in the program.
A2818 requires undergraduate students enrolled in a four-year degree program to file a degree plan with the institution by the completion of 45 credit hours of course work and requires degree-seeking county college students to file a degree plan upon entering the institution. Also requires public institutions of higher education to develop pathway systems that establish graduation progress benchmarks for each major.
A copy of each bill is available at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12717665/Riley_Bill_Package_FINAL_032014.pdf