Trust In the Future: New Strategies for College Opportunity and Affordability in New Jersey
Author: Melissa Clinedinst and Jamie P. Merisotis
New Jersey has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping students pay for college, as evidenced by the continued focus on grant aid through the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) and Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) programs. While this assistance has reduced both the cost of attendance and the amount of borrowing by students, the state’s changing population place growing pressures on its commitment to educational opportunity. This demographic challenge has been accompanied by an increasingly complex set of public demands on the higher education system. The paper proposes several strategies for dealing with this changing context in New Jersey, including: establishing a College Opportunity Trust Fund; modifying the TAG program to ensure that the neediest students continue to be served; establishing a need-based financial aid program for part-time students; developing a state work-study program that emphasizes students’ educational or career goals; and creating a performance bonus as part of the TAG and/or EOF programs.
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