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NJ Looking to Borrow $750 Million for Higher Education Projects

The Assembly Budget Committee today approved a measure sponsored by Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, Assemblywoman Celeste Riley and Assemblyman Troy Singleton that would authorize the state to issue $750 million in general obligation bonds to finance higher education capital projects to increase the academic competiveness of New Jersey’s public and private colleges and universities.

Graduation Ceremony
Flickr User Judy Baxter

The grants would be allocated in the following manner: $300 million for public research universities; $247.5 million for state colleges and universities established pursuant to chapter 64 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes; $150 million for county colleges; and $52.5 million for independent institutions of higher education, except for independent institutions with total endowments of more than $1 million.

“New Jersey’s economic competitiveness and prosperity are directly related to the quality and capacity of its colleges and universities,” says Oliver. “Higher education is the foundation of this state’s economic well-being and is critical in the realization of individual success. The state has deferred investment in its system of higher education long enough. This is an investment not just of buildings, but on the students who will be attending and graduating from these institutions.”

Under the bill, public research universities and state college and universities that receive these grants would be required to fund 25 percent of the project, while county colleges and independent institutions that receive the grants would be required to fund 50 percent of the project.

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