This concurrent resolution encourages four-year public and independent institutions of higher education to offer baccalaureate degree programs that cost no more than $10,000 in tuition and fees. The cost of attending an institution of higher education continues to increase, and many New Jersey students and their families find it difficult to afford the tuition and fees required for enrollment.

A person’s level of education continues to be one of the most significant factors in determining his economic well-being. According to a 2011 United States Census Bureau report, a person who graduates from college with a baccalaureate degree will earn, over the course of a lifetime, $2.4 million, which, on average, is $1 million more than a person with only a high school diploma. With many highly-skilled workers competing for a limited number of job openings, it is imperative that high school graduates be able to afford to attend college and attain the skills necessary to compete in the 21st century workplace. Offering baccalaureate degree programs that cost no more than $10,000 in tuition and fees will greatly increase the ability of New Jersey students to attend an institution of higher education and acquire the training needed to secure high-paying jobs, and will significantly reduce their student loan debt.

A number of institutions of higher education in other states, including Texas and Florida, have already taken measures to make attending college more affordable by developing $10,000 baccalaureate degree programs.

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