Christie Plans to Unveil College Affordability Plan
Gov. Chris Christie said he plans to announce in the near future a detailed proposal for making college more affordable and to ensure that institutions of higher education are matching students' skills to the needs of employers.
Christie talked briefly about general concepts of his plan on May 12 during an event in New Hampshire when he revealed his five-point proposal to grow the nation's economy by 4 percent.
One fix outlined by Christie, a likely Republican 2016 presidential candidate, would require colleges and universities to fully explain the bills they send out to parents and students.
"We need greater transparency in what we're paying for and greater choice on whether we want to pay for it," said Christie. "For anyone who pays a college bill; have you ever seen a lamer bill in your life? Think about it. If you got that kind of bill at a restaurant you wouldn't pay it."
The governor said he and his wife have received bills from their kids' colleges that list tuition, room and board and "other fees." He admitted that like most people he didn't ask for an explanation about what the exorbitant "other fees" were.
"We don't need to do that any longer. We need to demand transparency and accountability from our institutions of higher education," Christie said.
On the issue of affordability, Christie said something has to be done because good jobs require secondary education, but tuition has tripled over the last three decades and student debt has soared.
"It's time we focused on getting our students the credentials and degrees that employers actually value," Christie said.
According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2014-2015 school year was $9,139 for full-time in-state students at public institutions, $22,958 for out-of-state students at public schools and $31,231 for students attending private universities and colleges.