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Monday, November 29, 2021

New Jersey Law Requires ‘Shopping Sheets’ for Students

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Public and private colleges and universities in New Jersey as of this fall must provide all students with an annual “shopping sheet,” outlining students’ college costs, loan options and estimated student loan debt, according to a new state law.

The state previously required higher education institutions to offer shopping sheets to prospective students since 2019, but the new law extended the requirement to apply to all students. New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed the new measure into law last month.

“This legislation doubles down on our commitment to make the true cost of higher education more transparent and easier to understand,” Murphy said in a press release. “By strengthening transparency standards, students will have the information they need to make informed choices as they plan their educational futures.”

The majority of college graduates who borrowed to pay for college in New Jersey, 64 percent, held an average student loan debt burden of $33,566 in 2019, according to data from the Institute for College Access and Success.

Shirley Turner, a Democratic state senator who advocated for the legislation, said students experience “sticker shock” when they graduate.

The shopping sheet “allows them to see if what they are paying for — the degree — is worth the money they are putting in,” Turner told NorthJersey.com.

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