As you know, our Fall Conference is fast approaching. If you have not already registered, do so now!
You can register at http://www.njasfaa.org/docs/toc_conferences.html. Among the many useful sessions that will be taking place at the conference, we will have a general session entitled, “Meet the CASC: The College Affordability Study Commission” at the conference on Thursday, November 12. The CASC was set up by the New Jersey Legislature and signed into law by the Governor this past February. They have met regularly ever since, gathering information and discussing different ways to make college more affordable for students and their families. The Chair of the Commission, Dr. Frederick Keating, President of Rowan College at Gloucester County, and Dr. Peter Mercer, President of Ramapo College, have agreed to speak to us and take our feedback at a general session.
This is a valuable opportunity for NJASFAA members to help the CASC and to assist in shaping higher education-related legislation moving forward. We want to hear what you have to say about college affordability. So to get this conversation started, we are posing some questions for discussion, both here on the list-serve and on NJASFAA’s news blog NJASFAA 411. If you have not previously used the blog, please go to http://njasfaa.org/b to register.
Our first question is about merit- vs. need-based aid. Some other states spend a higher percentage of their aid dollars on merit-based aid for in-state students. Should NJ look to expand the use of merit-based aid? Right now, the need-based NJ Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) Program is one of the most generous in the nation. In addition to this, programs like STARS and STARS II allow for valuable merit based aid for students who met certain criteria. These programs and others seem to provide excellent access to higher education. But does NJ have the right mix of need- and merit-based aid? Would changing this mix have any impact on making college more affordable in NJ?
What are your thoughts about need and merit-based aid as they relate to college affordability? Let us know here and let’s have a discussion.