The bill, S-699, would extend benefits granting undocumented immigrants access to any student financial aid program administered by the state’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority or the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education.
“New Jersey students are struggling to afford college even with the various federal and state financial aid programs, including TAG,” Wolfe remarked. “Extending state aid to undocumented immigrants will either reduce a critical pool of college funding for those who ‘play by the rules,’ or increase taxes by $4.47 million, according to the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services fiscal estimate.
New Jersey currently ranks ninth in the nation for student loan debt and the worst in the country for college student outmigration.
“65 percent of New Jersey high school students are choosing to receive their college education outside of our state,” McGuckin added. “This ‘brain drain’ of talent is hurting New Jersey’s workforce and competitive edge. Meanwhile, New Jerseyans who choose to attend college in state are graduating with more than $30,000 in debt. We should work on legislation to make our state’s colleges more attractive and more affordable for our state’s high school students, not efforts like this that could make it even more expensive.”