An estimated 850,000 New Jersey residents have left college before getting a degree. A proposed statewide program would help them afford the credits they need to get one.
Thomas Edison State College, a distance-learning school catering to adults, has the experience to operate a prior learning assessment for all colleges in New Jersey, said provost William Seaton.
Allowing schools to grant returning students credits life and work experience would reduce costs for students and also benefit colleges, he said.
“They attract students who might not come back to their campus, but they also don’t have the expense of staffing the course because those students aren’t in the course. So they don’t lose money by doing this,” Seaton said. “They actually will gain by having additional students come back.”
The College Affordability Study Commission will consider the idea and could include it the recommendations it will make next year.
A more educated workforce would help the state compete better economically, said Frederick Keating, commission chairman.