Audit Finds 3 NJ Colleges Don't Explain Fees to Students

A New Jersey comptrollers office audit singled out three state universities Wednesday for a "heavy reliance" on fees that it doesn't explain to students. 

The audit, released Wednesday, found that Kean and William Paterson universities and the College of New Jersey charged students more than $115 million in fees in 2013 for everything from technology to athletics, often without explaining what the money went to.

Those fees, which ran from $1,800 and $2,300 that year, accounted for between 30 and 40 percent of the cost of attendance in 2013, according to the report.

The office found that the colleges used the fees to hide payroll items in some case, and that Kean and the College of New jersey were both unable to provide documentation explaining why fees were upped from year to year.

“If students are going to be charged thousands of dollars a year on top of their tuition, they deserve to know how their money is going to be spent,” state Comptroller Philip Degnan told The Bergen Record, which first reported the audit. 

All three colleges said in responses that they planned to update policies based on the comptrollers office's recommendations.

Read the full audit here.

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