Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation on Friday to help protect students from unreasonably high tuition rates, which would be difficult to repay based on the wages they are likely to earn after completing a career-oriented educational or training program. The bill that was signed will require the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and Department of Labor to establish performance quality standards for career-oriented programs of study offered by post-secondary institutions.

“Higher education programs that are designed to prepare students for a specific occupation should offer both high-quality training and affordable costs based on the wages that program graduates are likely to earn,” said Governor Murphy. This could help the current and future students who will or have to pay for the high tuition fees.

The law will set standards based on the ratio of the program’s tuition compared to the typical earnings of the specific, identifiable occupation for which the program is designed to prepare students. The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and The Department of Labor will enforce these performance quality standards as appropriate for any career-oriented postsecondary education or training program at an institution licensed or approved by the State.

The standards will also apply to both credit and non-credit based career-oriented programs at all postsecondary institutions, including two and four-year public colleges, private non-profit independent institutions, and proprietary institutions.