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Sweeney Proposes Bill To Study Radically Different Tuition Model | Star-Ledger

Members of the Rutgers University Board of Governors listen, Thursday, April 11, 2013, in New Brunswick, N.J., during a Rutge
Members of the Rutgers University Board of Governors listen, Thursday, April 11, 2013, in New Brunswick, N.J., during a Rutgers University Board of Governors meeting, as state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, right, calls for board member Mark Hershhorn, who was not at the meeting, to resign or be ousted. As chairman of the board's athletics committee, Hershhorn saw the video of basketball coach Mike Rice in December. He has said in a statement that he told Pernetti that Rice should be fired. But Sweeney said he should have told the rest of the board about what he knew. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

What if New Jersey college students didn’t have to pay tuition? What if they just went to public colleges for free in exchange for agreeing to give the state a percentage of their future salaries for a few decades after graduation?

Those are some of the questions leading Democrats in Trenton plan to explore this fall in legislation that could radically rethink how New Jersey runs its colleges.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said today he and Assemblywoman Celeste Riley (D-Cumberland), head of the Higher Education Committee, will introduce legislation to establish a seven-member commission to study the idea, called "Pay Forward, Pay Back."

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