There are many possible responses to the problem of the increasing cost of higher education.  Once such response is to impose price controls on colleges and universities.  Last week, the committe on higher education in the New Jersey Assembly voted 6-0 (with 2 abstentions) to approve a bill (A2807) that would prohibit all four-year colleges and universities — public and private (except for Princeton University) — “from raising the tuition of undergraduate students who are from New Jersey for nine continuous semesters after they enroll.”

The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union), would except Princeton University (or any institution with an endowment of $1 billion or more) from coverage.  In addition, “students who take a leave of absence of more than one year would have to pay the new tuition rate.”

An article on the measure notes that a number of representatives of college an universities opposed the measure.  Indeed, “Michael Klein, executive director of New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities, said a tuition freeze could hurt schools’ bond ratings, making it more expensive to borrow money. And he said the state bears responsibility for continually underfunding higher education.”

For the bill to become law, it must pass the New Jersey Assembly and Senate, and then be signed by the Governor.