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Financial Glitches Delay Payments to Vendors at Rutgers University

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers University recently blamed "glitches" for payment problems after updating their financial system, which shells out more than $700 million every year to over tens of thousands of vendors.

Staff were working overtime during the school's winter break to catch up on a backlog that amounted to more than 12,600 unpaid bills.

The financial glitches mainly affected third-party procurement services such as restaurants and guest speakers.

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NJ Senate Passes Bill Calling For Cost Transparency in Higher Ed

TRENTON, NJ—Student debt has been a hot topic at the State Legislature of late, with several bills for reform being introduced and discussed in committees, and moving forward towards their adoption.

Bill S-591 would require colleges and universities to provide information packages, or "financial aid shopping sheets," that help potential students understand the gravity of the debt they might be taking on.

The sheets would give prospective students "certain cost, loan, and debt information," according to the bill.

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NJ Student Loan Program Threatens Students With Never-Ending Debt

TRENTON, NJ—Last year alone, there were at least 1,692 lawsuits regarding New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), the largest state-run student loan program in the United States.

HESAA, based in Trenton, has a total of $1.9 billion in outstanding debt in the form of unpaid interest-bearing loans, with expensive rates that can reach nearly 8 percent.

New Jersey’s interest rates can be almost double those of Massachusetts, the second-largest state-based student loan program.

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Governor Christie Nominates Finance Executive to Rutgers Board of Governors

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On June 27, Governor Chris Christie nominated Keith T. Banks, the head of a subsidiary of Bank of America, to be a public member of the Rutgers Board of Governors (BoG).

The powerful 15-member board can hire and fire the University President, set the tuition and fees for tens of thousands of students, and make many other key decisions affecting students, staff, and faculty at the state school.

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Scientists Question Use of “Biosolids,” Citing Potential For Heavy Metal Contamination

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Some university scientists looking to explain the high rates of lead poisoning in humans are zeroing in not only on corroded pipes and contaminated industrial sites, but also on so-called “biosolids,” or sewage sludge – which is often used as fertilizer despite concerns about heavy metals that could contaminate soil, food, and water.