NEW BRUNSWICK – The state is going to provide colleges $400 million in grants to upgrade and build facilities next year, Gov. Phil Murphy and other state officials announced Tuesday.

Public and private colleges will be able to apply for funding for projects between January and March of 2022, with details to be finalized later. The state expects to make funding awards in late 2022, pending legislative approval.

“To compete in the 21st century, students attending college require 21st-century facilities,” said Eric Brophy, executive director of the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority.

Murphy, at an event at Rutgers University, said the state must make sure campuses can compete at every level.

“And that includes in price,” Murphy said. “Every dollar we provide at the state level is a dollar that does not have to be tacked on to a tuition bill. This is how we ensure not only stronger facilities but fairer costs for students and families.”

The money will come from four bond programs, which last awarded funds six or eight years ago:

  • Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund (CIF): provides grants for the cost of renewal, renovation, improvement, expansion, construction and reconstruction of facilities and technology infrastructure
  • Higher Education Facilities Trust (HEFT) Fund: provides grants for the construction, reconstruction, development, extension and improvement of instructional, laboratory, communication and research facilities
  • Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund (ELF): provides grants to finance the purchase of equipment for lease to institutions
  • Higher Education Technology Infrastructure (HETI) Fund: provides grants for the acquisition and installation of technology infrastructure within and among New Jersey’s institutions of higher education
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“Topping up these funds now is the right thing to do,” Murphy said. “Interest rates today remain at near-historic lows, yet the needs of our institutions remain at near-historic highs.”

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com.

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