College Costs

shutterstock_234318064Currently, in New Jersey, the children of divorced (or divorcing) parents have a right to attend college (and graduate school) or other post-high school vocational training. The determination of how much each parent is to contribute to the costs of that education is defined by the factors and legal findings in the landmark case of Newburgh v. Arrigo. The case outlines the relevant factors as follows:

  1. Whether the parent, if still living with the child, would have contributed toward the costs of the requested higher education.
  2. The effect of the background, values, and goals of the parent on the reasonableness of the expectation of child for higher education.
  3. The amount of the contribution sought by the child for the cost of higher education.
  4. The ability of the parent to pay that cost.
  5. The relationship of the requested contribution to the kind of school or course of study sought by the child.
  6. The financial resources of both parties.
  7. The commitment to and aptitude of the child for the requested education.
  8. The financial resources of the child, including assets owned individually or held in custodianship or trust.
  9. The ability of the child to earn income during the school year or on vacation.
  10. The availability of financial aid in the form of college grants and loans.
  11. The child’s relationship with the paying parent, including mutual affection and shared goals as well as responsiveness to parental advice and guidance.
  12. The relationship of the education requested to any prior training and to the overall long-range goals of the child.

Newburgh v. Arrigo, 88 N.J. 529, 545 (1982).