CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) -- A New Jersey college is pushing the limits to make higher education more affordable. Now it has become a state and national model.
"I battled with epilepsy through my high school career," Ashley Kulikowski said.
When she graduated Glassboro High School, her college outlook was challenging. Chronic illnesses caused her grades to suffer and her parents could not afford a high-priced university.
So she chose Rowan College.
Over the last several years, Rowan has created partnerships with Gloucester County, Burlington County, and most recently Cumberland County, colleges to create an innovative and cost-effective program.
The program allows students to attend their first three years at the community colleges, then their last year at the university and receive a bachelor's degree for less than $30,000.
"We run Rowan University like a business, we do not waste things. In every division we look under every rock and if there are ways to save things, we save things. That's number one," Rowan University's President Ali Houshman said. "When we save things we pass it to the students."
Now Rowan is becoming a state and national model for making college more affordable.
"We created a panel in the state senate to look at affordability. Three plus one was an issue," New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney said. "We had a bunch of universities that thumbed their nose at it. Now they're asking and I'm hearing that they're all starting to look towards it."
United States Senator Bob Menendez, who was in Cumberland County to discuss college affordability Monday, says he is considering adding the Rowan model to his own three plus one plan.
The current plan matches $3 to every $1 states are willing to allocate toward waiving community college tuition.
"But the idea is to unlock the potential of each and every American who is willing to work hard and ultimately get a college education," Senator Menendez said.
For Kulikowski, she is just thankful to be debt free.
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