It’s something of a triple whammy for students attending New Jersey’s public colleges, and for their families as well. The state’s spending on higher education has plunged precipitously in the past decade, dropping a dizzying 42 percent per pupil between 2004 and 2014, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal think tank. At the same time, the number of students pursuing a secondary education continues to climb, so there are more folks hoping for a slice of an ever-shrinking pie. As a result, many students rack up a significant debt load. Sometimes they can only afford to go to school part time, and in the worst cases are forced to forego a college degree entirely.