What She's Up To Today

A feed of Katie's current articles and tweets.

Every N.J. college is now ‘SAT optional.’ You might still need to take it anyway.

The SAT college admissions test is now optional at every four-year New Jersey college. But that doesn’t mean students shouldn’t take the exam anyway. Neither the SAT nor the ACT, another long-used college readiness exam, are required for regular admissions at any college in the Garden State, a review of each college’s admission requirements found. Despite not being required for admissions, SAT scores are still used in some way by most of the state’s four-year colleges. Some colleges still requ

N.J.’s highest paying college major earns $121K a year. See latest rankings.

Engineering is New Jersey’s highest paying bachelor’s degree, according to new data released by the U.S. Census. A bachelor’s degree in engineering has a median pay of $121,190 in New Jersey, nearly $35,000 higher than the median income of all bachelor degree holders. On the other end of the payscale, visual and performing arts majors have the lowest median income at $67,443, the Census says. Education is the second worst paying major, with a median income of $68,174.

If veterinary costs are up 10%, why are pet insurance companies asking for much bigger price hikes?

More pet insurance companies this year are seeking double-digit premium increases that substantially exceed the rising cost of veterinary services. The cost of veterinary care has gone up nationally by about 10% in the past year, according to federal government data. But pet insurer Trupanion has asked the state N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) to approve a 33% increase, while Healthy Paws Pets has requested a 44% jump. Metropolitan General Insurance Company, commonly called Met

Household incomes in 8 N.J. counties top $100K. See how your county ranks.

Eight New Jersey counties have median household incomes higher than $100,000, new data released by the U.S. Census shows. Hunterdon County has the highest median income for all household types in the state at $142,518, according to the 2022 American Community Survey data released Thursday. Neighboring Somerset County ranked second. (See how your county compares below.) Nationwide, the median income for households was $74,755 in 2022, Census data shows.

N.J. ranks highest in U.S. for household income. See new Census list.

New Jersey households have the highest median income of any state in the county, new data released by the U.S. Census on Thursday shows. The median household income in the Garden State was $96,346, more than $21,000 higher than the national median of $74,755 in 2022, according to American Community Survey data. (See full rankings below). The Census defines a household as any group of people who share a residence, and could include married couples, multi-generational families, or groups of room

Getting into college isn’t cheap. Here’s the application fee at each N.J. school.

It’s no secret that college is really, really expensive these days. But, the fees might start earlier than parents realize, with most colleges charging money to just consider a student’s application. For the 26 four-year, non-profit colleges in New Jersey, the average application fee is about $50, just slightly over the national average, according to an NJ Advance Media analysis of application requirements. (See a full list of schools below.) Most college advice websites, including U.S. News a

Mother of ‘Baby Mary’ charged in her death, ending nearly 4-decade-old cold case

An arrest has been made in the death of “Baby Mary” nearly 40 years after the infant was found in a Morris County Park on Christmas Eve. Officials announced that the baby’s mother was arrested in South Carolina on April 24, more than 38 years after she left her daughter to die in a secluded park in Mendham Township, officials with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office said. The woman, who was 17 at the time, has been charged with manslaughter, which would be a second degree crime if committed

N.J.’s high schools ranked by test scores. See which schools improved the most.

Four New Jersey high schools saw rankings for test scores jump more than 100 spots between the 2017-18 and 2021-22 school year, an NJ Advance Media analysis of state Department of Education data shows. For the first time in five years, the Department of Education rated every high school’s performance based on tests results, graduation rates and other factors. That data was released earlier this year. Four high schools jumped more than 100 places in the ranking between the 2017-18 school year,

N.J.’s earliest high school start times begin at 7 a.m. See where your HS ranks.

Don’t hit snooze! Students at two New Jersey high schools have to be in their seats for a 7 a.m. start time, the earliest in the state with more than a dozen other high schools ringing the first bell before 7:15 a.m., state Department of Education data shows. Pennsauken High School and Lakewood High School both start their school days at 7 a.m., the earliest in the state. Those start times are early compared to others in the state, an NJ Advance Media analysis found. The average start time for

These are the 20 N.J. industries with the most employees

More than 4.5 million New Jersey residents hold jobs, but one industry employs far more residents than any other. Healthcare and social assistance was New Jersey’s largest industry in 2021, employing more than 600,000 residents, the most recent Census data shows. One in 10 New Jersey workers is in the healthcare industry. And healthcare is a growing field with more than 62,000 jobs added since 2010, data shows. More than 100,000 additional residents are employed in the healthcare and social s

Swimmer missing off Seaside Heights, 5 others rescued

A swimmer is missing after struggling in the surf off a Seaside Heights beach on Sunday evening, police said. The 24-year-old male swimmer, who police did not identify, was one of six who were in distress near the Stockton Avenue beach around 6:30 p.m., police said. A rip current warning was in effect with red flags on display, police said. Five people were pulled from the water, but search and rescue efforts are ongoing for the 24-year-old swimmer, police said. It’s unclear if all six knew e

6 swimmers rescued from the ocean in Belmar, police say

Six swimmers were pulled from the ocean off a Belmar beach Sunday evening, police said. Police were called to the 6th Avenue beach shortly after 6 p.m. for a group of swimmers in distress, Belmar Police Chief Tina Scott said in a statement. Lifeguards and water rescue members pulled five swimmers from the water. An unresponsive swimmer was pulled from the ocean near the 5th Avenue Beach, Scott said. That swimmer’s current condition is unknown. Two of the swimmers rescued near the 6th Avenue b

Protestors encounter chain closing N.J. beach. They called police — then jumped it.

The final Sunday of beach season was shaping up to be a hot one, the sun already beating down punishingly by 9:30 a.m. A cool breeze off the Atlantic teased some relief, practically calling the groups of people clustered on the boardwalk to the sand. “Let’s go on the beach,” Shane Martins said, and the group of people with him nodded in agreement. Instead of flashing a beach badge at the checker and walking onto the sand, Martins was met with a chain slung across the entrance and a sign boasti

Ranking N.J. schools with the most experienced teachers. See how your school fares.

While this fall might be your child’s first time in a classroom, or at a new school, odds are this won’t be his or her teacher’s first school year. Statewide, the average teacher has 12.5 years of experience, according to data from the New Jersey Department of Education for the 2021-22 school year, the most recently available year. (Search for your school using the chart below.) N. A. Bleshman Regional Day School in the Bergen County Special Services School District has the most experienced te

U.S. Rep. Norcross hospitalized for dehydration after fainting at Labor Day ceremony

U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, D-1st Dist., was hospitalized for dehydration Friday after fainting at a Labor Day ceremony in Pennsauken, a spokesperson confirmed. Norcross, a Democrat from South Jersey, was attending a wreath laying ceremony with Gov. Phil Murphy in Pennsauken ahead of the Labor Day weekend when he appeared to sway before collapsing, video taken at the event shows. Aids quickly rushed to his side. A spokesperson confirmed that Norcross, 64, was taken to a nearby hospital where he

Jersey Shore town battling state over blocking access to beach on Sundays

Ocean Grove and the state are in a standoff over the resort town’s rules limiting access to the beach on Sunday mornings as the Jersey Shore heads into the unofficial end of the summer on Labor Day weekend. The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association — the Methodist group that oversees the Ocean Grove section of Neptune in an unusual agreement with the Monmouth County township — does not allow access to the beach from the boardwalk before noon on Sundays. The tradition stems from Ocean Grove’s or

N.J.’s biggest high school has 3,350 students. See how your school compares.

With 3,350 students, Passaic County Technical Institute has an enrollment that rivals some of the state’s colleges and ranks as the largest high school in New Jersey. Another 28 New Jersey schools have at least 2,000 students, according to 2021-2022 enrollment data released by the state Department of Education. Passaic County Technical Institute’s enrollment, which is the only school in that with more than 3,000 students, draws from the entire county, but eight of the top 10 schools for enroll

See student-teacher ratios for your N.J. school in our searchable list

Back-to-school season is in full swing in New Jersey with some students already returning to classrooms to meet new teachers this week and others still readying backpacks for that first day. The number of teachers those students will meet can vary widely from district-to-district and school-to-school. Statewide, the median student-teacher ratio for New Jersey schools is 11 to 1, according to an NJ Advance Media analysis of state Department of Education data from the 2021-2022 school year, the m

Man accused of killing Sayreville councilwoman had falling-out with her church

The man accused of shooting Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour earlier this year will remain in jail ahead of a trial after an emotional detention hearing in New Brunswick where additional details about their relationship were revealed. Rashid Ali Bynum pleaded not guilty in Superior Court in Middlesex County Monday morning, nearly three months after his arrest and more than six months after allegedly killing Dwumfour outside of her Sayreville apartment. Bynum, 28, of Virginia, was ordere

Take a deep dive into Jersey Shore's delightful dolphin population

On a recent hot, sticky July morning, the 100-foot American Star sightseeing vessel embarked from its dock just north of the bridge into historic Cape May as a few dozen people milled about on deck. Some scrolled through phones as the boat, operated by the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center, motored past the U.S. Coast Guard training facility. Others watched as the Atlantic Ocean’s waves ebbed and flowed in a ceaseless rhythm.
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