Legislative Impact/State and Federal Agenda
- Our 13 independent, non-profit, public-mission colleges and universities are an important component of the overall higher education structure in New Jersey
- Work diligently to continue to provide the access and affordability that offers students more choices and opportunities to stay in New Jersey for college education thus limiting the out-migration
- Face numerous challenges in highly dynamic market with strong competition for a demographically changing pool of students
- Want to work cooperatively with Legislature and Governor on improving the opportunities for a quality higher-education in New Jersey
Advocacy for Independent Higher Education in New Jersey: ICUNJ
The Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey (ICUNJ) is the advocacy organizations that works to support New Jersey’s independent, non-profit institutions. Each year, ICUNJ interacts with State government about the importance of non-profit, public mission colleges and universities as a component of the higher education system in the State.
Initiatives include lobbying for more direct state aid and advocating for increase in Tuition Aid Grants (TAG) and Educational Opportunity Funding (EOF).
Key points promoted by ICUNJ include:
- Overall, the independent colleges and universities expand the diversity and choice afforded to New Jersey’s college students, and they have done so for a long time.
- More than 62,000 students attend non-profit public mission independent colleges and universities – nearly same number as Rutgers (Fall 2022).
- Nearly one-third of graduate and professional students attend independent colleges and universities (Fall 2022).
- Diversity in undergraduate enrollment at independent colleges has shifted from 2010-11 to 2021-22 resulting in more diverse student populations.
- The benefits of the private sector come with only limited taxpayer funding – approximately $115 million – while generating an economic impact of between $4 and $4.5 billion. This generates over a $35 to $1 return on state investment.
As the higher education market becomes more competitive many smaller institutions may face financial challenges. ICUNJ also lobbies for policies that reach for parity with public institutions, including working for protection from third party property tax appeals and changes to land use procedures and statues that can be costly to independents.
The ICUNJ Seventh Annual Legislative Conference took place in April 2023 at Georgian Court University. The facts and stats shared at the Conference can be found here.