The Value of Independent Colleges
The 13 non-profit, independent colleges and universities are an important strategic asset within New Jersey’s higher education system.
Independent colleges and universities expand the diversity and choice afforded to New Jersey’s college students. Some are small, some are large. They offer flexible paths to a degree – from traditional, campus-based liberal arts programs to innovative, online and blended programs geared towards working adults.
This creates opportunities for students to continue their education in-state, which is an important economic driver and developing a talent pipeline for New Jersey business.
Independent colleges and universities are not exclusive bastions of privilege. Private-sector students have the same racial, ethnic and economic demographics as students attending public sector four-year colleges and of the state population in general. The combination of state and federal student aid for those that qualify, as well as the generous institutional aid from institutions, can make independent universities an affordable choice.
New Jersey’s independent colleges and universities serve an important public purpose. They annually award almost as many baccalaureate degrees and advance degrees — master’s, professional and doctorate — as New Jersey’s three public research institutions.
By providing high quality undergraduate and graduate education in wide variety of disciplines, they will help meet workforce demands in this information-based age. The independents supply graduates for in-demand professions like nursing, education and the STEM fields.
The benefits of the private sector come with only limited taxpayer funding — approximately $115 million — while generating an economic impact of more than $4 billion. This is a $35-$40 to $1 return on state investment.
Programs vary across academic areas, offering students access to materials and tools that enhance professionalism and fund experiential learning through field placements and workforce development initiatives.
Our world is constantly changing, and independent higher education needs to keep pace. Funding provides faculty with access to the attest educational tools and training resources for implementation in the classroom and la.
We live in a global society. The opportunity to understand the cultural similarities and differences enhances the academic experience. Funding offers opportunities that enhance international awareness and interaction and broadens cultural experiences.
Students arrive at college using the latest technology for everyday activities. They anticipate utilizing their technology prowess to advance their college education. Grants support the introduction of mobile and new technologies into the classroom and curriculum.
Early engagement in community activities lays the foundation for future civi engagement. Programs support efforts that pace students at the forefront of community outreach and civic programs.
Education does not end with a college degree. Over the course of a college career, students are introduced to the ideals of excellence and the achievement that are the hallmarks of a high caliber student: the lifelong learner. This ideal is reinforced in every program.