Enrollment declines spur action by NJ colleges
Drastic measures put most of the attention on Rider University recently, but it’s certainly not the only institution in New Jersey suffering from declining enrollment.
A number of colleges and universities have seen a drop-off in the number of incoming students, and they’re making changes to stem the tide.
It is mostly an issue among private institutions, where the price tag tends to be much higher.
In late October, Rider announced it would be eliminating 13 majors, one minor and several faculty positions in order to get back into financial shape.
Georgian Court University, meanwhile, has been looking to bounce back from a lackluster enrollment year – down about 100 freshmen in the 2015-2016 class.
“We are addressing those issues moving forward through third-party partnerships and by expanding our enrollment efforts for undergraduate students outside just Ocean and Monmouth counties,” said GCU President Joseph Marbach.
The school is pushing out more direct marketing to high school students and their parents, rather than billboards and other signage.
So far, the move is working. Marbach said a record 225 families are registered for the university’s open house event on Nov. 21.
The university is in its third year of co-ed operations.
Enrollment declines have been recorded at a number of New Jersey private institutions over the years, including Centenary College, Drew University and the College of Saint Elizabeth.
A spokesperson for the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities said enrollment is “robust and increasing” at their eight senior public institutions.