For many years, the former Fort Monmouth has sat around vacant with developers vying for its valuable land bordering Eatontown on one side and Oceanport on the other. Finally, things have started to take root, with new shopping centers and living spaces being built.

For about just as many years, New Jersey City University has had a agreement with Brookdale Community College to provide classes there toward degree programs as an adjunct campus to its own in Jersey City.

But now, the crown jewel of the former Fort Monmouth property, on the Oceanport side, is the new New Jersey City University location which was unveiled last week, and brings a much-needed expansion of higher education to the area.

The 72,000 square-foot facility at 283 Sherrill Avenue in Oceanport, which is now known as Squier Hall, has 15 classrooms, a nursing education center, a cyber security computer lab as well as offices for faculty and staff. And this is the first time ever that people can pursue Bachelors and Masters degrees at a public university in Monmouth County.

This is great news for students from Monmouth or surrounding counties who do not want to live on campus and want to attend a school closer to home. But it also presents an alternative to some of the other more expensive private colleges in the area like Monmouth University, whose tuition is around $40k, not including housing.

NJCU, on the other hand, is less than $15,000 a year in tuition. The new facility, sorely needed in Monmouth County, will also house an event space on its 22 acres for private and community events.

According to an article on RE-NJ.com, Brian K. Bridges, the state’s secretary of higher education lauded NJCU for its new facility, saying that it will “expand access and affordable postsecondary options to Monmouth County and the surrounding area,” and that, with it, “every New Jerseyan, regardless of life circumstances or ZIP code, has the opportunity to attain a high-quality postsecondary credential.”

If you’ve been looking to acquire a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Monmouth County affordably, you will finally have that opportunity at NJCU, Oceanport.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

The 10 most-lobbied bills in Trenton in 2020 and 2021

The state Election Law Enforcement Commission ranked the most-lobbied bills in Trenton, according to the number of reported official contacts.