10 NJ Universities Join Forces, Want Students to Return to State for Higher Education

By Briana Williamson

10 NJ Universities Join Forces, Want Students to Return to State for Higher Education

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As institutions consider enrollment alternatives and explore new opportunities, here are a few population specific opportunities to consider:

1) Explore on and off ramps. Make a list.

What mechanisms has your institution historically used to restrict access (intentionally or unintentionally)?

How might the removal of these barriers and or restricted access points encourage future enrollment?

Great places to start looking are :

  • Students previously suspended who might now be eligible to apply due to COVID-19. Consider laying out objective guidelines and creating a rubric for evaluating suspension applications post COVID-19.
  • Students not suspended academically or otherwise, but have not enrolled in your institution for the past 1-3 years? 3-5 years? 
  • Expanded definition of what it means to be nontraditional. These populations include incarcerated students, new state residents who receive emergency designationas state resident based on COVID-19 and previous out of state tuition students to name a few.

2) Recruit Back

They chose you once, chances are, they'll choose you again and again with the right strategy. 

Identify the student leaders, faculty and staff that students' trust within and external to your community. Create a list of Frontline staff (advisors, cultural directors, student activities) who can serve as bridge builders. Their role is to create a bridge between the institution and the student. Careful. This is not ask the people of color to support the people of color simply because they are a person of color. This requires a well thought out inventory, and mapping of people based on unique gifts and talents rather than capacity or ability. 

3) The playing field has been leveled. 

New and former transfer students who have previously sought out -of-state solutions for their education, are now fair game for institutions in their home state. 

The age old discussion and criticism of for-profit, 100% online entities, has now created the unique opportunity for the underdog to thrive.  

The brick and mortar glass ceiling has been shattered BY COVID-19. COVID-19 has exposed the paycheck to paycheck nature by which many of our institutions of higher education have lived. It also creates the 

What to Know

  • The presidents of 10 public universities and colleges in New Jersey have joined forces and issued a call for the 120,000 state residents who attend higher education institutions outside of the state to return home, enroll in New Jersey institutions, and help rebuild the state
  • As New Jersey continues to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, the initiative aims to bring bright and talented young people back to the state to help rebuild its businesses, non-profits, schools and health system
  • New Jersey is the nation's second-most impacted state, reporting on Tuesday a total of 130,593 cases and 8,244 deaths statewide

Consider the following:

  1. How might these students respond to targeted recruitment efforts?
  2. What unique opportunities exist to outreach to students who are no longer at your institution, but remain eligible for admission? 
  3. What unique opportunities exist to outreach to students who are no longer at your institution, but remain eligible for admission?
  4. What opportunities remain to provide expanded access for populations historically marginalized in higher education such as rural communities of culture, the aging and autoimmune compromised and those traditionally pursuing 100% distance education (incarcerated, late/returning career)?
  5. How can you provide a compassionate check-in process for your students most vulnerable during this time including students of culture at PWI's, student athletes potentially suffering from identity foreclosure and international students who may not have the opportunity to return to the US this fall to complete their studies?


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