New Jersey bracing for college crunch

New Jersey bracing for college crunch


New Jersey educators and business leaders fear a chronic exodus of college-bound students to schools out of state will soon become a deluge endangering New Jersey's economy.

With the state's public colleges already packed, educators say they won't be able to handle the sharp rise in high school graduates that New Jersey expects to see over the next few years.

The baby boomers' offspring are maturing. In addition, more adults are returning to college to
enhance their marketability. And as the economy sags, parents are choosing low-cost public colleges over private ones.

All of that will put more pressure on New Jersey's state colleges. Educators say that without serious help from Trenton to increase capacity at these schools, the loss of talented young people from the state will reach damaging levels.

The state already ranks first nationally in the proportion of college-bound students who leave for out-of-state schools.

"It takes years to build new facilities and hire faculty. If we don't act now, we won't be able to handle the increase that's coming," said Rutgers University president Francis Lawrence.

"There's a tidal wave heading toward us," said Donald Farish, president of Rowan University.

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Date Published: Friday, October 26, 2001 - 17:30
Source URL: The Philadelphia Inquirer