Bringing College Students to New Jersey


In the area of ​​excellence, Seton Hall University, for example, notes that its graduates’ mid-career earnings are among the top 12% nationally. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report ranks Stevens Institute of Technology 83rd among all national universities in its 2022 rankings, with Rutgers University of New Brunswick ranked 63rd among national universities. Many other Garden State colleges/universities also have high rankings and/or distinction claims; Princeton University is ranked #1 in the country.

In addition to U.S. and international students seeking high-quality scholars, international students may be attracted to relatives who already live in New Jersey. Stephen Eck, executive director of college admissions at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) based in Newark, explains, “Particularly for international students, many come to New Jersey because they already have a connection; they may already have a family member who resides in New Jersey or the area. Ultimately, if they’re able to get a job after graduation, then their chances of staying in New Jersey are, I think, very high.

Origin destinations

Regardless of their reasons for coming to New Jersey, international representation can vary, with students from over 100 different countries at a single institution, with more—and fewer—international students at other specific institutions. Colleges and universities report that China and India remain key source destinations, although students can potentially arrive from almost any of the world’s 195 countries.

Meanwhile, incoming US students often come from Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., as well as North Carolina, Southern California, and Florida – although other states are also in the mix.

Recruitment in other US states

On the US front, the logistical recruitment of students from other states is a monumental task for New Jersey colleges and universities, which includes having dedicated recruiters located in other states and dispatching admissions staff traveling across the country to convince high school students to enroll in the garden. State.

Martinez of Seton Hall explains, “From an organizational structure perspective, we have strategically placed full-time recruiters to work remotely in the regions. [of the country]. They can [interact] with students from these areas, build relationships with these high schools and lead students to learn more about Seton Hall University and then enroll. It is a success for us. »

NJIT’s Eck points to the various recruiting tactics of colleges and universities. He says his institution acquires “leads” of students, contacts them electronically, visits high schools and sends out printed materials by mail. Other strategies include digital marketing, websites, and geographic targeting of parents and students.

Eck explains, “The key is to generate interest. Once you have a student who is interested in your institution, then the goal is to get them to apply.

International recruitment tactics

When it comes to international recruiting tactics, colleges and universities don’t typically send their admissions staff overseas, but they can do some outreach efforts, and New Jersey has been successful overall. International recruitment, again, can rely on key locations such as China, India and other parts of Asia, but it can also rely on old-fashioned word of mouth : Ramapo College reports that two Nepali students have returned to their home countries spreading critical praise of the school, and Ramapo recently enrolled 30-40 new Nepali students. A similar phenomenon occurred with Bulgarian students.

Recruitment Challenges

But overall recruiting efforts aren’t always easy for New Jersey colleges, especially on the national front. First, a persistent counterforce is the influx of out-of-state college recruiters targeting New Jersey high schools, where most students have reaped the benefits of one of the best educational systems in kindergarten to 12th grade. “[These good students] make New Jersey an extremely attractive state for foreign recruiters and for the colleges they want to tap into,” says Romano of Ramapo College.

Second, New Jersey college and university recruiters are arguably at a strategic disadvantage. Romano explains, “If I’m an admissions recruiter from California, I can recruit the whole state of New Jersey in two or three days thanks to [the state’s small] size and density. During these two or three days, I can see many people.

“Like us [in New Jersey] travel west to recruit, you don’t see the same volume of people in such a short time. This means recruiting becomes more expensive because you are there longer.


Whether students are from home or abroad, New Jersey colleges and universities strive to attract quality students in a fiercely competitive market: According to a 2022 ECMC Group study, only 51% of American teens of Gen Z are interested in earning a four-year degree. college degrees and high school populations are declining overall, especially in the Northeast, creating a smaller pool of potential students that colleges can tap into.

Perhaps the bottom line is that bringing students to New Jersey can help institutions of higher learning here, but it’s not a panacea that completely thwarts the vast emigration of high school students from New Jersey.

NJIT’s Eck concludes:[Outmigration] is just something we have been working with and dealing with for many years.


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