The Value of Higher Education in New Jersey
Louis Manzione, President, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in New Jersey and President, Independent College Fund of New Jersey, speaks with Steve Adubato about the value of higher education in NJ, the importance of having a college degree in today’s economy and how 2-year colleges help students transition to 4-year schools.
"That's Lou Manzione. He is President, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in New Jersey, also President of the Independent College Fund of New Jersey. Good to see Lou. Thanks Steve. Thanks to be here. Many of your members, member institutions, they're independent universities? Yes. Public mission independent universities. So we don't... we're not state universities. So there's Seton Hall, Georgian Court, is Princeton in there? Or... Princeton is in there. Stevens, a nationally recognized... Stevens Institute of Technology, right? Right. Yes. And a whole range of others? A nationally recognized technical college. Felician. Caldwell as well? Caldwell. Centenary University. Some of them we know very well. Fairleigh Dickinson. But here's what's fascinating to me. This independent sector, not the public sector, both get public support? Yes. But the amount of support, state dollars, to independents, much lower right? Yes. By design? We get the tuition assistant grants, which are very helpful to us. That means we get a... TAG grants? TAG grants. We also get a very small amount of operating aid. That's where the public's get a lot more of that. Yeah. So it's less support, a lot less support per student. So it's sort of $2,000 per student support for our 65,000 students. Lou, do you think there is a big difference? We've had... we've done so much on higher ed over the years, do you think there's a significant difference between the students who go to independents versus publics? There's not actually that much of a difference. I mean there might be a misconception that we're more affluent. That's just simply not the case. I mean certainly post-recession our demographics are very different. A lot of first-generation? A lot of first-generation... Rich Levao, who is the President of Bloomfield College... You have Bloomfield College. Yes. Is those... I remember he'd come back every year, he'd say, "You have no idea how many first-generation... they would never be able to go to school!" He would often tell us. Right. Right. Without the tuition assistant grants. And the other aid that we get. Now, we also raise about 900 million dollars of institutional aid that we provide to our students. How? From donors, from corporations, from alumni, you know. Fortunately there's many who believe in higher ed for their philanthropy. We have a lot of great corporate sponsors in the state. This state is really fortunate. Trust me. Corporate underwriters, foundation underwriters, we wouldn't be able to do what we do if it were not for them. So... And that's correct. And we're really fortunate in this state to have such a strong corporate sector that believes in higher ed, and understands that this is their talent pipeline..."