Are more students applying to in-state schools?

Are more students applying to in-state schools?

 As seniors embarked on the college application journey, many wondered: should I apply to New Jersey state schools.

   Having watched older siblings navigate the admissions process, many seniors are aware of the financial and geographical bonuses that come with attending in-state schools.

  New Jersey is home to exceptional colleges: Rutgers University, Rowan University, The College of New Jersey. While there is an abundance of renowned schools in the area, they are sometimes undervalued just because they are located so close to home.

  Statistically, more students are applying to in-state schools than in years past. The average amount of applications submitted to an in-state school per student in 2018 was 2.1 submissions, a slight increase from the 1.87 submissions documented in 2014.

  While more students apply to in-state colleges on average, the enrollment percentage for these schools has also increased within the past 5 years. In 2014, 13.02% of the graduating class attended either Rutgers—New Brunswick, Rutgers—Camden, Rowan University, Stockton University, or The College of New Jersey. For the class of 2015, 17.73% of students attended these schools. In 2016, there was an enrollment increase to 21.18%, the class of 2017 sent 21.76% of their grade to these colleges, and the graduating class of 2018 capped off the results with the highest rate of 22.42% for enrollment to in-state schools.

  Mr. Jason Susko, supervisor of guidance, said, “Back in the dinosaur days each application had to be individually completed, but now, as long as a school is subscribed to a format like the Common Application a student only has to complete the information once and then push a button.”

  There’s no longer a necessity to tailor an application to each individual institution, making it easier to submit a larger amount of applications. Application formats such as the Common App and My Coalition give students the chance to apply to additional schools without the hassle of writing multiple personal essays and filling out the family, education, testing, and activities profile over and over again.

  Senior Julia Lenhart applied to Rutgers University. She remarked, “I liked some of their programs and their general reputation as a great college. Things that would influence my decision to enroll include availability in my major, any honors programs, or given scholarships.”

  Michelle Xu (‘18) attends Rutgers—New Brunswick. She said, “Rutgers is a very unique school where there’s something here for everyone. I do love the the idea of being able to access home fairly easily, which is something I wouldn’t be able to have if I wasn’t in-state.” She was also influenced to enroll in a New Jersey school since the reduced tuition will allow her to save money for future medical school expenses.

  Being an in-state applicant is oftentimes a desirable trait as tuition is generally lower and many scholarship opportunities are available. New Jersey schools offer financially feasible options, prestige through their academics, and are close in proximity to home—so when you need to stop at home to do a semester’s worth of laundry it’s only a short drive away.

  The benefits of New Jersey schools have led to increased application and enrollment rate. Mr. Susko said, “They have reduced tuition and they are great schools. Oftentimes, out-of-state students apply to these schools to pursue their education because they are so fantastic.”