As we prepare to celebrate Cumberland County College’s 50th anniversary this year, we are excited to re-acquaint the community with the only higher education institution in the county. Nationally, community colleges have changed drastically. Once considered the 13th grade and colleges attended primarily by students who did not excel academically and adult students, community colleges across the country have redefined themselves as vibrant academic institutions that are at the heart of the economic vitality of the communities they serve. Cumberland County College is no exception to that! Our entering students include valedictorians and the top tier of our local high school graduates.
Cumberland County College represents a great choice for financially savvy students and their families. A student who completes his or her first two years of college at Cumberland pays a total cost of $8,800 for those first two years. Now consider the alternative. The first two years alone at one of New Jersey’s fine public universities cost $25,600—not to mention the additional two years needed to complete an undergraduate degree. A student who starts at one of the private institutions in state, pays an average of $64,600 just for the first two years. To be solidly middle-class in the current economy, our students need a Master’s degree.
A student or family that spends over $100,000 on their basic college degree has little or nothing left to pay for an advanced degree. There is a reason why college debt—estimated to be over $1 trillion—now surpasses mortgage debt. Don’t let yourself or your child get saddled with debt right out of the gate. As a parent, I’d prefer to help my children invest in their first home.
It’s not just value that Cumberland County College offers. Our beautiful campus rivals all of the community college campuses in the state. We are often told that our campus mirrors some of the most elite, private colleges in the country. Come take a tour, enjoy a picnic at one of our courtyards, play Frisbee on our turf, enjoy a show by a well-known artist in our performing arts center, check out our conference center, or build something using our 3-D printers or extensive clay and pottery facilities.
Our facilities and our extraordinary faculty and staff create an optimal environment for learning. We also partner with local universities like Wilmington, Montclair, and Farleigh Dickinson to offer complete bachelor and Master’s degrees on campus and online for students who wish to complete their degrees without ever leaving Cumberland. Our graduates have also gone on to Rutgers, Stockton and prestigious universities like Harvard, Columbia, and other elite schools.
Higher education is the first most important and most significant investment in a young person’s life. As you consider your college options, I encourage you to make a financially savvy decision and to start at Cumberland County College. We have been propelling students to success for 50 years. We’d love to count you as one of our success stories as we enter our next half century.