The idea has good intentions. Some appear doable, including a streamlined application process and guaranteed acceptance of credits. Others, like scholarships and guaranteed housing are left to the individual colleges. William Paterson University was the most aggressive about this, although Stockton University mentions a flat rate for as many as 20 credits. There is also a mention of community service opportunities. But only one school, The College of New Jersey, mentions that community service is optional. None of these schools has reported on their plans to re-open their campuses in the fall.
Our state schools have never marketed this way before. But these are strange times, and these marketing practices are now considered to be acceptable. At the start of the school year th US Department of Justice (USDOJ) pressured the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) to remove “anti poaching” provisions from its Code of Ethics and Professional Practices. These provisions prevented college admissions from marketing to students who had already deposited or enrolled at another college. NACAC agreed to comply with the USDIJ’s requests. My friend, Elizabeth LaScala, founder of Doing College-and Beyond biased in Northern California, has more about how NACAC’s decision impacts students who had considered applying to colleges through Early Decision. But here I’ll cover questions that must be asked about a New Jersey initiative.
I’m good with New Jersey public colleges making overtures to ask residents to come home. These schools will likely be less expensive than the out of state options these students chose the first time. The collective decision of these ten New Jersey public colleges will likely force students and parents to reconsider their current school. But prospective transfer, aka “returning,” students and their families need to do some homework. They must get the answers to these questions:
Don’t make a move to change schools solely on costs, or a fear that your current school will not re-open its campus in the fall. Make sure that your new school will be supportive of your academic and professional goals, whether you live on campus, commute or take classes online. You want to make the right choice the first time you transfer, even when you’re coming home.
Need help in sorting through your options with the New Jersey Scholars Corps? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 609-406-0062.
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