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new jersey department of environmental protection  


Living with the Future in Mind
Goals and Indicators for New Jersey's Quality of Life
First Annual Update to the Sustainable State Project Report 2000

Indicator 16

Additional  Quality Education Indicators

13 - Graduation Rates

14 - Student/Teacher Ratio

15 - Standardized Test Scores

Access to Higher Education

Undergraduate enrollment in New Jersey colleges and universities: Little recent change

  Things to think about 

New Jersey has some of the preeminent universities in the world. Two of them, Rutgers and Princeton, predate the state of New Jersey.

More than 1/3 of New Jersey first-time freshman go to college outside New Jersey. We are the highest net exporter of students.

There is a shortage of lawyers, doctors, and other highly educated people choosing to work in the public sector for lower salaries. This is due in part to the high cost of their education.


College education increases our earnings, expands our horizons, generates more opportunities, and supplies our industries and government with more capable workers. Some of us take it for granted that we and our children will go to a college or university. Others see this opportunity as beyond reach. This indicator reflects our state’s capacity to accept new students for higher education. College enrollment per capita has risen in New Jersey since 1965, but has remained relatively stable since 1975.


New Jerseyans who have been to college earn more than those of us who have not. They also have a wider range of job opportunities and more job security. Some of our most dynamic industries, such as high technology and pharmaceuticals, depend very heavily on workers who have a college education and even advanced degrees. These companies choose to locate in places where the market offers such workers.


Solutions to our environmental problems will come from knowledgeable innovators who make advances in science, economics, management, and other areas with the help of a college education. College expands our horizons and helps us to see issues and connections, such as those between economic, social, and environmental issues.


College can provide thinking and evaluation skills that help us make the best decisions for our communities and ourselves. To live and work effectively we need to be as knowledgeable as possible about our economy, society, and environment.

Knowledge Gaps

Enrollment does not tell us how many opportunities exist for New Jerseyans to go to college. Opportunities are created through access to a good elementary and secondary school education and through resources given to institutions of higher education. Knowing how many of us enroll in college does not tell us about the quality of the education that we receive.

Data Source: NJ Commission on Higher Education

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2006
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Modified: April 27, 2007

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