NJCU Statement and Endorsement of the Garden State Guarantee

April 15, 2021
NJCU Students on the steps of the Guarini Library

Dear Members and Friends of the NJCU Community,

The pandemic has shined a light on the too often overlooked and undervalued systemic inequities that plague our country and disproportionately afflict marginalized and underserved communities. New Jersey City University (NJCU) has a rich history of championing these communities and elevating people to their fullest potential in a way that only higher education has proven able to do.

Education is the great equalizer but for far too many in our community and our state, its promise remains beyond reach. NJCU has long recognized this challenge and has met it boldly with the conviction that access, equity, and affordability must be the pillars that sustain higher education in the 21st Century as we shape our future.

In the Fall of 2016, NJCU launched the Debt-Free Promise Program to do just that. Since its inception, the Debt-Free Promise Program has eliminated the prohibitive cost of a higher education for New Jersey residents pursuing their first undergraduate degree as incoming full-time freshmen with a family household income of $60,000 or less. 

NJCU is a proud public anchor institution that serves the most diverse city in the country. We proudly serve as a minority-serving (MSI) and Hispanic-serving institution (HSI). Our strength lies in our diversity and the mission to promote and secure equity and nearly unrivaled economic mobility for our students drives everything we do.

It is in that spirit that NJCU proudly endorses Governor Murphy’s proposed Garden State Guarantee (GSG). This is a historic investment which will afford undergraduate students with adjusted gross incomes of $65,000 or less the opportunity to attend our State’s four-year public institutions tuition-free for two years. The GSG builds upon our successful multi-year investment at NJCU demonstrated through our Debt-Free Promise Program. 

A State-wide commitment to our students is long overdue. We enthusiastically applaud every effort to make access, affordability, and equity the hallmarks of higher education. 

We are confident that when the State invests in students like the ones we proudly serve at NJCU, the entire State will benefit. Our future will be brighter when every New Jerseyan has true and unencumbered access to the promise of a higher education. All anyone needs to do is come to NJCU and see what our Debt-Free Promise Program has accomplished and the lives it has changed.

Sue Henderson, Ph.D.
President, New Jersey City University