Georgian Court President Encourages College Affordability

Joseph Marbach, President of Georgian Court University, explains why he feels the leadership of higher education institutions should evaluate the affordability of their colleges and universities.

11/19/16 #634






"We are pleased to be joined by our good friend Doctor Joe Marbach, who is the president of Georgian Court University. Good to see you doctor. Great to see you again Steve. It's been a while. Yes it has. For those who do now know what Georgian Court is, describe it. Georgian Court is the Mercy university of New Jersey, and what that means is we were founded by the Sisters of Mercy 108 years ago, and we relocated to Lakewood, New Jersey in 1923. So we've been there for quite a while. And we are a formally all women school. Right. And we went coed four years ago. So we're a small to medium sized gem in southern and central New Jersey. Well, and Georgian Court has recently joined the public television family as a supporter, and thank you for supporting our efforts. But I just want to ask you this. You want to talk about student debt. We want to talk about student debt. Why is the student debt crisis as bad as it is? Number one. Number two, more importantly, what can we do about it? It's a very nuanced problem. And you really have to look at it as a whole, and then break it down. There's a lot of students that have a large amount off debt. But then are they graduate students who are moving on to professional careers? That's where you see a large portion of debt. There's another segment of students, through typical undergraduate, who incurred a lot of debt, often at the for profit schools, and they're going through a lot of scrutiny these days, the federal government actually pulled the accreditation status of the major ac-creditor for many for profits. And the other large problem you find are students who don't graduate. If a student doesn't get their bachelor's degree, and they still incur debt, they just don't have the earning power to pay that debt off down the line. And so what we've taken pride in at Georgian Court is that while our students do incur debt, we're a private institution so we have limited financial resources, they have a very low default rate. Our default rate is less than half what the national average is. And why is that? Well because they're prepared for good jobs, they're able to go out and get those jobs and then they can pay down their debt over... one estimate was at about two and a half years. But you've also argued, Joe, and you have a political science background, so you look at this from a public policy perspective as well, you've also argued that there's been a significant decrease in federal government aid to students, which has had a significant impact and exacerbated this problem..."