Joseph Marbach Discusses Affording Education and Grants
Joseph Marbach, President of Georgian Court University, discusses why he believes one of the most pressing issues in New Jersey right now is the affordability of higher education. Marbach shares the importance of TAG and Federal PELL Grants for students who are the first in their family to receive a higher education, and for those who would not be able to afford college without this assistance.
"Welcome to State of Affairs. I'm Steve Adubato. Coming to you from the Agnes Varis Studio here at NJTV. We welcome our good friend, Doctor Joe Marbach, President of Georgian Court University. Good to see you Doctor. Thank you Steve. Good to be here. For those who do not know Georgian Court, describe it. Georgian Court is a school of about 2,000 students. We're coeducational. Over the last four years we were founded by the Sisters of Mercy, so this is our 108th year of operation. And we're located in Lakewood, New Jersey. The fastest growing city in New Jersey. Absolutely. By the way, Doctor Marbach is also before he became president of Georgian Court, he did a lot of political analysis for us on public broadcasting. We'll do some political stuff as well. Big picture. But we'll talk about the higher ed picture. The student body that you have, you're very concerned about their ability, again, I said this before, I'll say it again. For those of you dealing with allergies, throat issues, that explains my voice. My heart goes out to you. So how about this one? The question of student affordability, huge? Mm hmm. At Georgian Court, you in fact froze tuition for a period of time, and then only increased it by 2% recently. How is that done? Well, it's done with a lot of sacrifice and we have to limit any increases, because higher education is labor intensive. It's faculty, it's staff. We're not delivering widgets, we're delivering knowledge. So that's all labor intensive, so we've got to try to keep our costs as limited as possible. Sometimes our amenities don't live up to the standards that other schools are putting out there. But our student body isn't worried about that. I'll give you some numbers. The graduating class that just walked across the stage a couple weeks ago, 48% were the first in their family to go to college. First? First. 51% of that graduating class were eligible for a Pell Grant. That meant they were coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. So we're supporting first generation new students. We're the new Ellis Island. We're the new American Dream. So let me ask you something. For many of these students, for whom it's the first time they've been to college, first in their family, what are many of them facing? What challenges? It's tremendous challenges. They've got family issues back home, because they're the first in the family. So do they get the family support that they need? Do..."