The Impact of Student Loan Debt in New Jersey

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., President of Georgian Court University, to discuss student loan debt in New Jersey and the benefits of the state’s Tuition Aid Grant program.

9/23/19 #2243






"We're pleased to welcome back our good friend Doctor Joe Marbach, who is President, Georgian Court University. Good to see you Joe. Great to see you Steve. Thanks. Alright. Let's get right into this. Student debt. We've had lots of different people come on, one of your presidents, one of the colleagues of yours who's a president said, "You know what? This college debt thing is overrated." It's real? It's real. But I think you really have to delve into those numbers a little bit. You see this huge number that's thrown out there, but there are really three main components of that debt. One is what are graduate students taking out in debt? And that's generally good debt, because they're gonna end up with good jobs, and they're gonna get MBAs... You mean not undergraduate students? Not undergraduate students. These are students getting... Go ahead. ...their MBAs, their doctoral degrees, their master's degrees. They end up with better jobs. A big portion of the debt is the for-profit institutions, which are selling a product to people who are uninformed, and they often don't graduate, and they have tons of debt, and that's the real problem that we run into. The for-profits. And then there's schools like Georgian Court, the non-profits, the undergraduate... we do graduate students with debt. On average, it's about $25,000. It's less than a car payment. So it's something that's manageable. The national average higher? A little bit. Slightly. But not much. Especially if you're looking at who graduates with debt. The worst problem is if a student doesn't graduate, and has that debt. No degree? No degree. Why is that worse? Because then they really don't have the opportunity to find that job that's gonna put them into, and give them the ability to pay for that debt. Joe, do this. Because I don't want to assume people know what Georgian Court is. Joe's been with us many times. Georgian Court is one of our higher ed partners. We've done a whole range of programming together around higher ed and related issues. Describe it. Where is it? So Georgian Court is located in Lakewood, New Jersey. It's a Catholic University, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1908. And we moved to Lakewood in 1923. We had traditionally been an all-girls school, went co-ed about six years ago, and now offer a full range of undergraduate and graduate programs. So Joe we're about... at this time with our youngster who's at one of the schools up in North Jersey and he wants to start visiting colleges, and of course, in my mind, I start naming New Jersey-based schools. Mm hmm. And he says, "No, what about this one? What about Michigan? What about...?" He's not alone? And I don't know where he's..."