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TCNJ boasts highest graduation rate in NJ for community college transfer students

The College of New Jersey, which already boasts the eighth highest four-year graduation rate in the nation and highest in NJ among public colleges and universities, has extended that distinction to include transfers students.

The college was recently ranked the top institution in New Jersey — and now among the best in the nation — for its graduation rate for students transferring from community colleges.

For the most recent cohort of transfers, who arrived at TCNJ in 2019, 86 percent graduated within four years, the highest percentage in the state and tied for the fifth highest percentage in the country, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Raise the Bar: Attaining College Excellence and Equity Initiative.

“Attracting transfer students and ensuring their success is an institutional priority across the board — involving not just our office but also many other departments across campus,” said Brian Switay, assistant director of admissions at TCNJ. “We’re helping the students thrive academically here and graduate on time.”

Overall, TCNJ has seen a growth in transfer students arriving from community colleges. For the current academic year, the college saw a seven-percent increase in applications from that pool of students­­ compared to 2022.

TCNJ sets transfer students up for success in a number of ways including the college’s Griffins program, where an incoming student is connected to a current student who had previously transferred as well.

“We noticed that incoming transfers wanted to be connected to a current TCNJ student who has walked in their shoes and been through the process before,” Switay said. “The Griffins provide valuable information, guidance, tips, and support before the new student even arrives on campus.”

The college also provides academic advising, an orientation day specifically for transfer students, and works closely with the Office of Student Transitions to foster a welcoming culture for those who don’t begin their college journey at TCNJ.

“We’re putting the onus on ourselves to help these students figure out what is best for them in terms of courses, housing, and extracurricular activities to ease their transition and set them up for success in and out of the classroom,” Switay said.

For more information on the college’s transfer process, please visit the transfers applicant website.

— Luke Sacks

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