“It’s usually TCN.what? No one knows about TCNJ.” That is what Mason Freedman, freshman accounting major, said is the response he gets when he goes home to Dallas, Texas.
Mike Ferber, a freshman health and exercise science major from New City, N.Y., adamantly agrees with Freedman. “The school is totally unknown to people around me,” he said.
Richard Kropp, sophomore in business administration major has had similar experiences,
“People back in Pottsville (P.A.) have never heard of The College of New Jersey,” Kropp said.
Freedman, Ferber and Kropp have common college experiences not many people on campus can sympathize with. They are among the less than three hundred students from outside New Jersey who currently attend the College.
With enrollment at the College now at 5,930 with 5,600 full time students, an astonishing 95 percent of students hail from inside the borders of the Garden State.
Lisa Angeloni, The College’s dean of Admissions, attributes the lack of out of state students to tradition.
“Historically, TCNJ and Trenton State College wanted to gain a reputation as a very good state college for local people, there was no recruitment out of state,” Angeloni said.
Angeloni feels that the fact that it is a state-funded school also contributes to the small amount of out-of-state students. “We are a state school and we want to serve the people in New Jersey first. That is where the tax dollars come from, and therefore we would not want to displace an in-state applicant for an out-of-state one.”
Angeloni is quick to point out, however, that since she became dean of Admissions seven years ago applications from prospective out of state students has grown significantly.
“Seven years ago one of our missions was to start to get the name out. Now we get applications from all over Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut,” she said.
Still, many out of state students, like Bridgette McGuire, freshman secondary education/history double major, feel that the College does a sub par job of recruiting in other states.
“(In Souderton, P.A.) no one has ever heard of this school,” she said. “I got one of those letters in the mail, and my first reaction was to make fun of the name.”
“I only found out about the school because (baseball coach) Rick Dell called me,” Brian Kraus, freshman health and exercise science major from Feasterville, P.A. said. “I had no idea about the school’s strong athletic program or the exceptional academic reputation.”
“I am not sure why more out-of-state people don’t come here,” Kropp said. He believes the College may not do a good enough job of advertising itself. “It’s not as popular as you would think with all it has to offer.”
With the rising number of out-of-state applicants and the positive reviews from those few out of state students attending the College, you can expect to see a more diverse population in the years to come. That would be the hope of Mason Freedman, the College’s “Lone Star” student, who insists, “Ya’ll need to be a bit more eclectic.”