Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

NJ.com – Two of South Jersey’s community colleges have officially combined as one school with the goal of providing an affordable education in the region.

Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) — what had been known as Rowan College of Gloucester County and Cumberland County College — officially began business Monday afternoon during a celebration at the Performing Arts Center located on the school’s Gloucester County campus.

Officials are hoping the merger between the schools will not only stop the trend of declining enrollments, which both had been experiencing, and also give students in the region more educational choices.

Leaders of the newly formed college are also hoping to create an “Eds, Meds, and Commerce” corridor down Route 55, utilizing partnerships the school has created with companies such as the Inspira Health Network, which has a location next to the Vineland-based college and is also building a new hospital in Harrison Township in Gloucester County.

RCSJ President Frederick Keating said as part of the tuition agreement signed Monday morning, students would pay $152 per credit “all-in,” an amount that officials said would make it the least expensive tuition cost in the state of New Jersey, including all two-year and four-year schools.

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland) believes the newly formed institution will become a model for other schools in the state to follow.

“I think people are going to look at this and ask in other parts of the state how they can get a four-year degree at Rowan College in South Jersey and Rowan University for less than $30,000,” Sweeney said. “We talked about having a high-quality, outstanding education, and now we have infused affordability as a factor.”

Sweeney added that he tried to include Salem Community College as one of the schools involved in a merger, but the institution decided to remain independent.

“I’m really disappointed they didn’t because they cannot offer what these other two county colleges can offer now,” the Senate President stated. “I love the ‘3+1’ they don’t have,” he said, referring to a partnership program with Rowan University where students can get a bachelor’s degree at the state school while on the community college campus and for community college pricing. “Hopefully down the road, Salem will look and see that this would be the right thing for them. We were close. We had conversations, and we were close, but we weren’t going to stop the progress.”

Congressman Donald Norcross (D-1) believes the new institution will allow those students to continue their education affordably and remain in South Jersey.

“Just because you pay a lot of money to go to college does not make it a good institution,” Norcross said. “I would encourage all the institutions to look at how they are providing education and making sure it is the most cost-efficient way to help that next generation of students.”

Under the new alignment, which was announced last year, the schools will maintain two athletic departments to be known as Rowan College-Gloucester and Rowan College-Cumberland.

Cumberland County College itself was facing a $2 million shortfall in its budget due to declining enrollment.

The new school will also see consolidation in departments such as IT, finance, human resources, and other administrative positions.

Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) President Frederick Keating speaks during the school’s event celebrating the merger of Rowan College of Gloucester County and Cumberland Community College. July 1, 2019

District Offices

Gloucester County

Kingsway Commons
935 Kings Highway, Suite 400
West Deptford, NJ 08086
Phone: (856) 251-9801
Fax: (856) 251-9752


Salem/Cumberland Counties

The Finlaw Building
199 East Broadway, Suite G
Salem, NJ 08079
Phone: (856) 339-0808 or
             (856) 455-1011
Fax: (856) 339-9626