EDITORIAL: U. recruiting plan will increase diversity
Increase in out-of-state students can benefit Rutgers
When former President Barack Obama gave his speech at the 250th anniversary commencement ceremony, he said, “America converges here. And in so many ways, the history of Rutgers mirrors the evolution of America — the course by which we became bigger, stronger, and richer and more dynamic and a more inclusive nation.” And he was not wrong. Rutgers students come from all 50 states and 105 countries. When one walks down College Avenue on any given day, what they will see is analogous to a United Nations convention — with people from all corners of the globe represented.
The University’s Strategic Plan for “the new Rutgers” calls for an incremental increase in international and out-of-state students. As of right now, the University has the lowest number of out-of-state students in the Big Ten at approximately 18 percent. The plan is to gradually increase this number in the next few years until we reach the goal of 25 percent out-of-state students.
The aforementioned plan, on the face, may reasonably seem questionable. Rutgers, as New Jersey’s leading public educational institution, should have an obligation to the residents of its state. By recruiting more out-of-state students, it may seem as though the University is ignoring its arguable duty to serve New Jersey first. But this criticism of the plan is not lost on the University’s administration.
Although bringing more out-of-state students to Rutgers will likely equate to less in-state students being accepted, the maximum percentage of out-of-state students enrolled will only be about 25 percent, as previously mentioned. This means that 75 percent of the student body will still consist of in-state students. Additionally, the plan to bring in more out-of-state students may very well benefit prospective Rutgers applicants who are residents of New Jersey. By bringing in more out-of-state students, who pay close to twice as much for tuition as their in-state counterparts, the University is actually working to keep tuition down for New Jersey residents.
Other benefits of this plan seem to clearly outweigh any possible negatives. For example, by bringing in more people from other regions of the country and the world, the University is clearly increasing its diversity — something we at Rutgers pride ourselves on. This sort of increased diversity can easily better the world view of students, and supplement their academic education with the learned ability to interact with and learn from people of starkly different cultures.
Additionally, by implementing this plan to recruit and advertise more in other states, Rutgers could conceivably be bettering its applicant pool. In other words, it is not far fetched to think that the more applicants the University gets from all over the country and the world, the more high quality those applicants may be — in turn possibly raising the standards of the student body. This is clearly a prudent move on Rutgers’ part, considering that the better the student body, the more prestigious the school can be, which can lead to employers being more interested in Rutgers students.
In the end, it seems there are blatantly more reasons for the plan to increase out-of-state students than there are for it not to. The University will significantly benefit from this plan, and as it seems, so will its students.
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