Bloomfield College Finds a Lifeline in Montclair

Montclair State University will provide financial support to neighboring Bloomfield College, if needed, to ensure the College can remain open through the 2022-23 academic year while the two institutions work toward their goal of establishing a permanent relationship.

Bloomfield College, a private, predominantly Black and Hispanic institution, said last year it was in jeopardy of closing its doors without a benefactor. As the missions of the two institutions are closely aligned around providing access to high-quality educational experiences to underserved students, Montclair stepped forward with a financial lifeline.

“This is what it means to be New Jersey’s premier public service university: turning challenge into opportunity through collaboration and innovation,” said Montclair President Jonathan Koppell.

Bloomfield College is New Jersey’s only four-year Predominantly Black Institution, as well as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution. The College is recognized as one of the most diverse national liberal arts colleges in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, and offers the lowest tuition among the private four-year institutions in New Jersey.

Last fall, it announced it was seeking a partner institution to form a strategic relationship that would ensure that Bloomfield could continue to carry out its vital mission for the long term. Bloomfield President Marcheta P. Evans said the institution was struggling due to plummeting enrollment during the pandemic and ongoing operational deficits.

Montclair’s Board of Trustees, at its meeting in March, authorized an interim financial support agreement, essentially creating a line of credit for Bloomfield College, if needed. The level of support needed from Montclair may be reduced, thanks to a $5 million allocation in Governor Phil Murphy’s state budget. That funding will help ensure Bloomfield will remain open and allow time to develop the details of a permanent relationship.

“I look forward to working closely with President Evans to craft a strategic relationship that could serve as a national model of innovation,” Koppell said. The two institutions have begun meeting to develop a path forward, and they hope to finalize their plans before this fall.

“We are both committed to providing access to high-quality educational experiences to students who are often marginalized,” Koppell said. “So this response to financial adversity is borne of the conviction that together, we can make an even greater impact on the communities we serve.”