Essex County is home to a few local colleges + universities — and now, two of these schools are officially joining forces. It was announced this week that Bloomfield College will be merging with Montclair State University and will operate under the new name, Bloomfield College of Montclair State University. This move comes just months after Montclair State helped provide financial relief to Bloomfield College to prevent it from closing down. The current goal is to have the merger completed by June 30th, 2023 — and in the meantime, Bloomfield College will continue operating independently but will still work closely with Montclair State. The incorporation of a private college (Bloomfield) into a public university (Montclair State) is rare, and there will be a lot to iron out to ensure a smooth transition. Read on to learn more about the Bloomfield College and Montclair State University merger.
(Photo credits: @bloomfieldcollege)
Bloomfield College, located at 467 Franklin Street in Bloomfield, is one of the oldest private universities in the state of New Jersey — having been running for over 150 years. It has about 1,300 undergraduate students and is New Jersey’s “only four-year Predominantly Black Institution (PBI), as well as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and Minority Serving Institution (MSI),” per its website.
Montclair State University, on the other hand, is a public school (located at 1 Normal Avenue in Montclair) with over 20,000 students enrolled. The school aims to make higher education more accessible, and for the 2021-2022 academic school year, 42% of students were the first in their families to attend college. What’s more, Montclair State is also New Jersey’s largest Hispanic-Serving Institution.
In the fall of 2021, Bloomfield College experienced major economic hardships that caused the school to seek out partnerships. Then, in March of 2022, Montclair State University provided Bloomfield with financial support in order to help ensure that the school could remain open for the 2022-2023 academic school year. Upon making this announcement, Bloomfield College also shared that it was working on collaborating with Montclair State to form some sort of a permanent partnership — though at the time, we didn’t know if that was going to be a merger or an affiliation, or perhaps something else.
Now, as of October 26th, that partnership has been announced as an official merger — complete with a name change for Bloomfield College.
Both schools announced in a joint statement this week that the presidents of each school had been authorized by their Boards of Trustees to sign an Agreement and Plan of Merger. As part of this agreement, Bloomfield College will change its name to: Bloomfield College of Montclair State University. The goal is to have this merger complete by June 30th of next year, and until then, Bloomfield College will operate independently but still collaborate closely with Montclair State.
Per the announcement, this also means that “Bloomfield students enrolled at the time of the merger will be able to continue their education without interruption and without additional costs. In addition, Montclair State University will make every effort to provide employment opportunities for Bloomfield College’s current employees.”
Bloomfield President Marcheta P. Evans was thrilled with this merger and the possibilities it will open up. “Bloomfield College of Montclair State University will support and serve our current and future students by providing a transformative educational experience with access to the University’s abundant resources,” Marcheta shared.
The two schools will spend the remainder of this year ironing out the many details to make sure this transition is as seamless as possible — which does come with challenges, given that incorporating a private school into a public one is rare. Many New Jersey State Legislators are praising this move nonetheless, particularly the fact that both schools are minority-serving institutions.
We’re excited to see what the future holds for the new Bloomfield College of Montclair State University.