Students attending Mercer County Community College can now live at Rider University as part of a new housing partnership between the two schools.
An agreement between the two schools — one of several signed on Dec. 14 at a ceremony on Mercer Community College’s West Windsor campus — allows Mercer students to live in Rider’s residence halls at a reduced rate. The students will have full access to Rider University’s resources, including libraries, dining halls, and exercise and sports facilities. They will also be encouraged to participate in Rider’s 150 student clubs and organizations, intramural sports and on-campus events, such as concerts, musicals and Division I athletic events.
“Rider University and Mercer County Community College have a long history in partnering for the common benefit of our students, and this innovative idea is an exciting new component of how we can help create successful university graduates,” said Rider President Gregory Dell’Omo. “We look forward to sharing Rider’s vibrant campus life with Mercer students.”
The announcement comes at a time when Rider University is struggling financially. Rider University’s deficit is projected to be $13.1 million by 2019. School officials currently are considering merging Westminster Choir College with the main campus in Lawrence and selling the Princeton property.
The new housing agreement applies to both domestic and international students. For students who decide to continue their education at Rider toward a bachelor’s degree, the university will offer tuition discounts in addition to the reduced housing rates.
“This agreement is so important for those who could not otherwise take advantage of a college education,” said Mercer County Community College President Jianping Wang. “Rider University is a shining example of a four-year institution with a dedication to serve. This could be a landmark arrangement others will follow.”
Three other agreements were also signed at the Dec. 14 ceremony. The agreements guarantee transfer admission for Mercer students who complete an associate of arts degree in dance to Rider’s bachelor of arts in dance performance; an associate of applied science in advertising and graphic design to Rider’s bachelor of arts in graphic design; and an associate of science to Rider’s bachelor of science in business administration.
The new agreements raise the total number of programs available for transfer between Mercer and Rider to 28.
“We are proud to continue our strong academic and educational partnership with Mercer,” Dell’Omo said. “A collaboration like ours greatly benefits students as they move from community college to a four-year institution.”
Mercer and Rider also signed a guaranteed reverse credit transfer agreement that allows students enrolled at Rider to complete the necessary credits towards an associate degree that would be awarded by Mercer.