Bloomfield College and Montclair State University have announced plans to merge with Bloomfield becoming part of Montclair State to create the “Bloomfield College of Montclair State University.”
During 2021, Bloomfield announced it was facing major financial issues that, without assistance, would force the college to close its doors by the end of the academic year. Seeking a strategic partner, the college received a financial lifeline from nearby Montclair State University which led to the proposed merger. Bloomfield is a small private liberal arts college in Bloomfield, N.J., that has an important mission as New Jersey’s only four-year private college serving predominantly Black and Hispanic students. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, more than 80% of Bloomfield College students are Black and/or Hispanic, nearly 82% are Pell Grant eligible and the median family income of students is below $33,000. Bloomfield is recognized by the US Department of Education as a Minority Serving Institution, a Predominately Black Institution, and a Hispanic Serving Institution. Montclair is also recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Both institutions participate in the New Jersey Educational Opportunity (EOF) Program.
The goal is to complete the merger by June 2023. The impending merger represents a rare merger folding a private college into a public university. While the Trustee boards of both institutions have approved the merger it will still require approval by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education (Accreditation) as well as the New Jersey State Legislature, which provided $$12.5 million to Bloomfield College to help the campus remain open for the 2022-2023 academic year, and the Office of the NJ Secretary of Higher Education.
The proposed pending merger has received coverage in local news outlets as well as national attention from Inside Higher Ed, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and PBS.