New Jersey is already quite familiar with opportunities for online education. In particular, the Rutgers' Center for Online and Hybrid Learning first started providing options for online degree programs as early as 1996. There is clear support from the Department of Higher Education for students to look into online education, encouraging its students to review the website when looking at a course of study or a new program to enroll in.
Since the start of online support in 1996, institutions such as The New Jersey Virtual School and The New Jersey Virtual Academy Charter School have created opportunities for young students to go through courses or recover past credits by way of distance education. In 2013, there were over 618,000 students enrolled across the 162 post secondary schools in New Jersey.
In a similar vein to other states in the area, New Jersey saw an increase in both enrollment and in tuition in the last few years. In just five years time, there was a 29 percent increase for tuition in New Jersey while the rate of enrollment increased by 16.7 percent during the same period of time. In an unfortunate situation for students, the total state appropriations for higher education during this same period of time only went up by an insufficient 1.2 percent, proving there is need for more loans and financial aid.
Although the finances are difficult for this time period, New Jersey maintains a first year retention rate of 84.3 percent and a state graduation rate of 67 percent.