New Jersey was the only British colony to permit the establishment of two colleges in the colonial period. Princeton University, chartered in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, chartered on 10 November 1766 as Queen's College, were two of nine colleges founded before the American Revolution.:passim. In the 1860s, these two college competed to become the state's land grant college under the terms of the Morrill Act of 1862. Rutgers received the designation in 1864 and began to expand development of engineering, scientific, agricultural, and military education at one school in each state. This would pave the way for its transformation into the state university in 1945. Princeton remained a private college and is presently one of the nation's eight Ivy League schools.
Oldest seminary in the United States, founded as Dutch Reformed seminary in New York City, moved to New Brunswick in 1810, run jointly and shared facilities with Queen's College, later Rutgers College, until 1856.
New Jersey has a system of 19 publiccommunity colleges at the county level statewide. This reflects the fact that each college serves one of New Jersey's 21 counties, except for Atlantic Cape Community College and Raritan Valley Community College, each of which serves two counties. In 1989, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges was created to promote the advancement of the state's county community colleges. In 2003, governorJames McGreevey created the New Jersey Community Colleges Compact, through Executive Order No. 81, as a statewide partnership to enable cooperation between the colleges and various state departments. The county colleges of New Jersey represent 56% of all undergraduate students in the state and offer studies in associate's degree and certificate programs. Reflecting long-term trends nationwide, the male-to-female ratio of students in the system is 41% male to 59% female, and 48% of students are over the age of 24. Overall, the system enrolls more than 350,000 students each year on campuses that range in size from 1,300 students at Salem Community College to over 15,000 students at Bergen Community College.
Not all of the county colleges were founded by the State of New Jersey; the oldest county college in New Jersey, Union County College, was founded in 1933 by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration as Union County Junior College; it operated as a private college from 1936 to 1982, and merged with the publicly operated Union County Technical Institute in 1982 to become the current public institution.