At Rider, a degree now comes with a job … guaranteed

School’s Cranberry Investment promises employment or acceptance to grad school — or school will take actions to help

A job: It’s the dream of every college graduate — not to mention their parents — this time of year.

Rider University is now guaranteeing it.

Earlier this week, the school introduced a program called “The Cranberry Investment,” which guarantees undergraduate students who fulfill their responsibilities will obtain an entry-level job related to their field of study or be accepted into graduate or professional school within six months of graduation.

For those who comply with the plan and do not obtain an entry-level position or graduate or professional school acceptance in their field of study within six months of graduation, Rider will provide focused career coaching and, at the college’s discretion, either additional undergraduate coursework (up to nine credits free in which the student must maintain a GPA ≥ 3.0) or a paid internship.

Rider officials said the Cranberry Investment — it’s called “Cranberry” in connection to Rider’s primary school color — reinforces the university’s longstanding commitment to providing transformative student experiences that lead to career success.

Rider President Gregory Dell’Omo said the school is eager to make the pledge.

“Students who invest in a Rider education should feel confident that we are going to do everything within our power to make sure they reach their full potential,” he said. “The Cranberry Investment symbolizes our deeply held belief that a Rider University education allows students to achieve their professional dreams.”

Click here for more info on the initiative.

Rider already boasts a strong record of preparing students for successful careers. According to a recent study by the Office of Career Development and Success, nine of every 10 Rider alumni are employed, in graduate school or volunteering within a year of graduation.

To reach the goal set forth by the Cranberry Investment, Rider will support current students, prior to graduation, by helping them to find internships, co-ops, field work and other professional opportunities.

Undergraduate students graduating in the Class of 2022 and thereafter who meet specific program requirements are eligible to participate. Other requirements of eligibility are determined by factors such as overall GPA and completing certain workshops or courses offered through Rider’s Office of Career Development and Success.

The Cranberry Investment works hand-in-glove with other Rider programs designed to promote career success, such as the Engaged Learning Program and Lifting Barriers.

Rider launched its signature Engaged Learning Program in 2017, which requires every Rider graduate to participate in certain curricular and/or extracurricular experiences. Last year, a new initiative called Lifting Barriers was announced that set a new goal of 95% of students participating specifically in activities that provide “Enriched Career Experiences,” such as internships, guided research and performances.

Lifting Barriers also included a 22% tuition reduction beginning in the fall of 2021 and introduced new support for career preparation and academic success, such as the hiring of additional career coaches.

Kim Barberich, executive director of career development and success at the school, said the guarantee is a natural outgrowth of the school’s efforts.

“Rider has built a robust student support system that reflects our unwavering commitment to helping students in their quest to earn a rewarding education and lasting career success,” she said. “The Cranberry Investment is an important next step that ensures we will do that to the best of our abilities.”