Thomas Edison State University, formerly Thomas Edison State College, is a public institution of higher education located in Trenton, New Jersey. One of New Jersey's 11 public universities and colleges, Thomas Edison State University offers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. Thomas Edison State College was approved by the New Jersey Board of Education in December 1971, and established on July 1, 1972. The school was named in honor of Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor who lived in New Jersey for the bulk of his adult life and gained encyclopedic knowledge of many subject areas through self-directed learning. In 2015, Thomas Edison State University was awarded university status upon the approval of the state college Presidents' Council and Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks. The school's Board of Trustees approved a resolution authorizing the change in December 2015.