Rutgers is a great place for students looking for the quintessential college experience!! School spirit is very high here – students should expect to have a mostly red wardrobe by the time they graduate! Rutgers is the land grant university for the state of New Jersey, and about 85% of the students are from the home state.
Rutgers has campuses in three New Jersey cities; the New Brunswick campus is the main one, with about 30,000 undergraduates. The campus itself has five distinct campuses within it; each has residence halls, eateries and academic hubs (about 85% of first-year students live on campus, and about half of all students live on campus). This is an example of how different residential and academic communities can make a large campus feel smaller – the campuses are connected and walkable, giving the school a “college town” feel; each one has its own dean, who helps students to connect with each other; and there’s also a shuttle bus system that students can use to travel throughout Rutgers-New Brunswick. You can read more about the sprawling 2,000+ acres of Rutgers-New Brunswick here. The New Brunswick train station sits directly adjacent to the campus; students can ride the New Jersey Transit to New York City (an hour away) or Amtrak to Philadelphia (90 minutes away).
Rutgers is a serious research institution, with strong programs in applied sciences, like meteorology, preparation for veterinary school and food sciences. Rutgers also has a very strong 6-year pharmacy program, as well as an MD-JD (combined medical school and law school) degree.
The music conservatory offers students the option of a B.A. or a B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree. Students hone their performance skills within a liberal arts core. Practicing professional musicians are the teachers for students who want to follow this path themselves.
Students at the undergraduate business school will enjoy a beautiful, modern building starting in the fall of 2013. Several joint and accelerated MBA degrees are offered as well. Rutgers’ vast array of 100+ majors is listed here (pdf).
When I visited Rutgers, I loved the feel of the campus. The students I met were all engaging and very happy with their choice. Rutgers is clearly a great school for students who are sporty and sports fans, and want to express campus pride. And students from California – take note that though 85% of students are from New Jersey, Rutgers is trying to increase out-of-state representation to about 25%. This is good news for your application!
Rutgers is NOT a member of the Common Application. Their online application requires students to self-report their high school courses and grades (this will be checked, for students who enroll in the spring, against official school transcripts; two offers of admission were withdrawn in 2013 based on discrepancies between the two), test scores, volunteer activities and submit an essay. Admissions counselors at Rutgers recommend that students submit all SAT scores, and they will consider the highest score on each section.