New Jersey Colleges & Universities

From an Ivy League powerhouse to under-the-radar gems, New Jersey colleges can offer unrivaled educational opportunities.

New Jersey Schools: Among the Nation's Best: New Jersey is a mid-Atlantic state with distinct and diverse regions, touching the enormous metropolitan areas of New York City and Philadelphia as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Combined with a healthy economy and a variety of higher education options, these qualities make New Jersey an appealing option for students of all backgrounds.

Earn Your Degree from One of the Excellent Colleges in New Jersey: New Jersey boasts 37 four-year colleges within its borders, a proud fact perhaps at odds with its relatively small stature. Prominent among these are:

  • Princeton University (private): Known as much for its athletic excellence as its academic prestige, Princeton figures conspicuously among the country's Ivy League institutions. Princeton's undergraduate student body is comprised of 5,113 individuals: the school's acceptance rate is a scant 10%. The freshman class is divided evenly between men and women, with white students making up just under half of the demographic. Popular majors include social sciences and engineering, and tuition costs $36,640 for New Jersey residents and out-of-state students alike.
  • Rutgers University (public): Rutgers is New Jersey's largest institution of higher education, spanning three campuses. Its primary base is in the suburban town of Piscataway, and this locations student body has 29,095 undergraduates. Rutgers is one of the most highly regarded universities in the world, and one of the most affordable for its caliber: in-state students pay $12,582 in tuition and fees, while out-of-state students pay $24,044. Humanities and biology majors figure largely here. The freshman class is 48% white, 28% Asian, and 11% Hispanic.
  • Thomas Edison State College (public): Another of New Jersey's large schools, Thomas Edison educates an undergraduate body of 17,320 students and is located in the urban city of Trenton. The liberal arts are a popular course of study at New Jersey colleges, with about a quarter of students majoring in liberal arts. Engineering, business, and health studies are other common majors. Tuition and fees cost $4,883 for New Jersey natives, and $7,190 for out-of-state students.
  • Montclair State University (public): Montclair prides itself on providing large-university amenities and individual attention. Its undergraduate body is 14,139 students strong, and its admissions process is fairly selective, accepting just under half of its applicants. Montclair's freshman class identifies as 51% white, with Hispanic students comprising the second-largest ethnic group at 19%. With its comprehensive list of majors and reasonable tuition costs ($10,113 for residents and $18,445 for out-of-state students), Montclair is an excellent choice for the student seeking balance in his or her educational experience.

Top Industries and Job Outlook: New Jersey's unemployment rate was 9.7% as of July 2010, about average but still clearly reflecting the recession's impact. The good news is that New Jersey's economy is thoroughly diverse. Medical research provides big business here, and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical scientists employed in the state of New Jersey earn a staggering mean annual wage of $112,870. Top industries include pharmaceuticals, chemical development, telecommunications, food processing, publishing, shipping, agriculture, and tourism. The median household income for New Jersey is $70,347, well above the national average.

The writer Karin Hansen holds a degree in English from San Francisco State University.

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