2017 Best Colleges in New Jersey

The Best Colleges ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni. The ranking compares more than 1,000 top colleges and universities in the U.S.
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Viewing 1-25 of 28
  1. 1

    Princeton University

    • Princeton, NJ
    • 383 reviews
    Freshman:I love Princeton! The financial aid is incredible, the campus is beautiful, and the academics are really fantastic. While things can get stressful, the University tries to provide resources to combat that (even though CPS is massively backlogged, which can make things tough). Because the grade deflation policy is over, a lot of the old stress is gone!

    The social scene can be a little odd because of eating clubs (which is definitely something for incoming freshmen to be aware of), but it's definitely navigable and plenty of upperclassmen are really cool and helpful when it comes to social stuff.

    The experience of a lot of people of color tends to differ from white students (like myself), so this is definitely something to take into consideration. It can be tough because there's so much privilege on the campus, so a lot of the dialogue surrounding the experiences of people of color and people of lower classes can be difficult to navigate.
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  2. 2

    Stevens Institute of Technology

    • Hoboken, NJ
    • 540 reviews
    Sophomore:The part I love most about Stevens is the community. It is a fairly small college, so you tend to see the same faces everyday. The classes may be difficult, but there is always someone there to help. There are countless free review sessions and tutoring opportunities, primarily run by other students. The school itself also offers various extracurricular activities that can be purely social, academic, or a mix of both. The classes can be challenging, but I think Stevens courses are extremely well designed for preparing you for real world engineering. Stevens also has a fantastic career center since it is a co-op school. The only downside about Stevens is that the financial aide department is not very helpful or generous, which can be detrimental considering the high cost of tuition. Despite that, I would still highly recommend Stevens considering its financial aide office is not the only source you would have when it comes to needing financial assistance.
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  3. 3

    Rutgers University

    • New Brunswick, NJ
    • 5,070 reviews
    Sophomore:Rutgers is a great university to go to! You will receive a high level of education as Rutgers hires professionals in the top of their field as professors. At Rutgers there is truly something for everyone and it won't be hard to find somewhere for you to fit in or feel at home. The diversity at the school will keep you learning inside and outside the classroom. There are hundreds of clubs and organizations including Greek life, athletics (of all levels), charity clubs, or probably any type of organization you can think of. If there is a club you would like that doesn't exist get some friends and create it! New Brunswick itself has a lot to offer for the community whether it be great food or entertainment. The only issue I have with Rutgers is its immense size. Having to ride buses around to and from class or events can get very annoying at times, but it is very doable and you will get used to it quickly.
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  4. 4

    The College of New Jersey

    • Ewing, NJ
    • 1,190 reviews
    Senior:The College of New Jersey is ranked #3 in Regional Universities North. With a student-faculty ratio of 13-1, professors are able to assist students more frequently. They are caring, helpful and want every student to succeed. There is a variety of sports, clubs, activities and organizations to choose from each semester. The campus food is very good with such a variety. The dorms are clean and well maintained. Check out Campus Town, the new addition to the school, it's amazing!
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  5. 5

    Rutgers University - Newark

    • Newark, NJ
    • 911 reviews
    College Senior:I've had a really specific experience at my school because my department was so small. My professors not only knew your name, but literally knew your skill levels in certain areas, and could go back and remember work that I'd done two years ago! That aspect was wonderful. They held a very personal stake in my success and went above and beyond the call of duty to give me opportunities to work, learn, and grow as a student. If you show a little interest and that you actually care about academics, the staff will more than meet you halfway and ensure you have a great experience. Of all three campuses, I definitely find this one to be the most academically demanding. A lot of that is owed to the small class size—you can't just hide behind your laziness. If you want to bum along, not learn anything, and just party for four years, go to New Brunswick. The Newark campus *really* knows how to make an academic out of you, in a good way.

    If you're in a larger major, however, I know the experience can be very different. Sometimes the way my friends in the business school or the sciences speak about it, you'd think they went to a totally different university! So I'd say if you're ready to really build those relationships, put yourself out there, and if you truly are passionate about what you want to do—this is a great campus. If you're wavering a little, or are more interested in the sports or clubs or greek life components of a school, then perhaps look elsewhere. Passion and focus finds a happy home at Rutgers—Newark.
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  6. 6

    Rutgers University - Camden

    • Camden, NJ
    • 688 reviews
    Senior:I have been on this campus for the past 5 years and this experience has been nothing but wonderful for me! I have made so many new friends who are like family to me now. I have attended so many workshops that have helped me throughout the years. I have become part of so many organizations for example Student Nursing Association, Student Government Association, Muslim Student Association, and Black student union. The changes that I would want to see on this campus would be better parking for students. Better ways to contact offices to be able to get things done on time.
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  7. 7

    Seton Hall University

    • South Orange, NJ
    • 1,620 reviews
    Junior:I'm having the most wonderful experience here at Seton Hall University. I feel like Seton Hall offers the best of both worlds-- we have that big school feel with having Division 1 Sports and when you walk across the green, you don't always see familiar faces. But then you get that small school feel when you're in the classroom, with a small class size, and your professor knows your name! Also, Seton Hall guarantees student success, our Career Center offers over 15,000 internships every year, and we are able to do that because we are only 14 miles from New York City. I'm so thankful to be able to got to a school that makes me feel like I am at home! Choosing Seton Hall University was the best decision I've ever made.
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  8. 8

    Stockton University

    • Galloway, NJ
    • 1,260 reviews
    Freshman:After going through my first fall semester, I can safely say Stockton is a great university. The school features a wide array of academics to choose from and are very focused on hands on experience. They want students to get involved either through jobs and volunteer work, to field labs and classwork.
    The campus is beautiful and located in the the forests of the Pine Barrens. The school is not very high tech, but uses its resources to the fullest. Taking advantage of the areas and local groups around; and the tools they've been given.
    Most of the food comes from chain restaurants and there's not much to eat if you're vegetarian. But healthy eating otherwise is promoted and there are stores on campus
    One thing that brings it down is it's mainly geared toward commuters. Weekends are bland, even with all the great events planned on weekdays, and you need either a car or a shuttle to get off campus.
    Still, Stockton is very welcoming, diverse, and fun!
    More about Stockton University
  9. 9
    Niche User:Pretty good college as one of my best friends has attended there. Decent classrooms where talking to professors is not too hard. Transportation from one class to another not that hard. Overall, an academically and socially perfect school for your kids!
    More about New Jersey Institute of Technology
  10. 10

    Drew University

    • Madison, NJ
    • 455 reviews
    Alum:Drew University is a great place in a perfect location. Madison, NJ is such a nice, safe town that is great to relocate to after graduating. You also have the luxury of going into NYC as a student or working there after graduating. The professors at Drew are one-of-a-kind. They are very passionate about what they teach and truly care about their students. At Drew you will feel a great sense of community which is important when you are in such a major life transition. Almost everyone I know who graduated from Drew is doing great in careers or graduate school because we were so well-prepared.
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  11. 11

    Monmouth University

    • West Long Branch, NJ
    • 782 reviews
    College Sophomore:Monmouth University is a home to many and the scenery is relaxing. Even as a commuter I've still made some friends and just meeting all types of people in the same situation as me, makes it an enjoyable experience! Learning about different lifestyles and habits are my favorite parts about my school. The classes are for the most part not too long and the professors use the time wisely. If I could, I would choose Monmouth all over again, because I'm certain that the education I'm receiving there will lead to a great outcome in my future!
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  12. 12

    Montclair State University

    • Montclair, NJ
    • 2,540 reviews
    College Sophomore:Being an accounting major, I hardly ever need to leave the school of business (it's practically my second home). The four years of undergrad are pretty much planned out for me, I have little room to mess up on classes and not much time to branch out (in terms of taking classes just for pure interest rather than fulfilling a requirement). Most of my professors have been great, but if you're an accounting student stay away from Lohrey and Chang, prepare yourself for Markoff because he's the hardest professor you'll have, and take Lipari if you can! The school of business (aka the feliciano building) was recently built so everything looks new and clean, the rooms and layout of the rooms all vary in size and many change based on floor (as it's done by business majors). The class sizes remind me of high school, 20+ students in the class unless you have Degaetano - in that case it'll be around 15 students (maybe less).
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  13. 13

    Rowan University

    • Glassboro, NJ
    • 1,446 reviews
    College Sophomore:Overall my experience at this college has been great! My first impression of the atmosphere of the school was how friendly students and staff were, and made the first couple of weeks feel as comfortable as possible. The classes are interesting and professors are helpful if you ask for the help because they want to see that you have the best grade possible. Rowan has been an eye-opening experience that taught me how the real world works through it's people and skills.
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  14. 14

    Rider University

    • Lawrenceville, NJ
    • 1,055 reviews
    College Sophomore:I've had my fair share of awesome classes, but bad professors, bad classes, but good professors. I think with this type of question, what you put into your education is what you will gain from your education. Here's an example. In the fall 2015 semester I took a Gen-Ed Art class, Art & Society. This was not a hands-on class, it was simply learning about classical artwork from a long time ago. Booooring! I dialed out of the class very fast, because the professor put on many art movies and we read a book on art. He also used a really old projector that had slide inserts, it was a dinosaur! So many artists were drilled into my head for months, artwork that I stared at for months, but once the final came around, I thought I'd never use that information again. But just the other day I visited the Art museum at Princeton University and just as I was leaving, a painting by Monet caught my eye. Monet! I never thought I'd actually see one of his works. I had stared at that artwork for months, and as I kept walking, I saw paintings by Renoir and Cézanne! I knew these famous painters and their stories. It was incredible, seeing these artworks in person. I didn't expect to see any of these art works. How funny, I appreciated the art so much more as I saw it in front of me, each individual brush stroke, the signature in the bottom right-hand corner. So crazy, the real-world connections I made from a Gen-Ed class I didn't even want to take. Not only did the class have an impact on me, but the professor as well.
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  15. 15

    Ramapo College of New Jersey

    • Mahwah, NJ
    • 809 reviews
    Alum:Attending Ramapo College of NJ was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The campus and beautiful with some of the best student housing and apartments in the state. You're education is top of line. There's only about 20 students enrolled in class, so you get the attention you need from your professors. Would have wanted to go anywhere else!
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  16. 16

    Kean University

    • Union, NJ
    • 1,145 reviews
    College Junior:I love being at Kean. When I was choosing a college, Kean was the last college I wanted to go to. My first year at Kean was spent on campus despite living only about 15 minutes away. This was the best decision I made because I was able to meet a bunch of new people and learn about something I didn't know about. I was able to apply to be a Resident Assistant, but unfortunately, I did not get the position. That is until less than two weeks before school started when someone dropped out and I was asked to take their place. Taking the Resident Assistant position over going on vacation was by far the right choice because I now have 60 new friends and a family to be a part of. Kean is diverse and ever changing. It may be considered a commuter school but it's like a second home to me!
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  17. 17

    Berkeley College - Woodland Park

    • Woodland Park, NJ
    • 220 reviews
    Freshman:Berkeley college - Woodland Park is a competent, efficient and professional college. The staff and faculty make sure that the student has all the benefits as a student in this institution. The faculty and the professor are professionals and understandable in all the situations. The educational formation in this institution is great, they implement real-life scenarios in order to make it more compatible with our starting knowledge. The staff provides all the facilities need to be success in the determinate time of the college life. Also, the faculty helps you to clarify any complication that you might have during the process of approaching the degree.
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  18. 18

    Saint Peter's University

    • Jersey City, NJ
    • 611 reviews
    College Junior:Saint Peter's is a small campus so it is likely you come across the same people daily. It is in an urban area with a diverse community so I enjoy the atmosphere when I attend classes throughout the day. From experience, I can say the professors and staff are readily available for students during a time of need, whether it is academic or personal. College is what you make it and I am fortunate enough to surround myself with friends who make it such an amazing experience. Being a nursing major, I have a pile of workload so I spend a lot of my time at the library, which is an exceptional place to study in without any distraction. SPU clubs also try to get the students into the school spirit and I can say that there are some fun events that can be attended throughout the school year. Regardless, it is predominately commuter school so many of the students return home after classes end, but it is still possible to make friends on campus!
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  19. 19
    Freshman:William Paterson University is a great college to go to because it is one that cares about their students. As a Freshman, I was nervous about going to a new environment. This University is so welcoming and helpful. if you need help, they have it. From free tutors to an on campus health and wellness center. there are so many activities to do on campus as well. every tuesday and thursday there is something called," common hour" which ther are no classes and everyone interacts to make friends and have fun! there are a lot of cool events like there are DJs on campus, spa days, yoga and fitness activities as well!
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  20. 20
    Freshman:Excellent small school for those looking to stay in a cozy campus with wonderful teachers and activities. Campus life really cares about the students, public safety does a really good job helping out, and the professors really know their stuff- just make sure you learn how to cook during cafeteria off-days!
    More about Fairleigh Dickinson University - College at Florham
  21. 21

    Caldwell University

    • Caldwell, NJ
    • 364 reviews
    Freshman:Really am enjoying myself, and the teachers here aren't bad. Everyone here wants to help you with what ever it is you need. The food isn't that good but there is a cook that tries to make the food good! Academics are really important here and the sports teams are good. But its fune and its a small personal campus.
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  22. 22

    New Jersey City University

    • Jersey City, NJ
    • 623 reviews
    College Sophomore:Enrolling at this school made me realize a whole new world in higher education. The professors are easy to get a long with, students are open-minded and will hear you out as well as the professors. Making friends at this university is easy because of how diverse the school is. I find it unique because of its diversity and how all types of background are gathered into this university. I would choose this school again because of how my experience so far as a freshman was. I had fun, enjoyed the classes, making friends and enjoying the food as well! While I'm on summer break I feel homesick to this university because of how I miss it already. I am exited to start my sophomore year in September 6th and look forward to another year of fun and a learning experience!
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  23. 23

    Fairleigh Dickinson University

    • Teaneck, NJ
    • 885 reviews
    Sophomore:I am currently a student at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. FDU is an open campus however, it is in a very safe area. The academics at the university are very good. The school is a leader in global education and offers many opportunities for students to study abroad almost anywhere in the world, including their Vancouver and Wroxton campuses. My time at FDU has been characterized by me meeting students form all over the world. FDU is pretty small with only about 600 people living on campus and a good amount of students commuting. The dorms aren't like what you see in the movies, but they're not your worst nightmare either. There is one that stands out from the other two choices. Because of its small size, students at FDU form a close knit community, especially the ones that choose to live on campus. There are not many parties at the school, but there is always something going on, or an event hosted by one of them many organizations present at the school.
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  24. 24

    Georgian Court University

    • Lakewood, NJ
    • 274 reviews
    Senior:Georgian Court University is a very small, private Catholic college located in Lakewood. Although the surrounding area of the campus is not so great, the campus is beautiful. On campus you can find a beautiful fountain, many statues, and old historic buildings with fascinating architecture. Class sizes are relatively small, consisting of about 30 students. There are activities for students to participate in, there are a lot of clubs that students can join, and there is a student lounge that is nice to spend time in. I like Georgian Court because with the small classes, you are able to establish a relationship with an instructor where they know what to expect from you, and they can tell you are truly making an effort in their class. With larger universities, it is common for the instructor to know maybe one or two student which would not be beneficial to me.
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  25. 25

    Centenary College - New Jersey

    • Hackettstown, NJ
    • 252 reviews
    College Senior:I just graduated from the Social Work program. The program is awesome! The Professors are all wonderful. The program is not easy, but it does prepare you to work in the field or to go on to Grad school. The Professors are very helpful with job leads before and after graduation. I would highly recommend anyone interested in Social Work to go to Centenary. I am 52 and was the oldest in my cohort, but I can honestly say everyone in my class graduated feeling confident going on to their next step. I had such a wonderful experience that I recommended to my son to go there and he will be going into the psycology program in the fall.
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