Update: Rutgers-New Brunswick
In 2016 Rutgers-New Brunswick celebrates its 250th anniversary as the eighth-oldest college in the U.S. Rutgers and the College of William and Mary are the only public colleges that date back before the Revolutionary War. Last year, Rutgers was one of only three colleges where President Obama will be the commencement speaker. In honor of the university’s celebration, I am reposting my last Rutgers profile written in 2015.
Rutgers-New Brunswick was the very first schools profiled on Educated Quest. Coincidentally, it is my undergraduate as well as MBA alma mater. It took visiting many colleges as the publisher of this site to convince me that I had it pretty good at Rutgers. I would like to present readers with an update. I also have a Pinterest page.
If someone were to tell me that Rutgers-New Brunswick was one of the top 20 state universities in the U.S. I probably would not argue. It takes more than a repetitional survey to make a great university. It also takes great students and resources, which Rutgers has in abundance. Rutgers has the added advantage of being less than an hour from New York City by train. It has, in fact, more undergraduate students than any college in the New York or Philadelphia metropolitan area. Rutgers career services and networking potential are highly regarded.
Rutgers-New Brunswick offers pretty much every degree program that you are likely to find at NYU, and more, for a lot less money. The university retained 92 percent of the freshman who entered in 2013 and graduated 59 percent of the undergraduates who entered in 2008 through 2010. This says a lot for New Jersey high schools. It is also better than most of the schools in the Big Ten..
Rutgers does not have the “spirit and sports” atmosphere of schools such as Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State. The university community will turn out for winning football and basketball teams, but it will avoid a loser. But Rutgers is also very well represented in the WNBA as well as the NFL. It has also produced Major League Baseball All-Star Todd Frazier, USA Soccer star Carli Lloyd as well as three members of the defensive backfield of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. .
The major impediments to true greatness at Rutgers have been money and the physical development of the campus around a bus system that’s forced to navigate through heavy traffic if you get on the wrong bus at the wrong time.
The university, including its sister campuses in Newark and Camden, has an endowment that only recently exceeded $1 billion stretched across three campuses with a medical school and a law school located on two. The University of Delaware, a popular choice of New Jersey’s college bound students, has neither a law school nor a medical school and half as many undergrads. Yet it has a larger endowment than Rutgers.
Unlike other Big Ten schools that have a contiguous campus, Rutgers-New Brunswick is separated by a river and a downtown business district. Campus bus rides are in every prospective student’s future. The university operates the second-largest public transportation system in New Jersey, after New Jersey Transit, which covers the whole state. Visit Penn State, a larger campus, and you’ll find out that you have to know only two bus routes, the Blue and the White. Rutgers is far harder to navigate. Downtown redevelopment in New Brunswick has made tremendous progress over the past two decades while the university has announced ambitious plans to make the campuses connect better together as well as become greener. But buses will remain a large part of campus life.
Rutgers is a great university with a diverse community in one of the best possible locations that a college can be, and it is a Big Ten school to boot. It takes more time to learn to navigate the campus than it does at other Big Ten schools. Those who can get used to the bus system and find the right campus neighborhood could have a very rewarding time at Rutgers and reap the benefits of a fine alumni network.
The Report Card for Rutgers-New Brunswick
- Four-Year/Six-Year Graduation Rates B+/A
- Freshman Retention: A
- Costs: B+
- Comforts: A
- Community: B+
- Curriculum: A
- Connections: A