Profile: New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)
The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is the Garden State’s Science and Technology University. It is fair to say that NJIT is very much like Georgia Tech, only without the football team and the Ramblin’ Wreck Ford Model A to drive onto the field. I had the opportunity to attend NJIT’s most recent School Counselor Appreciation Day to write a profile and also collected photos for a Pinterest page.
Like Georgia Tech, NJIT is based in an urban setting in a state’s largest city, offers academics in schools of Architecture and Design, Business, Computing Science, Arts and Sciences and Engineering. Also, like Georgia Tech, NJIT has very strong internship/co-op and honors programs. But NJIT is also a much smaller school than Georgia Tech in student body size (8,200 versus 13,600 undergraduates) and is far less selective (59 percent accepted vs. 32 percent).
NJIT has admitted better students over the past six years. The current freshman class had a mean SAT score of 1220, averaging 630 on the Math section of the test. The very best students, selected for the Dorman Honors College averaged a 1420. Among the freshmen who entered in 2016, 88 percent returned for their sophomore year. That’s quite good considering the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) focus of most of the students.
But also, like Georgia Tech, most NJIT students need five years to complete their degree program. There are some good reasons this happens: co-op/internship opportunities, accelerated Bachelors/Masters programs and a demanding Bachelor of Architecture program that takes five years to finish. But there are also bad reasons. Too many students struggle with the introductory coursework in Calculus, Chemistry and Physics that are required for entry into most of the majors.
NJIT is also less residential that other New Jersey schools that applicants consider including Rutgers-New Brunswick, Rowan University and The College of New Jersey, all of which offer STEM programs, including Engineering. While the Newark location has many assets, including the Prudential Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, easy access to New York City, only a quarter of the students live on campus. However, those admitted to the Honors College have a more tight-knit residence life experience as well as more personalized academics than they might have had at any of these schools. They were also likely to have received more generous scholarships, enough to make the very best engineering or architecture student pass on a more selective school such as Cooper Union or Georgia Tech.
An excellent New Jersey student who wants an inexpensive education in Architecture and Design or STEM will not find a better value for their money than NJIT. But a student who is less firmly committed to these disciplines, expects to need help with the introductory coursework or would prefer a more residential campus setting might want to look elsewhere.
Report Card: New Jersey Institute of Technology
- 4-year/6-year Graduation Rates: C/C
- Freshman Retention: B+
- Costs: B (residents)/B+ (non-residents)
- Curriculum: A
- Community: B
- Comforts: B
- Connections: A