Updated Profile: Rutgers-New Brunswick
Rutgers-New Brunswick, my undergraduate alma mater, was the first school that I profiled for Educated Quest. As an alumnus and Central New Jersey resident, I feel obligated to update my profile of the university and add photos on Pinterest. I have one Pinterest page compiled by me, and another by Rutgers community members. Rutgers is also quite transparent at providing data about admissions by school for the current freshman class.
One of the best, and most diverse, flagship state universities in our country, Rutgers-New Brunswick offers everything that any college student could hope from a Big Ten university, plus access by train into New York City. There are more clubs, organizations, housing options, academic opportunities and events than anyone could possibly engage over four years. The university has more than 500,000 living alumni as well as very supportive alumni relations and career development services. But there is also the “bigness” of a big school with more than 30,000 undergraduates. It will be difficult to avoid large classes in virtually any academic program over the first two years of an education.
Rutgers is the second-largest campus in the Big Ten after Penn State-University Park. I’ve been to both campuses. Rutgers will feel less crowded not only because it has fewer students on campus, but also because mastery of a campus bus system will be a more important part of the educational experience. Rutgers-New Brunswick is not one campus, but five, separated by a river, a state highway and a downtown city center.
Prospective students should visit Rutgers at least twice, once before applying, then again before depositing if they get in. Take the tour on the bus from the Visitor’s Center, then drive down to check out the campus you like most after you get back, after you speak with the student ambassadors. Each neighborhood of Rutgers-New Brunswick has its own housing options and personality. Success at this school may depend on choosing wisely.
While Rutgers is in the Big Ten, it does not have the “spirit and sports” vibe that you would feel each year at Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State. I’m not the least worried about spirit if Rutgers ever wins a Big Ten title in football. I was a football season ticket holder for 12 years. I saw the Scarlet Knights win many games when they played in the former Big East Conference—and the students showed up. In 2006, they camped out for tickets after the team won its first eight games and was ranked sixth in the polls. But the students do not come out when the team loses. The students at Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State will come out no matter how well, or poorly their football team is playing, and they support other teams on campus, too.
Rutgers might not be as “spirit and sports” as other Big Ten schools, nor as “urban” as NYU or Penn. But if someone tells you that it is one of the best large universities in our country, don’t argue.
Report Card: Rutgers University-New Brunswick
- Four-Year/Six-Year Graduation Rates: A/A
- Freshman Retention: A
- Costs: B+
- Curriculum: A
- Community: B+
- Comforts: A
- Connections: A
Need help in preparing your college list or making your final choices? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 609-406-0062.