ACT Scores for Admission to Four-Year New Jersey Colleges

A Side-by-Side Comparison of College Admissions Data for New Jersey

Princeton University Chapel. Lee Lilly / Flickr

If you're planning to use ACT scores to get into a New Jersey college or university, the table below can help you calculate which schools are on target for your credentials. New Jersey has some excellent options for both public and private institutions. The state's schools vary widely in size, mission, and personality. Admissions standards also differ greatly and range from some of the country's most selective colleges to others that accept the great majority of applicants.

ACT Scores for New Jersey Colleges (mid 50%)

Composite 25% Composite 75% English 25% English 75% Math 25% Math 75%
Caldwell University 17 22 16 22 16 23
Centenary College 17 22 15 22 16 22
College of New Jersey 25 30 25 30 25 30
Drew University - - - - - -
Fairleigh Dickinson - Florham - - - - - -
Fairleigh Dickinson - Metropolitan - - - - - -
Georgian Court University 17 24 16 24 16 25
Kean University 17 22 - - - -
Monmouth University 19 25 - - - -
Montclair State University - - - - - -
New Jersey City University - - - - - -
NJIT 25 30 23 32 25 31
Princeton University 32 35 34 36 30 35
Ramapo College 21 26 21 27 19 26
Rider University 20 25 20 25 18 24
Rowan University 20 27 20 27 21 27
Rutgers University, Camden 17 23 16 25 17 23
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 25 31 24 34 25 32
Rutgers University, Newark 19 24 18 24 18 25
Seton Hall University 24 28 23 29 22 27
Stevens Institute of Technology 30 33 30 35 28 34
Stockton University 18 25 17 25 17 24
William Paterson University 16 23 15 23 16 23

What These ACT Scores Mean

The table shows ACT scores for the middle 50% of matriculated students. If your scores fall within or above these ranges, you're on target for admission. If your scores are a little below the bottom number, don't panic—25% of enrolled students have scores below those listed.

As an example, at Rutgers University's main campus in New Brunswick, 50% of enrolled students had an ACT composite score between 25 and 31. This tells us that 25% had a score of 31 or higher, and another 25% had a score of 25 or lower. Clearly the higher your score, the better your chances of admission.

Note that Princeton University is so selective that being within or above the range in the table is by no means a guarantee of admission. As the Princeton University admissions profile reveals, plenty of students with near perfect ACT scores still get rejected. Ivy League schools should always be considered reach schools even if your GPA and standardized test scores are strong.

The SAT is much more popular than the ACT in New Jersey, but applicants are welcome to use either exam. To see how your SAT scores measure up, be sure to  view the SAT version of this table.

Holistic Admissions

Be sure to keep the ACT in perspective. It is just one part of your college applications, and a strong academic record with challenging courses will almost always carry more weight. Also, many of the schools in the table will look at non-numerical information and want to see a winning essay, meaningful extracurricular activities and good letters of recommendation. Factors such as legacy status and demonstrated interest can also make a difference.

Test-Optional Admissions

Over 1,000 colleges in the United States now have test-optional admissions, and the list includes several schools in the table above. If you're applying to Drew University or Montclair State University, you won't need to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of your admissions application. At Rider University, Stockton University, and William Paterson University, test scores are required only for specific programs. At Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kean University, and Rowan University, you'll need to submit test scores only if your GPA or class rank is below a specific threshold. 

Even if your college does not require test scores, you should submit them if they are strong—the admissions folks usually will consider them if you choose to share them. Also, it's possible that even if you don't need to submit scores for admission, the ACT or SAT will still be used for course placement, advising purposes, scholarship considerations, and NCAA reporting.

Data Source: The National Center for Education Statistics

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Grove, Allen. "ACT Scores for Admission to Four-Year New Jersey Colleges." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, Grove, Allen. (2020, August 25). ACT Scores for Admission to Four-Year New Jersey Colleges. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "ACT Scores for Admission to Four-Year New Jersey Colleges." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 1, 2023).