Top New Jersey Colleges

14 of the Best Colleges and Universities in New Jersey

New Jersey has wide ranging options for higher education. Princeton is the most prestigious of the group, but the list includes public, private, large, small, women's and Catholic institutions. The 14 top New Jersey colleges listed below vary so much in size and type of school that I have simply listed them alphabetically rather than force them into any sort of artificial ranking. The schools were chosen based on a variety of factors such as academic reputation, curricular innovations, first-year retention rates, graduation rates, selectivity, financial aid and student engagement.

I always caution students to recognize the limitations of any college ranking system. The criteria I use to select the "top" schools may have very little to do with the criteria that would make a college a good match for you. Make sure you choose an institution that is a good match for your career goals, academic and extracurricular interests, and personality.

Compare Top New Jersey Colleges: New Jersey SAT Comparison Table

Will You Get In? See if you have the grades and test scores you need to get into any of the top New Jersey colleges with this free tool from Cappex: Calculate Your Chances for Top New Jersey Colleges

The College of New Jersey
The College of New Jersey. Tcnjlion / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Ewing, New Jersey
  • Enrollment: 7,406 (6,758 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: one of the top public liberal arts colleges in the country; easy train access to Philadelphia and New York City; over 50 degree programs; high retention and graduation rates; excellent value; 13 to 1 student to faculty ratio
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit The College of New Jersey profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for TCNJ Admissions
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Brothers College at Drew University
Brothers College at Drew University. Jim.henderson / Wikimedia Commons / CC 1.0
  • Location: Madison, New Jersey
  • Enrollment: 2,082 (1,450 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: small private university with a liberal arts focus
  • Distinctions: impressive 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio and an average class size of about 20;  chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; close proximity to New York City; high four-year graduation rate
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Drew University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Drew Admissions
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Woodrow Wilson Hall at Monmouth University
Woodrow Wilson Hall at Monmouth University. Zeete / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Location: Long Branch, New Jersey
  • Enrollment: 6,394 (4,693 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private comprehensive university
  • Distinctions: six colleges and strong professional programs; 14 to 1 student / faculty ratio; located just one mile from the shore; Honors School for high-achieving students; member of the NCAA Division I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Monmouth University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Monmouth Admissions
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NJIT, New Jersey Institute of Technology
NJIT, New Jersey Institute of Technology. Romer Jed Medina / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
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Princeton University
Princeton University. Allen Grove
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Ramapo College Arch
Ramapo College Arch. Daniellek0512 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Location: Mahwah, New Jersey
  • Enrollment: 6,026 (5,661 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: average class size of 23; 40 academic programs; interdisciplinary academic structure; highly rated among master's-level colleges in the North; many new facilities; easy access to New York City; good value
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Ramapo College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Ramapo Admissions
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North Hall at Rider University
North Hall at Rider University. David Keddie / Flickr / CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Location: Lawrenceville, New Jersey
  • Enrollment: 5,069 (4,172 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: comprehensive private university
  • Distinctions: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; 60 degree programs across four academic colleges; easy access to New York City and Philadelphia; strong business programs; member of the NCAA Division I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Rider University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Rider Admissions
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Rowan University Bunce Hall
Rowan University Bunce Hall. Jason Howie / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
  • Location: Glassboro, New Jersey
  • Enrollment: 16,155 (13,169 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: comprehensive public university
  • Distinctions: average class size of 20; 18 to 1 student / faculty ratio; 87 undergraduate majors across eight academic colleges; strong music education and business administration programs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Rowan University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Rowan Admissions
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Cooper Library at Rutgers Camden
Cooper Library at Rutgers Camden. Peter Bond / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
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Rutgers University Football
Rutgers University Football. Ted Kerwin / Flickr
  • Location: New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Enrollment: 49,428 (35,484 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: comprehensive public university
  • Distinctions: flagship campus of the Rutgers system; 15 to 1 student / faculty ratio; ranks highly among national public universities; many strong graduate programs; easy access to New York City and Philadelphia; Scarlet Knights compete in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Rutgers-New Brunswick profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Rutgers-New Brunswick Admissions
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The Golden Dome Athletic Center at Rutgers Newark
The Golden Dome Athletic Center at Rutgers Newark. Kai Schreiber / Flickr
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Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University. Joe829er / Wikimedia Commons
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Edwin Stevens Hall, Hoboken
Stevens Institute of Technology. Barry Winiker / Getty Images
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Stockton University's Carnegie Library in Atlantic City
Stockton University's Carnegie Library in Atlantic City. Jay Reed / Flickr
  • Location: Galloway, New Jersey
  • Enrollment: 8,674 (7,808 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public liberal arts university
  • Distinctions: highly ranked among public master's universities in the North; strong environmental studies and marine science programs; 1,600-acre campus features an art gallery, observatory, a large outdoor research lab, and a laboratory, field station and marina for marine science; good value
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Stockton University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Richard Stockton Admissions
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Calculate Your Chances of Being Admitted
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