Best Colleges in New Jersey

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Though New Jersey may be the fourth smallest state in the U.S., its postsecondary options are comprehensive and varied. As of 2013, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association reported that NJ was home to more than 372,000 students in public postsecondary schools alone. 67 colleges are based in the Garden State, ranging from public and private research universities to community colleges and religiously-affiliated institutions providing both two-year and four-year degrees. With so many factors to consider when selecting postsecondary education, choosing the right school can feel overwhelming. After crunching numbers and sifting data, we have applied our rigorous methodology to the latest education data to rank the best colleges in New Jersey, including the top four-year and two-year schools.

2016 Online Education Trends Report: Learn how online programs are changing the face of higher education.

Some of the most prestigious four-year universities are located in New Jersey, with students flocking from all 50 states and across the globe to study under world-class professors in historic yet state-of-the-art learning spaces. An IPEDs report found that close to 210,000 undergraduate and 38,000 graduate students take advantage of the many offerings in the state’s urban and rural locations.

Although New Jersey tuition rates for both public and private colleges are above the national average (NJ public tuition averages $11,955, compared to the national average of $8,070, while NJ private tuition averages $31,195, compared to the national average of $24,525), student debt does not necessarily follow suit. As of the 2012-13 academic year, 70% of students graduated with an average debt of $28,109, placing New Jersey 18th in terms of state-to-state student debt.

While two-year degrees propel graduates into some entry-level roles, studies show that individuals with a four-year degree earn close to $150,000 more throughout their careers, on average.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Location Description
1

Princeton University

 5/5N/APrinceton, NJ

campus-Princeton-University

The fourth oldest college in the United States, Princeton is one of the world’s most prestigious universities. The school sprawls over 500 scenic acres, serving approximately 5,300 students with a student:faculty ratio of 6:1. Students can study in one of 36 academic departments; the college maintains a 7.1% admission rate.

Princeton has earned the top spot in U.S. News & World Report’s university rankings in 14 of the last 16 years. Several Nobel laureates, Rhodes scholars, and National Medal of Science winners are and have been faculty members. Famous alumni include Presidents James Madison and Woodrow Wilson, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

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2

The College of New Jersey

 3/5N/AEwing, NJ

campus-the-college-of-new-jersey

Founded in 1855, TCNJ sits on a gorgeous 289-acre campus in Ewing Township. The college offers more than 50 liberal arts and professional programs through seven schools. The university’s retention and graduation rates are among the best in the state.

With an enrollment exceeding 7,000 students, TCNJ has an acceptance rate of 49% and a student:faculty ratio of 13:1. Nearly half of the student body receives financial aid. Notable alumni include James Florio, 49th governor of New Jersey, and children’s book author Holly Black.

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3

Rutgers University – New Brunswick

 3/5N/ANew Brunswick, NJ

campus-rutgers-university

Known as Queen’s College in 1766, the university changed its name to Rutgers in 1825. In 1869, Rutgers and Princeton played the first intercollegiate football game in New Brunswick. Rutgers is the eighth oldest college in the U.S. and has an enrollment of more than 32,000. Students can pursue a degree in a variety of undergraduate disciplines, along with 10 professional schools that train students for careers in everything from industrial and systems engineering to urban planning.

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4

Rutgers University – Newark

 3/5N/ANewark, NJ

campus-rutgers-university-newark

Founded in 1908, the university became a part of Rutgers in 1946. With an enrollment of over 12,000 students, the Newark campus is one New Jersey’s largest and most diverse schools. With 40 majors and over 50 graduate and professional programs, the university offers degrees in a variety of subjects, including geoscience engineering, environmental biology, neuroscience, international business, and nonprofit management, among others. Famous alumni include U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and philanthropist Raymond G. Chambers.

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5

Ramapo College of New Jersey

 3/5N/AMahwah, NJ

campus-ramapo-college-of-new-jersey

Founded in 1969, Ramapo is a public liberal arts college lying in the Ramapo Mountain foothills. Ramapo receives high marks for its campus housing, offering a variety of dorms and living spaces. The college has over 6,000 students and maintains a student:faculty ratio of 18:1. Students may choose from 539 courses and 36 academic programs, including professional training in nursing and social work.

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6

Rutgers University – Camden

 3/5N/ACamden, NJ

Rutgers-Camden was incepted as South Jersey Law School and the College of South Jersey in 1926, before becoming a part of Rutgers in 1950. The 47-acre campus is on the banks of the Camden waterfront. Nearly 5,000 students attend Rutgers-Newark, and the school maintains a 10:1 student:faculty ratio. Students can pursue 40 majors, 50 minors, and a variety of special programs in arts, sciences, and business.

Specialized training is available through Rutgers Law School, the School of Nursing, and the honors college. A doctoral program in childhood studies was the first of its kind in the U.S. Students are also encouraged to participate in the university’s popular study abroad program.

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7

Rowan University

 3/5N/AGlassboro, NJ

Located 20 minutes from Philadelphia in Glassboro, Rowan was founded in 1923 as a teacher’s college. Over the past 15 years the university has established itself as one of the top higher education institutions on the East Coast. Over 12,000 undergraduates attend Rowan and call the school’s 900 acre campus home.

Popular majors include law enforcement, homeland security, firefighting, education, business, and psychology. The student:faculty ratio is 17:1, and 60% of students receive financial aid. Notable alumni include singer Patti Smith and Atlantic City Mayor James L. Usry.

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8

Stockton University

 3/5N/AGalloway, NJ

Located in Galloway on a 2,000-acre campus in the beautiful New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, Stockton is a public college with an enrollment of nearly 9,000 students. Stockton’s environmental and marine studies programs are widely renowned as two of the top offerings in their respective disciplines. The campus also has a Holocaust Research Center, which was established to educate students and the public on issues stemming from racism, anti-Semitism, and oppression.

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9

Montclair State University

 3/5N/AMontclair, NJ

Founded in 1908, Montclair State offers more than 300 majors, minors, and certificate programs. The main campus sprawls over 500 acres, and the school has an enrollment of over 20,000 students, making it the second largest college in the state. Renowned for its commitment to diversity, Montclair State is LGBT-friendly and serves over 4,000 Latino students. The school was the first college in New Jersey to offer master’s degrees, and the first in the nation to broadcast an educational TV program.

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10

New Jersey City University

 3/5N/AJersey City, NJ

NJCU opened its doors in 1927 as a teacher’s college, and became a liberal arts university in 1968. With an enrollment of 8,500 students, the school has three colleges and offers 43 undergraduate and 29 graduate programs. Popular majors include national security, early childhood education, nursing, and music. It is the only college in the state that offers a bachelor’s degree in fire science.

Close proximity to New York City is an advantage for finance majors. Mentors from the recording industry and Broadway frequently interact with music and drama students. Famous architect Michael Graves designed the six-story arts and sciences building.

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11

Drew University

 5/5N/AMadison, NJ

First established in 1867 as a seminary, Drew now includes a college of liberal arts, theological school, and school of graduate studies. Located on a beautiful 186-acre campus in Madison, the university has an enrollment of 2,100 and a student:faculty ratio of 10:1. Drew offers more than 50 areas of study; popular majors include pre-law, pre-med, political science, sustainability, and psychology. Students are encouraged to study abroad, and can choose from 13 programs across five continents.

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12

Monmouth University

 5/5N/AWest Long Branch, NJ

Just an hour from New York City in West Long Branch, Monmouth’s 159-acre campus is home to 4,600 undergraduates. The school maintains a student:faculty ratio of 14:1. The university ranked in the Top 40 of Regional Universities North by U.S. News & World Report for three years running. Popular majors include software engineering, environmental biology, and homeland security. Notable alumni include Olympic gold medalist swimmer Wendy Boglioli, and Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brad Brach.

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13

College of Saint Elizabeth

 5/5N/AMorristown, NJ

Located in Morristown, this private school was one of the first Catholic colleges in the country to award degrees to women. With an enrollment of 895 undergraduates, the College of Saint Elizabeth is one of the smallest four-year schools in the state. It has an acceptance rate of 57% and 89% of students receive financial aid. Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, the school will admit men as full-time students.

Saint Elizabeth offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs, along with professional certification and certificate programs. Popular majors include registered nursing, legal studies, business administration, dietetics, and psychology. Students can also pursue two religiously themed majors.

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14

Seton Hall University

 5/5N/ASouth Orange, NJ

A Catholic university, Seton Hall is one of the larger schools in New Jersey. SHU is located on a 58-acre campus in South Orange, and educates over 10,000 students. The college offers more than 90 degrees across 11 schools, and has a student:faculty ratio of 14:1. Seton Hall is famous for its variety of business programs, and the health care law degree is one of the top rated programs of its kind. The Pirates, who compete in the Big East conference, also boast one of the most successful athletic programs in the region.

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15

Georgian Court University

 4/5N/ALakewood, NJ

Founded in 1908 by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court was a women’s college for over 100 years, before admitting men in 2013. Located on a 156-acre estate in Lakewood, the campus has been designated a National Historic Landmark. This private Catholic school offers small class sizes and a comfortable, safe atmosphere for students from all backgrounds. Women compose nearly 80% of the student body. Popular majors include graphic design & digital media, health information management, allied health technology, computer information systems, and criminal justice.

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16

Saint Peter’s University

 5/5N/AJersey City, NJ

The only Jesuit college in New Jersey, Saint Peter’s educates 2,500 students. Standing on 25 acres in Jersey City, the college was founded in 1872 and offers lower tuition than you will find at most Jesuit schools.

Students can study in one of Saint Peter’s 48 undergraduate majors. The college also offers an honors program, study abroad opportunities, and joint professional degree programs in law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and health related programs. Popular majors include business, law enforcement, and social sciences.

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17

Caldwell College

 4/5N/ACaldwell, NJ

Originating in 1939 as Caldwell College for Women, this Catholic liberal arts school attained university status in 2014. Located in Caldwell, 20 miles from New York City, the university has an enrollment of 1,595. It offers 29 undergraduate and 24 graduate programs, along with certificate courses. Additionally, Caldwell’s center for autism and applied behavior analysis trains students, conducts research, and provides services to people with autism spectrum disorders. Notable alumni include Orange Is The New Black actress Beth Fowler and Mary Jo Codey, New Jersey’s First Lady.

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18

Rider University

 5/5N/ALawrenceville, NJ

Established in 1865 as Trenton Business College, Rider merged with Westminster Choir College and attained university status in 1994. The main campus is in Lawrenceville, and the school maintains a satellite in Princeton.

With an enrollment of 4,300 undergraduate and nearly a thousand graduate students from more than 43 states and 82 countries, Rider has a diverse population. Students can pursue one of 70 undergraduate or 35 graduate programs. Popular majors include allied health studies, criminal justice, environmental sciences, digital media and entrepreneurial studies. Certificate programs include business analytics, life and career coaching, and investment analysis.

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19

Kean University

 3/5N/AUnion, NJ

Kean’s main campus is home to the National Historic Landmark Liberty Hall Museum and a number of historic buildings. With a growing enrollment of over 15,000, the university has a student:faculty ratio of 17:1. Students have a choice of 52 undergraduate majors and 35 graduate degrees. Famous for graduating the most teachers of any college in the state, Kean established the New Jersey Center for Science Technology and Mathematics to train a new generation of teachers in STEM courses. The university also operates a campus in Wenzhou, China.

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20

William Paterson University of New Jersey

 3/5N/AWayne, NJ

William Paterson is the second oldest of the nine state colleges in New Jersey. Located in Wayne, WPU’s 370-acre campus is adjacent to 1,200 acres of hiking trails, and the school is just three miles from Great Falls National Historic Park.

Students may choose from 52 degrees offered by five colleges. Pre-professional degrees in medicine, engineering, law, pharmacy, and speech pathology are offered along with several certificate programs. The number of students pursuing earth science and environmental sustainability programs has increased by 40% in the last six years.

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21

Centenary College

 5/5N/AHackettstown, NJ

Centenary was the first college in New Jersey to make community service a graduation requirement. With an enrollment of 1,600, the college offers small classes, individualized attention, and opportunities to participate in study abroad programs and internships.

Along with its main 42-acre main campus in Hackettstown, Centenary also has learning centers in Parsippany and Edison. The college offers 49 bachelor’s degrees, and a variety of master’s programs, including degrees in health care administration, education, counseling, business, and public administration.

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22

Bloomfield College

 4/5N/ABloomfield, NJ

Founded in 1868 by the Presbyterian Church, Bloomfield has retained its religious roots. Conveniently located 15 miles from Manhattan, the college also offers close proximity to the Meadowlands Sports Complex, the Jersey shore, and ski areas. With an enrollment of 2,000 and a 16:1 student:faculty ratio, the college offers students an intimate campus atmosphere with small classes and plenty of individualized attention. Bloomfield offers traditional liberal arts majors, along with popular programs in health and allied professions, social services, business, and the visual and performing arts.

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23

Felician College

 4/5N/ALodi, NJ

Felician is the only Franciscan university in New Jersey and one of just 20 in the United States. Founded in 1942, the university has campuses in Lodi and Rutherford. Students may take classes in any of the school’s 55 programs. Popular majors include education, business, computer science, and criminal justice.

The university also offers graduate degrees, including a master’s degree in nursing, a doctorate in nursing practice, and a joint BS degree in psychiatric rehabilitation and psychology. Accelerated nursing and nurse practitioner programs are also available.

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Known as county schools, New Jersey boasts 19 community colleges with over 60 campuses spread throughout the state. Students attending these institutions account for nearly half the overall student population, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Of these 161,000 students, enrollment is split evenly between part-time and full-time study.

County schools are a great option for students looking to lessen the burden of student debt typically incurred at a four-year institution. Many have partnerships or Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP) agreements, with a number of four-year schools allowing students to make seamless transitions to a bachelor’s degree program.

A report by the Community College Research Center found that for students who complete an associate degree before moving into a bachelor’s program, the economic benefit totals almost $50,000 over 20 years. With New Jersey being ranked the fifth most expensive state in America, those extra funds can go a long way.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Location Description
1

Assumption College for Sisters

 2/5N/AMendham, NJ

campus-assumption-college-for-sisters

The only sister formation college in the country, Assumption College for Sisters is open to Catholic women. It is sponsored by the Sisters of Christian Charity and prepares students for service in the Catholic Church. Students at ACS can choose between two degrees—the associate in arts and the associate in religious art—and a certificate in theological studies. ACS is one of the most diverse colleges in New Jersey, and the student body includes enrollees from several developing nations.

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2

County College of Morris

 2/5N/ARandolph, NJ

campus-county-college-of-morris

County College of Morris offers students a range of programs with more than 50 associate degrees and 25 certificates available. These programs include both traditional fields of study and more unique degrees, such as game development, turf and turfgrass management and electronic music. In addition to the diversity of academic programs, students at CCM are offered extensive extra-curricular opportunities. As one of the biggest community colleges in New Jersey, CCM boasts several varsity sports teams and more than 45 student-run organizations to encourage students to get involved and feel at home on campus.

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3

Salem Community College

 1/5N/ACarneys Point, NJ

campus-salem-community-college

The only college in Salem County, SCC offers more than 40 programs of study. In addition to its main campus, SCC has multiple off-site instructional locations. The school offers programs in glass art and scientific glass technology, and is the only college in New Jersey to do so. The Energy Institute, an affiliated instructional partner of SCC’s, provides energy management certifications and an associate degree in green technology.

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4

Brookdale Community College

 2/5N/ALincroft, NJ

campus-brookdale-community-college

Brookdale Community College stands out among New Jersey colleges for providing an array of services to their student body. In addition to its 70 plus academic programs, Brookdale offers a Language Bank for faculty and students who need translation services, and a Women in Learning and Leadership Program that empowers women students.

Acclaimed fantasy and science fiction author and Edgar Allan Poe Award recipient Jeffrey Ford serves on the faculty for the Department of English at BCC. The college’s famous alumni include filmmaker and actor Kevin Smith and news anchor Brian Williams.

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5

Raritan Valley Community College

 1/5N/ABranchburg, NJ

campus-raritan-valley-community-college

With small class sizes, a multitude of internship opportunities, and rigorous honors courses, RVCC is one of the best two-year colleges in New Jersey. RVCC is particularly renowned for its Service Learning Program, which has garnered national recognition from the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Higher Education.

RVCC is home to the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Resource Center, and the Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Social Justice; the institute inspires communal harmony and cultural awareness through various programs and educational opportunities.

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6

Warren County Community College

 1/5N/AWashington, NJ

WCCC prepares students for careers and four-year degrees alike. WCCC recently expanded its program offerings to fit the needs of residents and local businesses. Additionally, the college supports the county by encouraging emerging businesses through its small business growth center and boot camp. Warren also offers the VIPER program, which helps post-9/11 veterans earn their degree. Serving under 2,000 students, WCCC is one of the smallest community colleges in New Jersey.

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7

Mercer County Community College

 1/5N/AWest Windsor, NJ

Mercer County Community College serves a diverse student body in West Windsor, along with its new campus in downtown Trenton; students may also take courses online. International students are encouraged to apply to MCCC, where they’ll be classmates with people from more than 100 countries.

MCC offers more than 100 degree and credit certificate programs, including innovative offerings in aviation customer relations, ornamental horticulture, and culinology. Once students have completed their associate degree, the University Center provides MCCC graduates with the opportunity to continue their studies at the West Windsor Campus, where they can complete a bachelor’s degree through one of four four-year New Jersey colleges.

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8

Ocean County College

 1/5N/AToms River, NJ

One of the most picturesque colleges in New Jersey, Ocean County College lies on 275 acres in the coastal town of Toms River. State-of-the-art facilities on campus include a new center for the arts and a large planetarium.

OCC is devoted to global education, offering several study abroad opportunities and a plethora of world language courses. Additionally, their Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights increases awareness about crimes against humanity. The Center for Middle Eastern Studies helps students enhance their understanding of the region’s politics and culture.

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9

Middlesex County College

 2/5N/AEdison, NJ

Middlesex County College sends more transfer students to Rutgers University and Kean University than any other two-year college in New Jersey. MCC’s alumni include TV writer and radio host Tom Scharpling, actor Danny Pintauro, comedian Jim Norton, and longstanding mayor of New Brunswick James Cahill. The school’s Veterans Service Center has received national recognition for its outstanding service. Additionally, MCC is the only two-year college in the state to employ an on-campus VetSuccess counselor.

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10

Sussex County Community College

 2/5N/ANewton, NJ

Surrounded by hills, forests, and ponds, Sussex County Community College has one of the most beautiful campuses among all New Jersey colleges. Students can build upon their associate degree, combining residential courses with material from bachelor’s programs at Felician University and a master’s program from Seton Hall University. Students interested in earning a bachelor’s can pursue business, criminal justice, education, and nursing degrees through this program.

SCCC implements a college novel program each year, and encourages all students to read the selected book and attend related activities, discussions, and guest lectures. This program is designed to use reading as a way to improve students’ critical thinking skills, global awareness, and multicultural understanding. This year’s novel is Orphan Train by Christina baker Kline.

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11

Rowan College at Gloucester County

 1/5N/ASewell, NJ

In collaboration with Rowan University, Rowan College at Gloucester County offers 50 associate programs and five certificates to prepare students for four-year degrees and professional careers. Additionally, RCGC offers alternative programs, including police and fire academies and continuing education opportunities.

RCGC also boasts an outstanding sports history, and has one of the top athletic programs among two-year colleges in New Jersey. The Roadrunners compete in 14 varsity sports and have won more than 100 national championships.

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12

Bergen Community College

 2/5N/AParamus, NJ

In addition to Bergen’s main campus in Paramus, students have the opportunity to take classes on satellite campuses. They can pursue degree options at Bergen at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst, or enroll in ESL, job training, or a variety of other programs in Hackensack.

BCC’s Center for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation honors victims of the Armenian genocide. The center works with local and global communities to increase awareness of ethnic violence through educational initiatives, galleries, and dialogues. Alongside, the school helps students develop conflict resolution skills.

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13

Cumberland County College

 1/5N/AVineland, NJ

In 1966, Cumberland County College became the first community college in New Jersey to open its own campus. CCC helps students acclimate to campus life by hosting several events throughout the year, including a Fall Fest, Thanksgiving Adopt-A-Family, and Spring Fling. Student-run organizations range from academic groups and honor societies to more unique clubs focusing on ceramics, fencing, and more.

CCC’s many university partnerships allow students to complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees on campus. Through these partnerships, students can pursue their degree on campus or online.

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14

Rowan College at Burlington County

 1/5N/APemberton, NJ

Rowan at Burlington is home to a diverse selection of degree and certificate programs, including alternative energy technologies and technical fashion design. RCBC graduates can continue studying through Rowan University without paying application fees. They will also receive discounted tuition for courses taken online or at the Mt. Laurel campus; students meeting minimum GPA requirements will be automatically admitted.

RCBC’s Culinary Arts Center is one of the most impressive facilities of its kind among two-year colleges in New Jersey. The center and its student-run restaurant, Vaulted Cuisine, helps prepare and train students in RCBC’s many culinary and hospitality management programs.

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15

Atlantic Cape Community College

 2/5N/AMays Landing, NJ

ACCC’s nationally recognized programs include an Academy of Culinary Arts—which instructs more students than any of the other New Jersey colleges—and the Casino Career Institute, which trains prospective casino employees. ACCC’s associate program in Aviation Studies allows students to get started on their bachelor’s degree, and pursue professional pilot or professional helicopter pilot options.

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16

Union County College

 2/5N/ACranford, NJ

Open since 1933, UCC is the oldest county college in New Jersey. The school has four major campuses—in Cranford, Elizabeth, Plainfield and Scotch Plains—and offers more than 75 degree and certificate programs to its students.

Each year, UCC’s Institute for Intensive English teaches more than 2,000 ESL students, who hail from 80 countries and speak 40 different languages. Depending on their English ability, students may be able to take additional courses at UCC while enrolled in the English for Academic Purposes program.

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17

Passaic County Community College

 1/5N/APaterson, NJ

Passaic County Community College offers some of the most technologically advanced facilities in the state. The college has four state-of-the-art campuses, located in Paterson, Wanaque, Passaic, and Wayne. Students can choose from more than 60 degree and career programs and participate in clubs organized for students interested in mixed martial arts, modern visual culture, creative writing, and much more.

The Paterson campus is home to the Poetry Center, founded by poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan in 1980. Through the Poetry Center, PCCC has hosted thousands of nationally and internationally acclaimed poets for readings, workshops, and literary contests.

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18

Essex County College

 2/5N/ANewark, NJ

ECC is one of the most affordable and diverse colleges in New Jersey. In addition to campuses in Newark and West Caldwell, ECC operates the Public Safety Academy in Cedar Grove; the academy trains students interested in a career in criminal justice.

ECC has been federally designated as a Predominantly Black Institution, as well as a Hispanic Serving Institution. The school offers multicultural clubs for African, Caribbean, Dominican, and Haitian students. Additionally, ECC’s Africana Institute encourages students to examine the experiences of people of African descent from around the world through cultural, social, and academic events.

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19

Camden County College

 1/5N/ABlackwood, NJ

Camden County College has campuses in Blackwood, Camden, and Cherry Hill. The college’s green initiative works to support sustainable energy efforts on all campuses through high-efficiency LED lighting, a new campus greenhouse, campus-wide recycling, and discounted public transportation.

CCC offers more than 140 degree and certificate programs, including Automotive Technology and Veterinary Technology. CCC’s workforce training programs prepare students for careers in manufacturing, teaching, and construction. The school also has a number of technologically advanced programs, video game design and development and laser and electro-optic and fiber optic technology programs.

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20

Hudson County Community College

 2/5N/AJersey City, NJ

With campuses near New York City, Hudson County Community College is one of the most conveniently located colleges in New Jersey. HCCC’s student body reflects the diversity of the region; over half of the students have Hispanic heritage, and the school has welcomed students from over 100 countries.

HCCC’s Culinary Arts Institute has been accredited by the American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission, and offers programs varying from one-semester certificates to associate degrees. Students learn in a center with state-of-the-art kitchens and classrooms, an ice-sculpting studio, a mock-hotel suite, and an extensive cookbook library.

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If you’re thinking about applying to one of the best colleges in New Jersey, continuing reading to learn more about living in the Garden State.

Attending college in New Jersey can be an exciting undertaking, not only because the state offers so many cultural, social and historic amenities, but also for its proximity to other major cities. Public transportation between New Jersey and New York City is extensive and frequent, and other services can easily take students to locations throughout the New England area. Whether living on a stretch of the state’s 130-mile coast line or enjoying the urban setting of Newark, there are terrains and paces of life suited to every student.

All of these benefits do come with a price tag: on-campus students at Rutgers University pay an additional $11,710 per academic year for room and board, while an off-campus room in the area can range from $569 to $1122, according to a 2015 estimate.

Regional Spotlight: Central New Jersey

  • Major Cities: New Brunswick, Trenton, Middletown, Woodbridge, Middlesex
  • Attractions: Six Flags Great Adventure, Jersey Shore, Monmouth Park Racetrack, Gateway National Recreation Area
  • Cost of Living: Middlesex
  • Popular Schools: Rutgers-New Brunswick, Princeton University Monmouth University, The College of New Jersey

Regional Spotlight: North New Jersey

  • Major Cities: Newark, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Paterson
  • Attractions: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Prudential Center, Ellis Island, Liberty State Park
  • Cost of Living: Newark
  • Popular Schools: Berkeley, Montclair State University, Rutgers, University of North New Jersey