Since being founded in 1855 as the state’s first teacher training school, The College of New Jersey has grown into a comprehensive four-year public liberal arts institution. TCNJ is located on a beautiful 289-acre suburban campus in Ewing Township just outside of New Jersey’s capital city in Trenton. Each year, TCNJ enrolls more than 6,600 undergraduates and 650 post-graduates in its competitive programs. The College of New Jersey’s sophisticated facilities have taught notable alumni like author Holly Black, playwright Sheila Callaghan, and Governor James Florio. TCNJ has an average freshman retention rate of 94 percent, which indicates strong student satisfaction.
According to the U.S. News, TCNJ is the 3rd best regional college, 1st top public school, and 3rd best college for veterans with the 2nd best undergraduate teaching in the South. Forbes magazine has ranked The College of New Jersey as America’s 182nd best school overall. Consistently, the Princeton Review includes TCNJ in its list for “Best 380 Colleges” and “Colleges That Pay You Back.” Money magazine honored TCNJ for being the 71st best college in the United States in terms of affordability and educational quality. The College of New Jersey also made headlines in Bloomberg BusinessWeek for hosting the nation’s 63rd top undergraduate business programs.
The College of New Jersey Accreditation Details
At the institutional level, The College of New Jersey is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSCHE). This regional accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Many of TCNJ’s academic programs have also pursued discipline-specific accreditations. For example, business degrees meet the standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Music programs have the stamp of approval from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Chemistry degrees are accredited by the American Chemical Society and nursing programs are approved via the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).
The College of New Jersey Application Requirements
With an acceptance rate of 49 percent, The College of New Jersey has created a highly selective admissions process. Typically, only the most talented, motivated, and ambitious students can enroll. First-year freshmen must hold a state-approved high school diploma with at least 16 college-preparatory units. Most admitted students fall within the top 15 percent of their graduating class. Accepted undergraduates have an average high school GPA of 3.68. On average, students achieve a composite score of 1848 on the SAT and 28 on the ACT. The admissions committee also considers extra-curricular involvement and community participation.
Undergraduate transfers are welcomed into a competitive applicant pool only from accredited two-year or four-year institutions. Transfers must have earned at least 12 transferrable college credits with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Some academic majors may require a higher GPA. Those with less than 45 college credits must also submit their SAT or ACT scores. At the graduate level, individuals applying for enrollment must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. university or foreign equivalent. Having a minimum major GPA of 3.0 or above is required. GRE or GMAT scores, relevant work experience, and personal strengths will be weighed too.
From August 1st to February 1st, The College of New Jersey’s Office of Admissions accepts the Common Application form with the following:
• Payment for the $75 application fee
• Official, sealed academic transcripts
• College entrance exam scores
• Two to three letters of recommendation
• Personal essay statement
• Current resume or CV (optional)
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate students from New Jersey can expect to pay $7,733 in tuition and fees each semester. Non-resident undergraduates enrolling full-time will be billed $13,198 in tuition and fees per semester. Part-time students will pay $1,542 (in-state) or $3,087 (out-of-state) per unit taken. Graduate students living in New Jersey must budget $7,804 each semester for full-time tuition and fees. Out-of-state graduates enrolling full-time are charged $11,415 in tuition and fees every semester. Part-time graduate students must pay $876 (in-state) or $1,277 (out-of-state) per credit hour. Residential TCNJ students must afford an additional $8,621 per year for housing.
Around 82 percent of beginning full-time students at The College of New Jersey receive some form of financial assistance. After filing the FAFSA form, certain students could qualify for funding through the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Borrowing money via the Perkins, Stafford, Direct, and PLUS loans is possible, but should be limited. There’s also a TCNJ HELP loan available with no interest payments. In-state residents should pursue the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG), NJ Stars Scholarship, Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Grant, and Governor’s Urban Scholarship. Federal Work-Study (FWS) allows tuition funding to be earned. The Lion’s Pride Need-Based Scholarships also range from $2,000 to $10,000 each year.
The College of New Jersey follows a unique teaching model focused on free inquiry and open exchange, so hands-on learning opportunities are abundant. Its seven academic schools offer more than 50 liberal arts and professional programs. Some unique undergraduate majors include Interactive Multimedia, Urban Education, Criminology, International Studies, i-STEM, and Biomedical Engineering. There are also 29 graduate degrees, predominantly in education and nursing majors. TCNJ maintains a low student-faculty ratio of 13:1 to keep professors accessible and education individualized. More than 400 students study abroad annually in Thailand, Spain, South Africa, and more.
TCNJ’s pristine, tree-lined campus has 30 major buildings, including a state-of-the-art library, 20 computer labs, a large concert hall, and a fully equipped recreation and athletic complex. Around 60 percent of undergraduates live in the college’s 14 residence halls. Groundbreaking recently began on a 80,000-square foot Campus Town Complex to house Barnes & Noble and two to four-bedroom apartments. Dining options are diverse from Starbucks to the Rathskellar, where students can order the famous Kesselburger. Many students participate in the Student Live! event each year by putting on dance, music, and theater shows in the atrium.
The Office of Student Activities has over 180 official student-run organizations. Students can pick clubs based on their eclectic interests at the “LollaNoBooza” event each fall. Roughly 20 percent of TCNJ students belong to the 16 sororities, 12 fraternities, and two co-ed societies on-campus. The college’s newspaper, “The Signal,” has been printed since 1885 and has won literary awards almost annually. Athletes can play for the NCAA Division III teams, which compete in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. The College of New Jersey is perhaps most well-known for its wrestling team, which has five national championships.