2022 Top Public Colleges and Universities in New Jersey

Public colleges and universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it’s not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public institutions also rank highly among the best colleges and universities in many states, New Jersey included.

Public colleges and universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

2022 Best Public Colleges and Universities in New Jersey

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

This site is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Showing 30 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Rutgers University-New Brunswick

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    84%

    Enrollment

    50,411

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12230

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29012

    Located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers University-New Brunswick often ranks among the best schools. The institution offers a variety of degree-granting programs. Academic and technical programs help learners reach their unique professional goals. Learners can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree. The school holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #2

    The College of New Jersey

    Ewing, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    86%

    Enrollment

    7,783

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13239

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $25217

    From its campus in Ewing, New Jersey, The College of New Jersey offers programs as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The College of New Jersey holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    Thomas Edison State University

    Trenton, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    10,495

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $7182

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9342

    From its New Jersey campus, Thomas Edison State University offers 81 degree-granting programs. Students choose from rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 20-to-1. Data on the amount of aid students receive per year on average is unavailable. If empty, omit or use negative variant The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps students enter the workforce. The school offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies.

    #4

    Ramapo College of New Jersey

    Mahwah, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    72%

    Enrollment

    6,042

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12414

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $22157

    Ramapo College of New Jersey, located in Mahwah, New Jersey, grants degrees and certificates as a public institution. Learners study with experts in many different fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program often enter the workforce right away. The cost per credit is unknown. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 78% of students receive aid, and 48% receive loans. The public institution reports a 72% graduation rate. Hopeful students can expect admission rates of 67%. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. Ramapo College of New Jersey has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #5

    Stockton University

    Galloway, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    74%

    Enrollment

    9,893

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12245

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19679

    Stockton University, located in Galloway, New Jersey, grants degrees as a public institution. Learners learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. At the institution, 91% of students receive aid and 63% receive loans. The school reports a graduation rate of 74%. The admission rate is 77% for incoming students. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Stockton University has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #6

    New Jersey Institute of Technology

    Newark, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    70%

    Enrollment

    11,652

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $14448

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30160

    New Jersey Institute of Technology, which operates a campus in Newark, New Jersey, often ranks as one of the best colleges. The college offers multiple degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Generally, it takes two years to complete an associate degree, four years to complete a bachelor's degree, 1-2 years for a master's degree, or 3-7 years for a doctoral degree. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Learners also use financial aid to pay for their college degree. The school holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #7

    Montclair State University

    Montclair, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    68%

    Enrollment

    21,005

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12082

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20042

    From its campus in Montclair, New Jersey, Montclair State University enrolls learners in 194 programs. The institution's programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. According to the school, 82% of students receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 68% graduation rate. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. The school offers experiential learning in the form of internships, research opportunities, and practicums. The admission rate for new students is 83%. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions.

    #8

    County College of Morris

    Randolph, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    6,697

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8640

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12420

    A public institution, County College of Morris enrolls students on its campus in Randolph, New Jersey. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at this accredited school also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #9

    Rutgers University-Newark

    Newark, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    13,231

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12230

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29012

    From its campus in Newark, New Jersey, Rutgers University-Newark enrolls students in 112 programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 15-to-1. According to the institution, 85% of students receive some form of financial aid. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 65%. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. The school offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. Prospective learners can expect admission rates of 74%. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission.

    #10

    Warren County Community College

    Washington, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    3,251

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5100

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5700

    A public institution located in Washington, New Jersey, Warren County Community College educates students through multiple programs. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school reports that students receive an average aid award of $6319, making the average tuition cost after aid $4661. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Warren County Community College holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #11

    Rowan University

    Glassboro, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    68%

    Enrollment

    19,678

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9573

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $18605

    Located in Glassboro, New Jersey, Rowan University grants degrees as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Bachelor's programs educate students with lower-division and upper-division coursework. Bachelor's programs also incorporate general education coursework. Upper-division credits focus on various concepts in the major. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #12

    Salem Community College

    Carneys Point, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    44%

    Enrollment

    865

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6360

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8850

    From its campus in New Jersey, Salem Community College enrolls students in 43 programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 15-to-1. The institution reports that of its total enrollees, 77% receive financial aid. The school reports a 44% graduation rate for its programs. The institution understands that hands-on experience makes graduates more competitive in the job market. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements.

    #13

    Raritan Valley Community College

    Branchburg, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    27%

    Enrollment

    7,080

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5472

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5472

    From its New Jersey campus, Raritan Valley Community College offers 82 academic programs. Learners benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 19-to-1. According to the institution, 52% of enrollees receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 27% graduation rate. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #14

    Union County College

    Cranford, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    8,298

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10562

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10562

    Located in Cranford, New Jersey, Union County College educates students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. Students complete coursework to prepare them for advanced roles. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. Union County College has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #15

    Middlesex County College

    Edison, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    26%

    Enrollment

    10,084

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5568

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5568

    From its campus in Edison, New Jersey, Middlesex County College enrolls students as a public institution. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. These policies make it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #16

    Cumberland County College

    Vineland, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    2,651

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4080

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4080

    Cumberland County College, located in Vineland, New Jersey, enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing the program's coursework. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Cumberland County College holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #17

    Ocean County College

    Toms River, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    7,480

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5790

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8100

    A top-ranked school, Ocean County College enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Toms River, New Jersey. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Completing a program can take anywhere from a few months to seven years depending on degree or certificate type and whether the student chooses part-time or full-time enrollment. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. This makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides more information about the application process. At the accredited institution, students also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. The school holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #18

    Brookdale Community College

    Lincroft, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    29%

    Enrollment

    10,438

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7605

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8355

    From its campus in Lincroft, New Jersey, Brookdale Community College offers programs as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Brookdale Community College holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #19

    Rowan College at Burlington County

    Mount Laurel, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    28%

    Enrollment

    7,316

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3806

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5548

    Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Rowan College at Burlington County often ranks among the best schools. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Academic and technical programs help learners reach their unique professional goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree or certificate. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #20

    Sussex County Community College

    Newton, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    2,190

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5040

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6720

    Sussex County Community College, which offers programs from its Newton, New Jersey campus, often ranks among the top schools. Students take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help students reach a variety of career goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department can provide additional resources on applying. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree or certificate. Sussex County Community College has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #21

    Rutgers University-Camden

    Camden, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    7,076

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12230

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $28466

    From its campus in New Jersey, Rutgers University-Camden enrolls students in 87 programs. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The institution reports that 99% of students receive some form of financial aid. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 65%. Students should explore how workplace experience makes them more competitive employee candidates. Learners benefit from internships, research opportunities, and other forms of service learning. The admission rate is 76% for incoming students. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option.

    #22

    Rowan College of South Jersey Gloucester Campus

    Sewell, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    6,369

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4080

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4080

    A public institution in Sewell, New Jersey, Rowan College of South Jersey Gloucester Campus offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 75% of students receive financial aid and 42% take out loans. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 34%. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. Rowan College of South Jersey Gloucester Campus has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #23

    Mercer County Community College

    West Windsor, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    19%

    Enrollment

    6,342

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4608

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6900

    Mercer County Community College offers programs from its campus in West Windsor, New Jersey. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Consult the institution's website to find information on the typical timeline for program completion. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help prospective students complete their application. Financial aid provides options for degree-seekers to pay for their education. Mercer County Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #24

    Kean University

    Union, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    14,064

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10445

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17621

    Kean University, located in Union, New Jersey, enrolls students as a public institution. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division requirements. Undergraduates also complete general education courses. In upper-division classes, degree-seekers learn advanced concepts in their major. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Kean University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    #25

    Bergen Community College

    Paramus, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    22%

    Enrollment

    11,409

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7224

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7602

    From its Paramus, New Jersey campus, Bergen Community College offers 73 program options for students. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 20-to-1. A total of 66% of students receive some form of financial aid. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 22%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #26

    Camden County College

    Blackwood, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    21%

    Enrollment

    8,122

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3570

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3570

    From its campus in Blackwood, New Jersey, Camden County College awards degrees and certificates as a public institution. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. A total of 71% of students receive financial aid and 11% take out loans at the school. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 21%. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Camden County College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #27

    William Paterson University of New Jersey

    Wayne, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    9,635

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13638

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $22204

    William Paterson University of New Jersey, located in Wayne, New Jersey, offers 112 programs for students. Students choose from rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. According to the institution, the student-to-faculty ratio stands at 13-to-1. At the institution, 90% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 56%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. As a result, the institution offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. Hopeful learners can expect admission rates of 81%. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants.

    #28

    Atlantic Cape Community College

    Mays Landing, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    20%

    Enrollment

    4,464

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5883

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7383

    From its campus in Mays Landing, New Jersey, Atlantic Cape Community College offers academic programs as a public institution. The school's programs help graduates launch or advance professional careers. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Enrollees receive an average aid award of $6003, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $9333. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Atlantic Cape Community College holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    #29

    Hudson County Community College

    Jersey City, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    14%

    Enrollment

    7,039

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7152

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10560

    From its New Jersey campus, Hudson County Community College offers 52 academic programs. Learners benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. According to the institution, the student-to-faculty ratio stands at 24-to-1. The school reports that 83% of students receive financial aid. The public institution reports a 14% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #30

    Passaic County Community College

    Paterson, NJ

    Graduation Rate

    17%

    Enrollment

    5,549

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7260

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9300

    From its campus in Paterson, New Jersey, Passaic County Community College educates students as a public institution. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution reports that students receive an average aid award of $6233, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $8720. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, enrollees complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Passaic County Community College holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.

    Why Choose a Public College or University in New Jersey?

    There are 32 public colleges and universities in New Jersey, including large well-known institutions like Rutgers University. Big or small public schools and research institutions enroll thousands of undergraduate students each academic year. Some of the best public schools in New Jersey are in Newark and New Brunswick.

    Additionally, New Jersey boasts world-renowned private schools, such as Princeton University. Private versus public colleges have key differences to keep in mind. For one, public four-year colleges and universities receive government funding and subsidies.

    Private colleges and universities rely on donations, endowments, and student tuition fees to fund academic programs.

    The best public schools in New Jersey offer a variety of majors and provide state-of-the-art student facilities. Private colleges typically feature smaller class sizes, so students may get more time with professors.

    Ultimately, students must determine how to choose a college by using criteria that suit their budget and learning styles.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Public University in New Jersey

    Pros

    • Check Circle
      Public colleges and universities in New Jersey provide many varied degree options and often have exceptional research facilities.
    • Check Circle
      Students can apply for federal financial aid to get help covering tuition, fees, and other costs.
    • Check Circle
      A diverse student body often means more opportunities for minority and nontraditional students.
    • Check Circle
      Public four-year colleges usually cost less than private colleges.

    Cons

    • X Circle
      Large campuses and class sizes mean professors and other administrators may be less accessible.
    • X Circle
      Students must be self-motivated and possess excellent time management skills.
    • X Circle
      Some students may get lost in the crowd unless they’re motivated to join clubs and organizations.
    • X Circle
      Popular classes can be harder to get into because of the number of students.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in New Jersey

    While public colleges and universities are nonprofit, private colleges and universities can be nonprofit or for-profit institutions. Nonprofit colleges and universities are traditional colleges that put profits back into college operations. Conversely, for-profit colleges pay their investors with the money they generate.

    For-profit colleges typically cost more, and degrees from these schools can get a bad rap compared to degrees from public four-year colleges. However, for-profit colleges usually charge lower tuition than private nonprofit colleges. For-profit colleges also tend to have higher acceptance rates.

    New Jersey has 13 for-profit colleges. Students can check the college’s website, call admissions, or use the College Navigator tool to determine a university’s nonprofit status.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Public University in New Jersey?

    Learners should also consider in-state versus out-of-state tuition. The average cost of room and board at public four-year colleges in New Jersey was $14,012 in 2019-2020.

    However, tuition varied dramatically for state residents and out-of-state students. The average cost for in-state tuition at public four-year colleges in 2019-2020 was $14,360. Out-of-state students paid an average of $29,435.

    In 2021-2022, the most expensive public institution in New Jersey was the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), with an in-state tuition of $18,016. The out-of-state tuition was $34,034. Still, a public college or university costs less, on average, to attend than private colleges and universities in New Jersey.

    There are also common misconceptions about how much money students actually pay out of pocket. Some private colleges may offer more grants and scholarships than public institutions, making those private schools more affordable.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges and Universities in New Jersey

    How many public colleges and universities are there in New Jersey?

    There are 32 public institutions in New Jersey. Some of the best public schools in New Jersey are also influential public research institutions. For example, NJIT boasts over 100 programs in several specialized schools that enrolled over 11,600 students in fall 2020. New Jersey also has big and small public schools that focus on business, the arts, technology, and nursing.

    What is the most expensive public college or university in New Jersey?

    The most expensive public colleges and universities in New Jersey vary depending on whether you’re an in-state or out-of-state student. For example, NJIT was the most expensive school, with an in-state tuition of $18,016 in 2021-2022. By contrast, out-of-state students paid nearly double what state residents paid for tuition.

    Public four-year colleges offer learners rigorous academic programs, such as nursing, engineering, and information technology. Graduating from world-renowned schools like NJIT may make professionals more competitive job candidates. Tech careers are among the highest paying jobs today, so NJIT’s higher tuition may be worth it.

    What is the least expensive public college or university in New Jersey?

    The least expensive public college or university in New Jersey is Thomas Edison State College in

    Trenton. In-state tuition was $7,182 in 2021-2022. By comparison, out-of-state students paid $9,342 in 2021-2022. But other costs like room and board, books and supplies, and technology fees can add up.

    The cost of public colleges and universities in New Jersey is only one factor to consider when choosing between colleges. Learners should also weigh academic programs, student services, graduation rates, and financial aid.

    What is the biggest public college or university in New Jersey?

    Rutgers University-New Brunswick is the biggest public institution in New Jersey. The school had an enrollment of 50,411 in fall 2020. Of the enrolled students, 35,844 were undergraduates, 2,414 were undergraduate transfer students, and 14,567 were graduate-level students. Montclair State University follows Rutgers, with a significantly smaller student body of 21,005 students.

    Private schools typically feature smaller student bodies than public institutions in New Jersey. However, New Jersey City University had an enrollment of 7,550 in fall 2020. Students can find big or small public schools that fit their budget and offer a program that suits them.

    Is a public college or university right for me?

    A public college or university might be right for you if you’re self-motivated, enjoy getting involved with extracurricular activities, and value diversity. Although, it could be harder to get into more popular courses at a public college. Private schools tend to have smaller student bodies, making it easier to get into classes.

    Graduates from public colleges and universities in New Jersey may have less debt than students at private colleges. State residents pay less expensive tuition than out-of-state learners. Students attending public four-year colleges can also qualify for federal financial aid. However, private colleges offer scholarships that can reduce the cost of college as well.