TCNJ: The College of New Jersey

College review by Lisa Bleich and Beth Cassie

Beth and I visited The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) last week as part of a counselor’s visit day.  The campus is quite impressive and pretty with red brick buildings peppered throughout and a large grassy quad.  The newest buildings are the Education building, Cafeteria, and the Interactive Multi-Media Center.  There are plans to build the TCNJ “Campus Town” on a 14-acre plot of land adjacent to campus. This public-private development will add an additional 466 beds for juniors and seniors, a college/community bookstore, fitness center, shops, and restaurants. Anticipated completion is spring of 2014.  This addition will add a huge dimension to the campus, because right now there is not much of anything within walking distance of campus.  Princeton is about 15 minutes away by car and there is a shuttle that takes students there.

Tour guides

Ninety percent of the students hail from New Jersey, so while there is not much geographic diversity, the student body is comprised of a wide mix of socio-economic, ethnic and racial backgrounds.  Students appeared to be very active both physically and socially and the retention rate is quite high at 95%. TCNJ boasts excellent DIII sports teams and there is also a lot of opportunity for students to get involved in intramural and club sports.  The Greek life involves about 15% of the student body.  My tour guide was impressive.  She came from a top magnet school in Northern New Jersey. She was majoring in biology and minoring in legal studies.  I asked her if she was pre-med, and she joked that she always fools people with her last name (Patel) and major because they assume that she wants to be a doctor, however she was actually interested in becoming a lawyer.  She was very active on campus playing two intramural sports and volunteering at a local prison helping a prisoner by researching various statutes that related to his case. Her professor recommended her for this position.  She chose TCNJ over some very selective universities (including Rice and Tufts) because she felt when she visited with a friend, she felt like the students were really happy and supportive.  Beth’s tour guide was a first generation college student from Jersey City, Business Management major with a Women’s and Gender Studies minor.  She was also a Bonner Scholar, receiving a full tuition scholarship to TCNJ. In addition to schoolwork, she was actively involved in community service, ROTC, and many other campus activities. She chose TCNJ because of the size and the full tuition scholarship.

TCNJ’s most popular majors are biology, education, psychology, nursing, and engineering, however music and pre-med (85% acceptance rate to medical school) are also strong.  TCNJ accepts students by major, therefore the more popular the major, the more difficult it is to be accepted, biology in particular (they receive 1200 applications for 100 spots).  They are looking to build their interactive arts and multimedia majors and to that end, students applying to those majors (along with music) are not required to submit standardized test scores.  TCNJ also has a highly competitive BA/MD program (7 year medical school) with UMDNJ.  Students must be in the top 5% of their class and have a 1480 combined CR/M from one single sitting of the SATs to be considered.

Overall, the acceptance rate is 46%.  64% of accepted students are in the top 10% of their high school with a CR/M SAT of 1190-1370 or 27-31 ACT.  The Admissions Director encouraged students to send an additional resume along with their application.

TCNJ merit scholarships range from $2,000 to $10,000, but the average is $5000.  Students in the top 10% of their class with 1300 CR/M SATs or 29 ACT usually receive some form of merit with their acceptance letter.  84% of the students receive some financial aid.

Overall TCNJ is a great school for students who want the feel of a smaller school with a public school price tag.  There are opportunities for students looking to pursue many different paths – we see why TCNJ has become a popular choice.

The College of New Jersey

2000 Pennington Road

Ewing, NJ 08628-0718

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