Best Colleges in New Jersey for Associate, Bachelor’s & Master’s

New Jersey College Guide – What You Need to Know

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Unemployment in New Jersey is on the decline. In June 2018, the rate dropped to 4.3%, marking the lowest statewide rate in over a decade. It’s also worth pointing out that the state is one of the wealthiest in the nation; home to a wide range of job prospects and a world-class selection of colleges and universities that attract students from all over the US and the world.

Other fields leading the way do actually employ a significant number of workers. Unlike some states, New Jersey’s job market is quite diverse. In some states, the lion’s share of the growth is within the healthcare space. Now, healthcare, whether you opt for a nursing degree or plan on pursuing medical school, is almost always a good bet. But, it’s safe to say these professions aren’t for everyone.

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What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in New Jersey?

Popular bachelor’s degrees vary by institutions, but across the board, we found that students tend to gravitate toward a handful of majors that attract students from all over the country. Popular majors in New Jersey include health professions like nursing or pre-med, social sciences, and business. Communications and engineering are other popular choices, too.

But, then there are some outliers. Schools like Seton Hall and Montclair State enroll a large number of visual and performing arts students. Rutgers is one of a handful of the state’s institutions where education is a top major. While it was hard to narrow our list—here are some of the more popular bachelor’s degree offerings from Princeton to Ramapo to Stevens Institute of Technology.

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Education Level & National Average Median Compensation


NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $46,124* $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best Associate Degrees in New Jersey


People who aren’t ready to pursue a four-year degree could still find success with a two-year degree. Associate degrees can get a person started in a chosen career and help them decide if they want to pursue further education. New Jersey has many two-year degree options at some of the best colleges in the state.

Warren County Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,251
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$4,661
Grads Salary
$34,800
County College of Morris
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,697
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$8,145
Grads Salary
$38,300
Raritan Valley Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
7,080
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$5,863
Grads Salary
$37,700
Rowan College at Burlington County
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
7,316
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$6,827
Grads Salary
$36,600
Rowan College of South Jersey Gloucester
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,369
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$6,417
Grads Salary
$34,000
Union County College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
9,181
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$5,965
Grads Salary
$33,400
Middlesex County College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
10,084
Graduation Rate
26%
Net Price
$8,709
Grads Salary
$37,600
Sussex County Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,190
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$11,226
Grads Salary
$34,600
Bergen Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
11,409
Graduation Rate
22%
Net Price
$9,223
Grads Salary
$38,400
Ocean County College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
7,480
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$13,205
Grads Salary
$34,900
Full Ranking Report

Best Bachelor's Degrees in New Jersey


Attaining a bachelor’s degree could be the start of a wonderful career. It means greater earning potential and increased opportunities for advancement. For those who are considering getting a bachelor’s degree, New Jersey has a variety of programs available from some of the best schools in the state.

Princeton University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
8,419
Graduation Rate
98%
Net Price
$18,685
Grads Salary
$98,900
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
50,173
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$17,835
Grads Salary
$78,800
New Jersey Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
11,518
Graduation Rate
70%
Net Price
$18,328
Grads Salary
$82,300
Rutgers University-Newark
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
13,605
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$13,832
Grads Salary
$79,100
Stevens Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,283
Graduation Rate
88%
Net Price
$40,303
Grads Salary
$89,800
The College of New Jersey
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,821
Graduation Rate
86%
Net Price
$24,617
Grads Salary
$72,500
Saint Peter's University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,233
Graduation Rate
55%
Net Price
$16,487
Grads Salary
$84,000
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,479
Graduation Rate
53%
Net Price
$13,941
Grads Salary
$80,000
Rutgers University-Camden
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,233
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$15,381
Grads Salary
$70,100
Ramapo College of New Jersey
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,042
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$17,286
Grads Salary
$66,300
Full Ranking Report

Best Master's Degrees in New Jersey


Anyone seeking to be an expert in their field will probably consider getting a master’s or doctorate degree at some point. New Jersey has programs at a number of colleges and universities that will allow people to achieve their end goals.

Princeton University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
8,419
Graduation Rate
98%
Net Price
$18,685
Grads Salary
$98,900
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
50,173
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$17,835
Grads Salary
$78,800
New Jersey Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
11,518
Graduation Rate
70%
Net Price
$18,328
Grads Salary
$82,300
Rutgers University-Newark
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
13,605
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$13,832
Grads Salary
$79,100
Stevens Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,283
Graduation Rate
88%
Net Price
$40,303
Grads Salary
$89,800
The College of New Jersey
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,821
Graduation Rate
86%
Net Price
$24,617
Grads Salary
$72,500
Saint Peter's University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,233
Graduation Rate
55%
Net Price
$16,487
Grads Salary
$84,000
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,479
Graduation Rate
53%
Net Price
$13,941
Grads Salary
$80,000
Rutgers University-Camden
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,233
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$15,381
Grads Salary
$70,100
Ramapo College of New Jersey
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,042
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$17,286
Grads Salary
$66,300
Full Ranking Report
Learn about MBA's in New Jersey

Cost of New Jersey College Education & Salaries


New Jersey students looking at their options for higher education have many factors to consider. If you’re paying out of pocket or taking out loans, then the state’s public universities will provide the most affordable path toward earning a degree. Before taking out loans or shelling out for tuition, students should look a few things. Graduation rates are at the top of the list, as this metric indicates whether a school is doing a good job supporting their students.

Looking for the best value school can be one of the biggest challenges when it comes to selecting where you’ll spend the next four years. However, value is determined by several factors that extend beyond a school’s reputation and price tag. Evaluating tuition, plus room and board, books, and supplies is an excellent place to start. Other markers of quality education are less objective. You’ll need to consider things like:

  • Internships
  • Networking opportunities
  • Scholarships and financial aid
  • Job placement rate and assistance
  • Average starting salary
  • Class size
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Degree programs

Look at these factors and assess how they play into your goals. What are your priorities? Do you value a school that offers a specialized degree program? Is your goal to land a prestigious internship? Maybe the main concern is finding a school that provides the biggest financial aid package or a wide selection of online courses.

Finally, earning potential also depends on your field of study. Those who choose a path such as nursing, engineering, computer science, or another technical area may have an easier time locking down a job after graduating college. Liberal arts grads can land all kinds of jobs, so there’s a lot more variation in how you can apply that degree; it could be education, writing, marketing, or a long career in academia, so earning potential isn’t a sure thing.

College Cost Analysis - New Jersey vs National


Average New Jersey Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

In-State Tuition - $13,963

National Average – $9,580

Out-of-State Tuition – $28,669

National Average – $27,437

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid

The state of New Jersey is one of a handful of states in the country that has not joined an interstate student exchange effort like the New England Board of Higher Education’s Tuition Break program. Because the state has not signed on to participate, students can't attend schools in several states while enjoying reduced non-resident rates.

As far as assistance goes, New Jersey ranks fifth in the nation. The average student receives $11,391 in federal aid, which is slightly higher than the national average. That said, it’s important to understand that not every student qualifies for federal assistance. To qualify, you’ll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The acceptance rate for federal aid in NJ is about 68%, which is higher than the national average. Those who need more assistance after aid checks come in should also apply for grants and scholarships to avoid having to take out significant loans to pay for school.

Financial Aid New Jersey Nationally
Received Federal Grants 68% 37.7%
Average $ per Recipient $11,391 $10,927

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a postsecondary institution.
* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Best Scholarships for New Jersey


While New Jersey students receive more federal assistance than their counterparts in most other states, college tuition rates have risen in recent years, leaving many students on the hook for paying back student loans. As such, investing the time into applying for scholarships and grants is bound to pay off.

New Jersey students can apply to a wide range of scholarships and grants. Some are merit-based and go to top performers, while others seek out aspiring nurses, accountants, or visual artists. Those from low-income backgrounds have several options for filling the gaps between government aid and remaining tuition costs. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some standout scholarships, though, keep in mind, a little research will reveal that there’s a lot more where that came from.

NCP_logo

NCP

Newark College Promise

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e44327a52b88927aaaecabd/t/5f58d3e07e871053b883d14f/1599656934346/CollegePromiseCatalog_Rockefeller_Online_Sept2020+%281%29.pdf
Amounts: Varies by student situation
Deadline: Varies (Some required FAFSA completion)
The Newark Housing Authority has put together a scholarship for Newark students who live in public housing. To apply, students must be Essex County residents and attend one of the state’s four-year colleges or universities. Students must also be living in public housing or have participated in a voucher program for at least 12 months before applying for the scholarship.

MCS_logo

MCS

Meredith Corporation Scholarship

https://scholarships.nywici.org/sponsored-scholarships
Amounts: $5,000
Deadline: Varies
This $5,000 scholarship is awarded by New York Women in Communications to one female communications or journalism major. Applicants must be enrolled as an undergraduate and have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. They must also be available to participate in an internship at Meredith Corporation’s NYC headquarters. The scholarship is non-renewable.

EOF_logo

EOF

New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund

https://www.nj.gov/highereducation/EOF/EOF_Eligibility.shtml
Amounts: $200-$2,600
Deadline: FAFSA Deadline
This grant is offered to low-income NJ students who want to earn a degree but may be ill-prepared for the rigors of college-level work. Eligible students can receive up to $2,500 in annual funding and will gain access to a campus-based outreach and support service there to help them succeed. To qualify, students must come from a low-income background and demonstrate an educational disadvantage.

GUSP

Governor’s Urban Scholarship Program

https://www.nj4dreamers.com/governors-urban-scholarship-faqs/
Amounts: Varies
Deadline: Students must be nominated by their school
This scholarship was launched by Chris Christie back in 2012 as a way to provide aid to high-achieving students living in New Jersey’s urban areas. To qualify for the merit-based award students must rank in the top 5% of their graduating class, enroll in a New Jersey college, and come from one of 14-economically challenged urban areas. The scholarship could cover up to 10 semesters of tuition.

MFNS

Meland Foundation Nursing Scholarships

http://melandfoundation.org/nursing-scholarships-2/nursing-scholarships/
Amounts: $2,000-$5,000
Deadline: N/A – Rolling Application
This award ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 and is awarded to aspiring Air Force Base Hospital nurses. To apply, students must submit a resume, along with a recent transcript, a 500-word personal statement outlining career goals, and a letter of recommendation from the dean. Students must be residents of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or Connecticut.

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