ESSEX COUNTY, NJ – When the real estate website announced its 2021 list of Best Colleges in New Jersey, it was a major win for public colleges. Seven out of the top 10 best colleges on the list are public institutions, whose tuition is at least half of that of private colleges. If you have racked up student loan debt at a private institution or thought a private school education was better or was more impressive on a resume, the findings on will likely either leave you with slight financial regret or surprise.  

Top 10 Best Colleges in New Jersey according to Public institutions are in bold:

  1. Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  2. Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ)
  3. Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
  4. The College of New Jersey (Ewing, NJ)
  5. Rutgers University (Newark, NJ)
  6. New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, NJ)
  7. Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ)
  8. Rowan University (Glassboro, NJ)
  9. Rutgers University (Camden, NJ)
  10. Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ)

Princeton University, a nationally popular Ivy League ranked No. 6 nationally, was listed as number one on New Jersey lists. Princeton trailed only Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and Duke among’s 2021 Best Colleges in AmericaPrinceton was given an A+ Overall Niche Grade. One of the most competitive schools in the country, It had just a 5% acceptance rate and an SAT range of 1440-1570.

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Stevens Institute of Technology, ranked No. 2, transitioned to online learning very smoothly, according to Niche.  Stevens received an A Overall Niche Grade and has a 41% acceptance rate. Its SAT range is 1330-1480.

The largest university in the state, Rutgers - New Brunswick, ranked No. 3, has gone all virtual for the first semester of the 2020-21 academic year. Rutgers received an A Overall Niche Grade and has a 60% acceptance rate. Its SAT range is 1190-1410.

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) was ranked No. 5, and was described as “a very good state school,” by  It received an A- Overall Niche Grade and has a 50% acceptance rate. Its SAT range is 1160-1350.

Rutgers University – Newark, one of the most diverse schools in the country, ranked No. 5. It received an A- Overall Niche Grade and has a 63% acceptance Rate. Its SAT range is 1020-1190.

Rounding out the top 10 were New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, NJ), Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ), Rowan University (Glassboro, NJ), Rutgers University (Camden, NJ), and Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ).

Others on the list were Monmouth University (West Long Branch, NJ), Drew University (Madison, NJ), Stockton University (Galloway, NJ), Ramapo College of New Jersey (Mahwah, NJ), Rider University (Lawrenceville, NJ), William Paterson University (Wayne, NJ), Fairleigh Dickinson University (Teaneck, NJ), Kean University (Union, NJ), Fairleigh Dickinson University (Madison, NJ), Saint Peter's University (Jersey City, NJ), Caldwell University (Caldwell, NJ), Berkeley College (Woodland Park, NJ), College of Saint Elizabeth (Morristown, NJ), Felician University (Rutherford, NJ), and Georgian Court University (Lakewood, NJ).

For these rankings, Niche combines U.S. Department of Education data with user reviews in a rigorous analysis of twelve factors including academics, campus, dorm life, professors, and value for the financial investment. Searchers can also apply filters such as Online Friendliness, Cost (Net Price), and more to further refine the rankings based on their personal preferences. More about the methodology here.

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