Best Public Colleges New Jersey 2024

Badge for BEST IN NEW JERSEY PUBLIC COLLEGES

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in New Jersey provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

10 Best Public Colleges in New Jersey

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  1. Rutgers University–Camden
  2. New Jersey Institute of Technology
  3. Rowan University
  4. Montclair State University
  5. The College of New Jersey
  6. Kean University
  7. Stockton University
  8. William Paterson University
  9. Rutgers University–New Brunswick
  10. New Jersey City University
  1. Rutgers University–Camden
  2. New Jersey Institute of Technology
  3. Montclair State University
  4. Rowan University
  5. The College of New Jersey
  6. Kean University
  7. William Paterson University
  8. Rutgers University–Newark
  9. Ramapo College
  10. Rutgers University–New Brunswick
  1. Montclair State University 91%
  2. New Jersey City University 91%
  3. Stockton University 85%
  4. Rowan University 84%
  5. William Paterson University 83%
  6. Rutgers University–Camden 79%
  7. Kean University 79%
  8. Rutgers University–Newark 77%
  9. Ramapo College 70%
  10. New Jersey Institute of Technology 69%
  1. Thomas Edison State University 20 to 1
  2. Kean University 18 to 1
  3. Stockton University 18 to 1
  4. Montclair State University 18 to 1
  5. Rowan University 17 to 1
  6. Rutgers University–New Brunswick 16 to 1
  7. Ramapo College 16 to 1
  8. New Jersey Institute of Technology 15 to 1
  9. Rutgers University–Camden 15 to 1
  10. Rutgers University–Newark 15 to 1
  1. Ramapo College $14,952
  2. New Jersey Institute of Technology $14,790
  3. William Paterson University $13,776
  4. The College of New Jersey $13,603
  5. New Jersey City University $12,992
  6. Rutgers University–New Brunswick $12,536
  7. Rutgers University–Camden $12,536
  8. Rutgers University–Newark $12,536
  9. Stockton University $12,490
  10. Montclair State University $12,323
  1. New Jersey Institute of Technology $21,342
  2. Ramapo College $19,085
  3. Rutgers University–New Brunswick $18,180
  4. Rutgers University–Camden $18,168
  5. Rutgers University–Newark $18,168
  6. Kean University $15,752
  7. The College of New Jersey $14,955
  8. Stockton University $14,063
  9. New Jersey City University $13,938
  10. William Paterson University $13,618
  1. Rutgers University–Newark
  2. Thomas Edison State University
  3. Ramapo College
  4. New Jersey City University
  5. Rutgers University–New Brunswick
  6. William Paterson University
  7. Stockton University
  8. Kean University
  9. The College of New Jersey
  10. Montclair State University
  1. Thomas Edison State University
  2. New Jersey City University
  3. Stockton University
  4. Rutgers University–New Brunswick
  5. Ramapo College
  6. Rutgers University–Newark
  7. William Paterson University
  8. Kean University
  9. The College of New Jersey
  10. Rowan University
  1. The College of New Jersey 62%
  2. Rutgers University–New Brunswick 68%
  3. New Jersey Institute of Technology 69%
  4. Ramapo College 70%
  5. Rutgers University–Newark 77%
  6. Kean University 79%
  7. Rutgers University–Camden 79%
  8. William Paterson University 83%
  9. Rowan University 84%
  10. Stockton University 85%
  1. The College of New Jersey 13 to 1
  2. William Paterson University 13 to 1
  3. New Jersey City University 14 to 1
  4. New Jersey Institute of Technology 15 to 1
  5. Rutgers University–Camden 15 to 1
  6. Rutgers University–Newark 15 to 1
  7. Rutgers University–New Brunswick 16 to 1
  8. Ramapo College 16 to 1
  9. Rowan University 17 to 1
  10. Kean University 18 to 1
  1. Thomas Edison State University $7,182
  2. Rowan University $10,302
  3. Kean University $10,445
  4. Montclair State University $12,323
  5. Stockton University $12,490
  6. Rutgers University–New Brunswick $12,536
  7. Rutgers University–Camden $12,536
  8. Rutgers University–Newark $12,536
  9. New Jersey City University $12,992
  10. The College of New Jersey $13,603
  1. Thomas Edison State University $12,024
  2. Montclair State University $12,978
  3. Rowan University $13,169
  4. William Paterson University $13,618
  5. New Jersey City University $13,938
  6. Stockton University $14,063
  7. The College of New Jersey $14,955
  8. Kean University $15,752
  9. Rutgers University–Camden $18,168
  10. Rutgers University–Newark $18,168

Colleges and Universities in New Jersey

Nearly half of the colleges and universities in this state are private, and tuition rates range from $6,000 to $52,000. With a graduation rate of 97% and a student population of just over 7,000, Princeton University is the state’s most esteemed institution. Narrowing in on the sciences and arts, this Ivy League school offers unique areas of study, including robotics, intelligent systems, and public life. The remaining 31 public colleges and universities range in tuition from $4,000 to $17,000.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

The state’s largest and top-ranked public research institution is Rutgers University. With campuses in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden as well as smaller locations across the state, Rutgers awards degrees in physics, economics, criminal justice, and psychology. New Jersey also has 11 religiously affiliated colleges and universities, including the oldest diocesan university in the United States, Seton Hall University. This Roman Catholic university has a tuition rate of $42,000 and a student population of over 8,000.

New Jersey, known for its sandy shores and busy expressways, also has more diners than any other state in the U.S., as well as the world’s longest boardwalk, located in Atlantic City. Many influential people, including Buzz Aldrin, Frank Sinatra, and Thomas Edison, have called The Garden State home. Visitors can even peek at some of Edison’s early light bulbs at the Menlo Park Museum. And with 50 higher learning institutions to choose from, students can find a school that suits their career path and budget.

Learn more about earning your degree from one of New Jersey’s highly regarded colleges and universities.


What are New Jersey’s Colleges & Universities?

New Jersey’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 13 public universities in New Jersey. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in New Jersey, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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Best Public Colleges in New Jersey 2023

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/20

    Career Outlook for degree at Rutgers University–Camden

    Cost of Degree: $16,112
    Expenses: $18,517
    Starting Salary: $50,062
    Salary after 4 years: $69,071
    Cost Recoup Time: 10 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Rutgers University–Camden known for?

    Rutgers University–Camden’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Rutgers University–Camden’s Online Degrees

    BA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing: RN to BSN
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1295/28

    Career Outlook for degree at New Jersey Institute of Technology

    Cost of Degree: $18,512
    Expenses: $21,650
    Starting Salary: $68,737
    Salary after 4 years: $80,624
    Cost Recoup Time: 10 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary

    New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    Rowan University

    Glassboro , NJ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/24

    Career Outlook for degree at Rowan University

    Cost of Degree: $14,952
    Expenses: $21,877
    Starting Salary: $47,110
    Salary after 4 years: $60,156
    Cost Recoup Time: 12 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  4. Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/27

    Career Outlook for degree at The College of New Jersey

    Cost of Degree: $17,978
    Expenses: $19,878
    Starting Salary: $51,869
    Salary after 4 years: $65,576
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  5. #6

    Kean University

    Union , NJ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/19

    Career Outlook for degree at Kean University

    Cost of Degree: $12,972
    Expenses: $18,539
    Starting Salary: $44,515
    Salary after 4 years: $57,369
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Kean University known for?

    Kean University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Kean University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management- Entrepreneurship
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management- Human Resources Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management- Supply Chain
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management-General Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #7

    Stockton University

    Galloway , NJ

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1101/23

    Career Outlook for degree at Stockton University

    Cost of Degree: $15,188
    Expenses: $19,788
    Starting Salary: $41,204
    Salary after 4 years: $52,807
    Cost Recoup Time: 12 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Stockton University known for?

    Stockton University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    8K

    Career Outlook for degree at William Paterson University

    Cost of Degree: $14,624
    Expenses: $17,900
    Starting Salary: $43,886
    Salary after 4 years: $56,795
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary

    William Paterson University’s Online Degrees

    BA in Disability Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    48K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1295/28

    Career Outlook for degree at Rutgers University–New Brunswick

    Cost of Degree: $16,263
    Expenses: $19,503
    Starting Salary: $52,662
    Salary after 4 years: $70,066
    Cost Recoup Time: 10 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  9. #10

    New Jersey City University

    Jersey City , NJ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    6K

    Career Outlook for degree at New Jersey City University

    Cost of Degree: $13,564
    Expenses: $21,708
    Starting Salary: $43,946
    Salary after 4 years: $55,831
    Cost Recoup Time: 12 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is New Jersey City University known for?

    New Jersey City University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    Ramapo College

    Mahwah , NJ

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/24

    Career Outlook for degree at Ramapo College

    Cost of Degree: $15,363
    Expenses: $19,386
    Starting Salary: $45,801
    Salary after 4 years: $59,204
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Ramapo College known for?

    Ramapo College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Student body

    4K

    Career Outlook for degree at Thomas Edison State University

    Cost of Degree: $7,372
    Expenses: $15,411
    Starting Salary: $65,390
    Salary after 4 years: $71,753
    Cost Recoup Time: 7 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Thomas Edison State University known for?

    Thomas Edison State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Thomas Edison State University’s Online Degrees

    BSBA in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Accounting/Cpa
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Entrepreneurship
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Finance
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in General Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Human Resource Management/Organizational Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Operations Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Computer Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Data Science And Analytics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Technical Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Homeland Security And Emergency Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in English
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in History
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in International Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Professional Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Healthcare Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Radiation Protection/Health Physics
    • Required Credits: 125
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Electrical Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Energy Systems Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Mathematics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Electronic Systems Engineering Technology
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/20

    Career Outlook for degree at Rutgers University–Newark

    Cost of Degree: $15,648
    Expenses: $19,937
    Starting Salary: $49,763
    Salary after 4 years: $67,691
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Rutgers University–Newark known for?

    Rutgers University–Newark’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

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New Jersey’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. New Jersey Institute of Technology
  2. Montclair State University
  3. The College of New Jersey
  4. Rutgers University–Camden
  5. Ramapo College
  6. Stockton University
  7. Rutgers University–Newark
  8. Rowan University
  9. William Paterson University
  10. Kean University
  11. Rutgers University–New Brunswick
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