New Jersey’s Best Small Colleges of 2021

Small colleges in New Jersey are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

New Jersey’s Best Small Colleges of 2021

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.

More see more Less see less

What are New Jersey’s Colleges & Universities?

New Jersey’s Best Overall


New Jersey's Best Small Colleges and Universities 2021 badge
Download Badge

The following list of the best small colleges and universities in New Jersey is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 12 small colleges in New Jersey; 5 of which meet our criteria. The list below of the best small colleges in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. Its student body must consist of 5,000 or fewer students.
  4. Its graduation rate must be greater than 50%.

How do we determine New Jersey's best small colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

More see more Less see less

Best Small Colleges & Universities in New Jersey

  1. #1

    Drew University

    #870 institution's historical influence
    #589 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    2K

    Madison, NJ

    View profile

    What is Drew University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    Saint Peter's University

    #1695 institution's historical influence
    #345 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/20

    Jersey City, NJ

    View profile

    What is Saint Peter's University known for?

    Saint Peter's University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • History
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Caldwell University

    #5903 institution's historical influence
    #311 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    Caldwell, NJ

    View profile

    What is Caldwell University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    REQUEST INFO
  4. #4

    Rider University

    #1750 institution's historical influence
    #515 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/22

    Lawrenceville, NJ

    View profile

    What is Rider University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Centenary University

    #7638 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1043/20

    Hackettstown, NJ

    View profile

    What is Centenary University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Communications
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
  6. #6

    Fairleigh Dickinson University

    #677 institution's historical influence
    #645 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    4K

    Teaneck, NJ

    View profile

    What is Fairleigh Dickinson University known for?

    Fairleigh Dickinson University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
  7. #7

    Georgian Court University

    #3928 institution's historical influence
    #359 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1059/22

    Lakewood, NJ

    View profile

    What is Georgian Court University known for?

    Georgian Court University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • Communications
  8. #8

    Thomas Edison State University

    #2958 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Student body

    4K

    Trenton, NJ

    View profile

    What is Thomas Edison State University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Saint Elizabeth University

    #10639 institution's historical influence
    #600 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    993/17

    Morristown, NJ

    View profile

    What is Saint Elizabeth University known for?

    Saint Elizabeth University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Berkeley College

    #3585 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    3K

    Woodland Park, NJ

    View profile

    What is Berkeley College known for?

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

    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Felician University

    #7353 institution's historical influence
    #280 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    990/17

    Lodi, NJ

    View profile

    What is Felician University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
  12. #12

    Bloomfield College

    #4086 institution's historical influence
    #552 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    965/17

    Bloomfield, NJ

    View profile

    What is Bloomfield College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

Find New Jersey’s best private school for your interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

Photo By: Public Domain