Why This Matters


    Students have plenty of choices when it comes to institutions of higher education. According to College Navigator, New Jersey boasts 59 four-year bachelor’s degree colleges.


    The average student will pay $14,380 in in-state tuition and fees during the 2020-21 school year, based on data from College Board.


    Federal, state, and institutional aid to help full-time undergraduate students pay for college in the 2019-20 school year totaled about $14,940 per student.

Our Research

We’ve compiled a list of the best colleges in New Jersey, including private non-profit, private for-profit, and public institutions. To give prospective students a good idea of the state’s offerings, we included both research institutions and liberal arts colleges that enhance a student’s cultural and artistic strengths.

Many of the colleges on our list carry the important distinction of being accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). This accrediting body ensures member universities meet a standard of educational excellence through diversity and adequate resources. The MSCHE is a voluntary association that provides colleges with a measure of preeminence over nonaccredited institutions.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 80 hours to write this article
  • 150 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 304 education programs we compared

The Top 32 Colleges in New Jersey

Best Colleges In New Jersey
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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in New Jersey

New Jersey’s thriving economy means graduates will have their pick of fulfilling careers. Recent data shows that the majority of New Jersey’s hardworking residents are employed in trade, transportation, and utilities positions. These positions account for 846,300 jobs, but there are many other employment options. Health and education services, professional and business careers, government jobs, and retail positions comprise the other four spots in New Jersey’s top five industries.

For workers with bachelor’s degrees, the list of growing careers is a diverse one. The number of positions for operations research analysts, for example, will increase by 25% by 2026. Other careers that will see rapid growth include software and application developers, preschool and special education teachers, airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers, and athletic trainers.

Employers in New Jersey are looking for graduates from all disciplines. Some of New Jersey’s largest employers include the research department at the New Jersey Medical School, United Airlines, Samsung Electronics, Resorts Casino Hotel, and Princeton University.

What’s Next?

Many students turn to financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans to pay for college. If you’re considering calling one of New Jersey’s universities home for the next four years, you need to know what aid the state provides.