Rutgers University Guide

The Ivy Scholars guide to Rutgers University’s culture, admissions, and other essential information for prospective students and their families.

Location: New Brunswick, New Jersey

Mascot: Scarlet Knight

Type: Public Research Institution

Population: 50,000 (36,000 undergrad)

Jump to Section:


About Rutgers University

Situated midway between NYC and Philadelphia, Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, is the 8th oldest institution for higher education in the nation. Split into four “campuses”, Rutgers offers urban and rural atmospheres, which allows for both the exciting experiences offered by big schools and the intimacy of smaller colleges.

Rutgers Statistics

Year Founded: 1766

4 Year Graduation Rate: 61%

Gender Distribution: 50% male, 50% female

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Residency: 81% in state, 7% out of state, 12% international

Location Type: Urban

Schedule System: Semesters

Student/Faculty Ratio: 16:1

Average Class Size: 25

Demographics: 40% Caucasian, 26% Asian, 13% Hispanic, 7% Black

Need assistance with the college admissions process?

National Rankings

US News Rankings:

  • #22 Public Schools
  • #35 Best Colleges for Veterans
  • #49 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
  • #62 National Universities

Self-Reported Rankings:

  • #12 Public Universities per QS
  • #20 Public Universities per The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • #29 Public Colleges per Forbes
  • #33 Best School for Business Majors
  • #34 Public Schools per The Wall STreet Journal
  • #41 National Universities per QS
  • #50 National Universities per Money Magazine

Rutgers Admissions Information

Application Deadlines:

  • Early Action: November 1st
  • Regular Decision: December 1st
  • Transfer Deadline: February First

Notification Dates:

  • Early Action: January 31st
  • Regular Decision: End of February
  • Transfer: April 15th

Acceptance Rates:

  • EA: 60%
  • RD: 60% 
  • Transfer: 55%

Average Applicant Pool: 38,400

Average Number of Applicants Accepted: 22,200

Average Number Enrolled: 6,300

Application Systems: Coalition App or Rutgers App

Average GPA: 3.9 weighted

SAT Scores: 25th% – 1190, 75th% – 1410

ACT Scores: 25th% – 25, 75th% – 31

*Test mandatory. Writing sections are not required.

Demonstrated Interest:

Rutgers does not consider demonstrated interest.

Recommendation Letter Policies:

Rutgers does not require or accept letters of recommendation.

Rutgers Essay Prompts:

  • Common App Personal Statement (3800 Characters)

Rutgers Essay Writing Tips

Special Notes:

  • Each college has its own entrance requirements, in terms of courses which must be taken during high school. 
  • Students applying to the School of Arts must complete an additional talent assessment alongside the regular application. The school will not send notifications of admission until April 1st.
  • Required credentials are due two weeks after the application due date. The due dates are not hard cut-offs, but if the application remains incomplete by the time required credentials are sent in, the application will not be considered.


  • Rutgers accepts a maximum of 60 credits for students transferring from 2-year institutions, or 90 form 4-year institutions. Students must have completed at least 12 college credits to count as a transfer student.
  • Students are required to use the Rutgers own application site.
  • While the essay is not required for transfer students, it is recommended.
  • Students must submit a high school transcript if they have completed less than 24 college credits, and always must submit a college transcript.
  • Standardized test scores are generally not required for Rutgers.
  • Students applying to the School of the Arts will be required to audition or submit a portfolio.
  • Letters of recommendation are not required.

Rutgers Academics


Core Requirements:

Courses of Study: 

AP Credit Policies:

Special Programs

Honors Programs:

  • The Honors College hosts 500 students each year, and offers expanded opportunities for funding, research, faculty mentorship, and experiential learning.
  • The School of Arts and Sciences has its own Honors Program, which offers mentorship, special housing, study abroad opportunities, and research opportunities.
  • The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences has its own Honors Program, consisting of first year seminars and mentorship, and a senior-year honors thesis project involving original research.
  • The School of Engineering Honors Academy offers participation in honors courses, residential housing, research opportunities, and scholarships.
  • Departmental Honors (contact individual departments for more information)
  • Academic Honors Societies

Research Availability:

Study Abroad: 

Business Options: 

  • The Business School offers a BS degree with six possible majors (Accounting, Business Analytics, Leadership, Finance,Marketing, and Supply Chain Management)
  • Mentoring Programs are offered, pairing undergraduates with faculty, MBA students, and industry professionals.
  • Accelerated MBA Program offers undergrads a jump start on an MBA, granting two degrees in 5 years total.

Pre-Med Options:

Pre-Law Options:

Computer Science Options: 

  • The Department of Computer Science offers both a BA and a BS in the field. They also offer a Minor for interested students.
  • An Honors Track is available to talented students, which allows for graduation with honors.
  • There are a number of tracks within the major for students who want to specialize in one facet of computer science.

Additional Specialty Programs: 

Programs for High Schoolers:

  • Pre-College Summer Programs allow gifted high school students to experience life and learning on Rutgers’ campus. These are either courses for credit, or help preparing for college and the application process.
  • Life-Long Learning offers programs for high schoolers and younger children as well, either exploring academic interests or helping with the college process.
  • Aresty Research Center offers opportunities for high school students to get involved with research with Rutgers faculty and grad students.
  • Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) runs through the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, and offers high school students a place to explore careers in medicine.

Student Life at Rutgers

School Motto: Sun of righteousness, shine upon the West also

Mission and Values:

  • Mission: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has the threefold mission of providing for the instructional needs of New Jersey’s residents through its undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs; conducting the innovative research that contributes to the medical, environmental, social, and cultural well-being of the state, as well as aiding the economy and the state’s businesses and industries; and performing public service in support of the needs of the residents of the state and its local, county, and state governments.
  • Additional Information

Residential Housing System:

Across its five interconnected campuses, Rutgers University operates one of the largest collegiate housing programs in the country, with more than 50 housing options.

Housing Statistics:

  • 85% of freshmen live on campus
  • 43% of undergraduates live in on-campus housing for the entirety of their stay

Campus & Surrounding Area:  

  • The Rutgers University New Brunswick campus is broken up into five smaller interconnected campuses each with its own distinct atmosphere: Busch, College Avenue, Douglass, George H. Cook, and Livingston.
  • Check out the Zimmerli Museum to see amazing soviet, post-soviet and early modern Russian/Slavic art. 
  • Explore one of the largest old growth forests in the state at the Rutgers Ecological Preserve.
  • Paddle the D&R Canal in a canoe from the Outdoor Center to enjoy the beautiful foliage and scenery that Rutgers has to offer.
  • Attend a performance in the Rutgers Theatre District
  • Stroll among the various monuments and houses that date back to pre-revolutionary war times in a guided Old Queen’s Campus Tour.
  • Safety information: (Rutgers, College Factual)
  • Virtual Tour, Virtual Visits


  • The New Brunswick campus consists of 4 separate campuses that require the use of some form of transportation to go between them.
  • Campus Bus transportation is readily available for free on all campuses.
  • Bike paths are available and the university is working on expanding their use and safety.
  • Walking paths connect each campus. 
  • Parking information


  • School songs resonate throughout the years dating all the way back to 1873.
  • In 1875, the Cannon War between Princeton and Rutgers began with Rutger’s sophomores stealing their cannon back, thus beginning the tradition’s significance.
  • New Jersey Folk Festival  and Rutgers Agricultural Field Day gathers local vendors every year on the Rutgers New Brunswick campuses.
  • Football games have many traditions from chants to their mascot. The Scarlet Knight and the noble steed grace every football game.

Student-Run Organizations: 


Greek Life: 

  • There are 80 Fraternities and sororities at Rutgers, however only a small population of students participate in them.


  • Rutgers has a flourishing underground music scene. Several nights a week, numerous “basement shows” are thrown that require around 5$ for admission. To find out where the shows are one can a.) ask around. b.) do a quick google search or c.) look at the many event boards scattered around campus which usually have fliers for upcoming shows. Most bands want as many people in attendance as possible so advertisements for them should be easy to find.
  • New Brunswick has an excellent offering of Jazz music. Most shows are put on by the New Brunswick Jazz Music Project.
  • Rutgers’ excellent Robert A. Schommer Astronomical Observatory is equipped with a high powered telescope that is open to the public for viewing your favorite planets, constellations and stars.
  • Take the charming Ravine Bridge, also called the “Kissing Bridge,” across the scenic ravine to the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center. Besides being a great romantic spot for engaging in the aforementioned activity, it is a great spot to hang out and enjoy nature.
  • Passion Puddle is a beautiful pond on Douglas Campus that is lit at night making it a perfect place to hang out with friends while watching the stars.
  • The Stress Factory comedy club is one of the most famous venues in the country and has hosted some of the most renowned comics currently performing.
  • Bars and Restaurants in New Brunswick

Financial Information

Yearly Cost of Attendance:

  • Total: $51,718
  • Tuition: $28,595
  • Fees: $3,114
  • Room & Board: $13,512
  • Books: $1,350
  • Travel: $1,416
  • Personal Expenses: $3,731

Financial Aid:

Rutgers offers some need-based aid in the form of grants. All students are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for any financial aid awards. Most financial aid awards also come with work-study options, which allows students to earn money to pay towards personal expenses.

Additional Financial Aid & Student Loan Information


Scholarships are offered for both need and merit. Scholarships are divided by type, those available to Rutgers students generally provided by the university, and those from outside sources. Finally, merit scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement.

Fun Facts

  • Among the ten oldest colleges in the US, and one of 9 founded before the American Revolution.
  • The first classes at the school were held in a tavern.
  • A proposed measure to merge the school with Princeton in the early 1800s failed by 1 vote.
  • Considered the birthplace of college football, as the first ever collegiate game was played on campus between Rutgers and Princeton. Rutgers won 6-4 (the rules were slightly different then).
  • Rutgers’ grease trucks serve their invention: fat sandwiches.
  • The campus hosts the 2nd oldest college newspaper in the nation, the Daily Targum.
  • Their mascot used to be a rooster, but now is a Scarlet Knight.
  • The largest bus system in New Jersey.
  • Scenes from the 1982 movie, The World According to Garp were filmed on campus.
  • Notable alumni include Milton Friedman, Elizabeth Warren, and actor Sebastian Stan.
Wendy Y.
Below is my son's review. He was accepted to his dream Ivy League school!

From an admitted student's perspective, I am incredibly grateful to have met Sasha - he has been instrumental in helping me achieve my educational dreams (Ivy League), all while being an absolute joy (he's a walking encyclopedia, only funnier!) to work with.

Many people are dissuaded from seeking a college counselor because they think they can get into their desired college(s) either way. Honestly, going that route is a bit short-sighted and can jeopardize your odds of acceptances after years of hard work. The sad truth is, the American education system (even if you attend a fancy private school and ESPECIALLY if you go to a public school) doesn't really tell students how to write a compelling and authentic application. Going into the admissions process alone, without speaking with an advisor, is like going to court without a lawyer - you put yourself at a significant disadvantage because you don't have all the facts in front of you, or the help you need to negotiate the system.

That said, you need a good lawyer just like you need a good college counselor. And that's where Sasha distinguishes himself from the crowd of people claiming they'll get you into Harvard. I came to Sasha worried about and frankly dumbfounded by the college admissions process. I was unsure what to write about and how to go about drafting the essay that perfectly captured my passion, interests, and self. And I was highly skeptical that anyone could really help me. But, damn, did Sasha prove me wrong. From the beginning, Sasha amazed me with his understanding of the process, and ability to lend clarity and direction to me when I desperate needed it. After interviewing me about my background, experiences, activities, outlook, and vision, he helped me see qualities about myself I had not previously considered 'unique' or 'stand-out.' This process of understanding myself was so incredibly important in laying the groundwork for the essays I eventually wrote, and I'm certain I would've drafted boring, inauthentic essays without it.

Looking back, Sasha's talent is that he can see where your strengths lie, even when you don't see them. The truth is, although we don't always realize it, everyone has a unique story to tell. Sasha helped me see mine, and with his big-picture insight I was able to write the application that truly encapsulated my life and vision. He inspired me to dig deeper and write better, challenging me to revise and revise until my essays were the most passionate and authentic work I had ever written. As clichéd as that sounds, that's really what universities are looking for. In retrospect, it makes sense - in the real world passionate (not simply intelligent) individuals are the ones who make a difference in the world, and those are the individuals colleges would like to have associated with their brand.

In the end, I was accepted to the college of my dreams, a feat I could not have achieved without the direction Sasha lent to me. Essays (and the personal narrative you develop through your application) matter so much, and can literally make or break your application. I have seen so many of my 'qualified' friends receive rejections because they wrote contrived essays that didn't truly represent who they were; conversely, I have also seen so many friends with shorter resumes accepted because they were able to articulate their story in a genuinely passionate and authentic way - I fall into the latter category.

As a former admissions officer at Johns Hopkins, Sasha knows what types of essays jibe well with universities, an invaluable asset to have in the admissions process. He is responsive, flexible, creative, positive, and witty. For anyone who is serious about going into the college admissions process informed and prepared, I highly recommend Sasha.
Arda E.
I used Ivy Scholars to mainly help me with college applications. Within weeks of using this service, Sasha was able to simplify the already complex process. When it came to writing the Common App essay, Sasha didn’t just help with grammar and syntax, he brought my essays to life. Sasha also worked tirelessly to help solidify my extracurricular activities, including research and internship opportunities. Without his help, I would have never had an impressive resume.

Sasha is not only an extremely knowledgeable tutor, but also a genuine brother figure. His guidance, throughout my last two years of high school, was everything I needed to get me an acceptance letter from my dream schools (UC Berkeley, Tufts, Emory).

When it came to testing, Ivy Scholars worked like a charm. Sasha offered a very comprehensive plan when it came to completely acing my standardized tests. Without his test taking strategies I would have never gotten straight 5s on my AP tests and a 35 on the ACT.

Working with Sasha, I didn’t just become a good student, I became a genuine scholar.
Samson S.
We worked with Ivy Scholars during my son's senior year. I was concerned that we may be too late to take advantage of college advising but the Ivy Scholars team quickly and confidently directed us through the steps to ensure no deadlines were missed. Sasha's knowledge about schools, what they looked for in candidates, and how to maneuver the application process was invaluable. Mateo and Ryan worked with my son to help him create an essay that would get noticed and I am so appreciative he had their guidance.

Prior to securing Ivy Scholars, we tried using a less-expensive online service which was a terrible experience. As a parent, Ivy Scholars brought peace of mind to an area that was frankly overwhelming. This service was invaluable in the knowledge that we gained throughout the process. He has also met with my freshman daughter to provide guidance for her high school courses, career paths, extracurricular activities, and more.

Prior to signing with Ivy Scholars, I tried a less expensive online service and was very disappointed.

As a result of our work with Ivy Scholars, I am pleased to say that my son will be attending Stern Business School at New York University this fall! I highly recommend Ivy Scholars. Highly recommend!