College reviews: Rutgers University

Members of The Patriot travel across the country in search of the perfect college for themselves and for readers closer to home


Rutgers University

Winants Hall was built in 1890 and was originally the first dorm on campus. Today, the building now serves as the home for several university offices such as Alumni Relations, Office Secretary of the University, and VP of Public Affairs.

Campus: Rutgers University consists of five different campuses within the main campus of New Brunswick and Piscataway. The campuses, which are named Livingston, Douglass, College Avenue, Cook, and Busch, each contain their own little personality. One minute while on College Avenue, you are in a small city, and then the next minute when you are on Douglass, you can see a small farm in the distance.

It is pretty remarkable how different each campus is from one another. The College Avenue Campus has an urban feel and has a combination of old and new buildings. Livingston, the campus home to Rutgers Business School, is a modern and updated campus, except for the old Student Union and dorms. Busch is home to most of the athletic fields and the football stadium. Douglass and Cook have a more rural feel and are home to Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, as well as the university farm.

Each Campus is very small, with the exception of College Avenue. They are all self-sufficient, and they each have dorms, food courts, student union buildings, and mini libraries. They are all isolated from one another as well, making it feel like you are actually on small campuses even though Rutgers is a large university, home to over 35,000 undergraduate students.

To get to each campus, you have to take a bus provided by the university. For some prospective students, they will like how massive the campus is, and for others, you might become overwhelmed.

On each campus, there was a mix of new and old buildings, and personally I found it to be unimpressive. I was surprised by how many outdated and dingy buildings there were. However, the university is making great progress to renovate all of the old buildings, and the new buildings that currently exist are all modern and up to date.

According to The College Board, there are approximately 35,000 students enrolled as undergraduate students with an acceptance rate of 58 percent. The average SAT score after March 1, is between 1190-1430. The average ACT score of an accepted first-year applicant is between a 26 and a 31.

Rutgers does have an early-action admissions program. This means that if you apply to the earliest application deadline and get accepted, the acceptance is non-binding and you can go wherever you choose.

Cost: The cost of attending Rutgers University varies if you are applying as in-state or out-of-state. In-state tuition is about $31,000, while out-of-state tuition is about $47,000. This includes the cost of a dorm, food, books, etc., without receiving financial aid.

Athletics: Rutgers is a member of the NCAA and the Big 10 Conference. They have Division I sports in baseball, basketball, crew, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, swimming and diving, wrestling, and volleyball. Sports are a big part of the university, and their team mascot is the Scarlet Knights, which was chosen by the student body in 1955. They are also known for hosting the first-ever college football game against Princeton in 1869.

Food and Activities: When I visited the campus, I did not eat at the dining hall. Instead, I ate at a very nice diner on the Livingston campus, and the food was excellent. It was a modern, fun twist on a classic diner. For a normal meal plan provided by the university, they have plenty of options including vegan and gluten free.

Besides going to class, there are several activities to do on campus. Since Rutgers is in the Big 10 Conference, sports are a huge part of the social life at Rutgers. If going to sporting events is not your thing, there are still plenty of other things to do. The College Avenue campus is a small city with lots of shops and restaurants, as well as a live theater playhouse. If you still can’t find anything to do, Rutgers is a 30-minute train ride from Manhattan, so you can always grab a train with your friends and spend the day being a tourist in Manhattan.

Summary: When visiting the campus, I had high expectations that I would like the experience , but sadly, those expectations were not met. The campus is simply too large and the thought of having to take a bus between the multiple campuses overwhelmed me. However, I did enjoy the campus of College Avenue. It has a small city feel and felt more like an actual college campus. If you are interested in Rutgers, I highly suggest visiting before you apply. It is a school that you must visit due to the fact that it is so different from other schools. However, if a huge campus is what you are looking for to fulfill your college experience, you should definitely visit Rutgers.

Adriana Guidi is a Perspectives Editor for The Patriot and