The greater New York City area is rife with world-class institutions of higher learning. There are some Ivy League schools (Columbia, Princeton, Yale), some well-esteemed, nationally-regarded schools (NYU, Rutgers, UConn, Fordham), and some gems known very well by Northeasterners (Wesleyan, Vassar, Marist, etc).
What a lot of parents in Bergen County, NJ and other local areas don’t realize is that there are dozens of lesser-known schools within 50 miles that are terrific– and often overlooked. Below are seven colleges/universities within 50 miles of Bergen County you may want to consider during application season:
- CUNY. The City University of New York is actually a group of public schools, each with its own campus and focus. CUNY City College (Harlem) rocks at engineering; CUNY Hunter (Upper East Side) is fantastic at social sciences; CUNY Baruch (Gramercy) is the spearhead for business. These schools offer an incredible urban experience with access to great internships– for a fraction of the cost of a private college (tuition is less than $20K a year).
Acceptance rate: 30-40%. Typical scores: SAT 1180/ACT 24.
- Webb Institute. This beautiful school is perfect if you fit two key criteria: you want to study engineering and you want very small classrooms with lots of personal attention. This school has only 100 students… total. The tiny 9:1 student-to-teacher ratio indicates that students get a highly customized, relational experience as undergrads. The impressive 93% sophomore-year return rate shows that the students who attend Webb love it there. Nestled in a gorgeous but minute campus in Glen Cove, NY, this private school is expensive but offers a high-value experience for the right student.
Acceptance rate: 35%. Typical scores: SAT 1500/ACT 33.
- Drew University. Drew offers a pretty campus near an adorable town (Madison, NJ) with easy access to NYC for job exploration. The small classes create a strong community and engagement among its members. The school excels in Social Sciences, Biology, Arts, and Psychology and boasts an excellent 85% sophomore-year return rate.
Acceptance rate: 63%. Typical scores: SAT 1200/ACT 25.
- Stevens Institute of Technology. Parents in Bergen County know that Stevens is a powerhouse for engineering, but many do not know how strong the school is in business & other disciplines. It offers majors in business administration, management systems, music technology, biochemistry, and even philosophy! The institute provides students an inimitable living experience in Hoboken, featuring super-easy access to NYC. And the school’s 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio and 94% sophomore-year return rate are tough to beat.
Acceptance rate: 44%. Typical scores: SAT 1400/ACT 31.
- Pratt Institute. This Brooklyn stalwart is a heavyweight in the world of visual art and architecture. It offers its 3,500 undergrads a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio and a who’s who of professors in the field. If you’re interested in photography, digital media, fashion, creative writing, art education, graphic design, or architecture, this school is a dream.
Acceptance rate: 50%. Typical scores: SAT 1200/ACT 27.
- Caldwell University. This private school of 1,600 students is only half an hour from Bergen County, but most residents overlook it. The school is underappreciated for its ability to train students in the fields of Psychology, Business, and Health Professions. Its 84% sophomore-year return rate reflects a high satisfaction rate among its students, and its ethnically diverse campus provides myriad opportunities for learning.
Acceptance rate: 64%. Typical scores: SAT 1060/ACT 20.
- Iona College. Iona is the prototypical “safety” school: its already-high regular decision acceptance rates increase to an incredible 97% for early action applicants! What people overlook is that the school can hold its own in Business and Communications studies; offers Division 1 sports and a dance team; and enjoys a competitive 75% sophomore-year return rate among its 800 first-year students.
Acceptance rate: 92%. Typical scores: SAT 1100/ACT 22.
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