The College has a new distinction to be proud of: it has just achieved the elite status of “Most Competitive” in Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges, joining the ranks of Ivy Leagues and the nation’s other top schools.
Previously, the College had been ranked “Highly Competitive.” It is now the only public institution from the Northeast and one of seven nationally to be included on the list, according to a press release from College and Community Relations. Princeton University is the only other New Jersey school with the same status.
Rounding out the top seven public institutions were the University of North Carolina, the University of Virginia, the College of William & Mary, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Florida.
“These types of rankings that place us among the most competitive colleges in the country are an indication that people want to go to school here,” Matthew Golden, assistant director for public information in the office of College and Community Relations, said. “They’re a direct result of the tremendous faulty and student body we’ve been able to develop,” he added.
News of the accolade from Barron’s comes shortly after U.S. News and World Reports named the College the top public college in the North for the Best-Universities-Master’s category, which includes 572 schools that offer a variety of undergraduate programs with some graduate programs but few, if any, doctoral programs.
Up against all 165 northern private and public schools in the category, the College ranked fifth. Of all 572 schools in the category, nationally it also boasts the highest average freshman retention rate, 95 percent.
In its own category, the College has the highest percentage of incoming freshmen coming from the top 25 percent of their high school class, according to the College’s press release.
The College has received top rankings by U.S. News World and World Reports since 1993, unlike the title of “Most Competitive” from Barron’s, which had never before been obtained by the College. This title, therefore, merits special excitement for the College.
“This recognition of the tremendous progress we have made and of the unique educational opportunities available at The College of New Jersey is a great honor,” College President R. Barbara Gitenstein was quoted as saying in the press release.
According to Barron’s, schools considered “Most Competitive” admit students who were in the top 10 to 20 percent of their high school class, had grade averages between A and B+ and scored between 655 and 800 on math and verbal sections of the SAT.
“It makes me really proud to go here,” Michelle Dunlap, sophomore history and secondary education major, said. “I hope the high rankings help attract more out-of-state students as well as in-state kids so that we become more nationally known.”
Students do point out that despite all the recognition from guidebooks, people still don’t recognize the acronym TCNJ and confuse the school with Rutgers.
“I think it’s a pretty impressive honor,” Eleonora Teplinsky, senior biology major, said about the rankings. “However, from my experience, TCNJ is still not known nationally. Apart from the state of New Jersey, no one has really heard of TCNJ.”
The College’s rankings show students that acknowledgement of the school is not as obscure as it may sometimes seem, but rather that the institution has “solidified its placement among the best public schools in the country,” as Lisa Angeloni, dean of Admissions, said.