CM’s Guide to Rutgers University

By  |  0 Comments

Rutgers University—New Brunswick, NJ

Scarlet Knight Instagram

The Vibe

Diverse across all campuses, but united by school spirit

What it Feels Like to Go Here

If you go to Rutgers University, you’ll still chant “R! U! RAH! RAH! R! U! RAH! RAH!” even if the football team is losing, because who cares? You know that Rutgers is still awesome despite its streak of Ls. Not only are the football games and tailgates crazy, but so is the bus system. If you aren’t packed up against a total stranger while trying to make your 9 a.m. on Livingston Campus, are you even a true Rutgers student? Beyond that, Rutgers is chock-full of friendly, hard-working and fun-loving students from all walks of life. And you will never go a day without seeing at least one student sporting Rutgers apparel, no matter which of the five campuses of Rutgers you find yourself. “No matter where you are and who you see, everybody is happy to be at Rutgers,” said sophomore Justin Sontupe.

Awesome Alumni

Established in 1766, Rutgers has had a good amount of time to churn out successful graduates. Lets start way back in 1932, when Milton Friedman graduated and soon became a dignified economist. He even won a Nobel Prize in 1977. Rutgers University is also known for its sports journalism program, so of course, it would be highly unusual for Rutgers to not have one famous sports journalism alumnus. David Stern, former NBA commissioner, graduated in 1963. He was a Deans List history student and a Henry Rutgers scholar. Rutgers is also the alma mater for former Today Show anchor Natalie Morales-Rhodes, who graduated in 1994.

Not only has Rutgers cultivated great journalists, but the university has also taught current-day female politicians, like Elizabeth Warren who graduated Rutgers-Newark Law School in 1976. Besides becoming the U.S. Senator of Massachusetts, she has also been a professor at Harvard Law School and the chair to the Congressional Oversight Panel to Investigate U.S. banking bailout. Speaking of successful women, did you know that U.S. Women’s Soccer player Carli Lloyd jumpstarted her career with the women’s soccer team at Rutgers. It’s not surprising that one of RU’s dignified alumni is an athlete because of the university’s focus on sports.

Where We Hang

What can’t you do at Rutgers? If you’re of age, then you can easily get into bars. Some of these bars include Olde Queens Tavern, Scarlet Pub and Stuff Yer Face (which have amazing make-your-own strombolis, might I add). Under 21? Not to worry. You’ll find plenty of other ways to keep your inner party animal entertained, like hitting up College Ave frat parties.

Let’s just say you’ll never go hungry at Rutgers. The Yard on College Ave. features a number of restaurants such as Krispy Pizza, Surf Taco and honeygrow. You’ll also see a giant TV with a large grassy yard to view movies. And when you get hungry while watching the big screen? You can hit up three food trucks on the way to classes: RU Hungry food truck with grease food, the Knight Wagon, and that’s right, a mobile Starbucks. At the end of College Ave you will also find the Rutgers Club run by the Alumni Association. “Mondays and Thursdays you can go there for a meal swipe dinner and it’s better than going to a dining hall,” sophomore Marisa Joel.


1. How much are students partying?

“At the beginning of the semester, you can find a party any night of the week. Since a lot of my friends are guys, another thing we would do was stay in the dorm and party. In the beginning of the semester, you could definitely find a Tequila Tuesday party, a Thursday party and of course parties on Friday and Saturdays. I’ve seen parties on Wednesdays, but it really varies and depends on how close you are with a certain frat to see when they’re throwing parties,” said sophomore Lizzy Rodas.

2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?

“Stealing is really big thing. You do get emergency alerts sent to you if you’re a student on campus because Rutgers is kind of near a city. College Ave is kind of a city campus because there are no boundaries; it meshes with the city. But I do think it’s a safe place despite being the city,” said sophomore Justin Sontupe.

3. How much sex are students having?

“I think it varies too much by the values of the students to get into it. Most people don’t feel pressured to have sex, but I’m sure it’s happening. But most people are pretty smart about it with condoms, birth control, etc.,” said sophomore Laura Kershaw.

4. What would you tell incoming freshman about your school?

“Don’t be intimidated by the size or the busses because it is very easy to get a handle of. Have fun, but not too much fun where the things that are important suffer,” said sophomore Amber Osterbrink.

5. What class at Rutgers surprised you the most?

“Everyone has to take Expository Writing. It was super challenging as expected because you had to write five papers with five pages each… but it ended up being my favorite class because it was a small class and the professor was really cool; during his office hours he would really help me. I would encourage freshmen to not be afraid of it,” said sophomore Marisa Joel.

Student Reviews

“I think the school is very underrated in academics and the social scene. The diversity of culture and all around different views of all of the students are just a few of the things that people overlook. When you have so many people from so many different backgrounds your school experience both socially and academically becomes more diverse because you hear and see so many different points of view.” – Alison Fleischman, Class of 2020

“My greatest challenge at Rutgers (I’m sure like many students) is the adjustment from high school to college level courses and school work. But I joined a program that helps minorities in science majors called ODASIS and through them we got extra review classes and exams for any of our science and math classes. It was also a challenge to adjust to a large school and make it small in my own way. From that adjustment I’m proud that I became more independent when it comes to the way I study. Now I feel more prepared for my sophomore year because I figured out different ways to study that work in different scenarios.” – Angie Hernandez, Class of 2020

“My first year at Rutgers was better than I expected. I was kind of expecting to not have a good time. Before school started, I didn’t want to leave home. I had super low expectations because I didn’t want to go there at all at first. But I was very pleasantly surprised because of Rutgers’ school spirit. The people that you meet on your floor, they’re all in the same boat as you so you kind of struggle through aspects of college together…Everything from meeting people in my classes, the gym or in my dorm, I definitely made friendships that I know will last for sure.” – Eric Kardaras, Rutgers University Class of 2020

“There’s like no way to describe it. I’m in the Engineering Honors Academy and I’ve already had so many opportunities. I’m just a sophomore and I did paid research over the summer, I’m getting published, and I’ve been able to plan events and join different organizations. Next summer I’m pretty sure I’m going to have an internship at J&J. Rutgers just lets you really get into whatever you want to.” – Laura Kershaw, Rutgers University Class of 2020

“I was pleasantly surprised by how pretty the campus was. I had heard a lot of negative things about the campus headed into my college visits but all those statements were wrong and I was absolutely floored by the campus.” – Nitish Mirchandani, Rutgers University Class of 2020

Top 3 Majors

1. Psychology, General

2. Biology/Biological Sciences, General

3. Kinesiology and Exercise Science and Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General

Top 3 Most Popular Student Organizations

1. Intramural Sports Program

Rutgers Recreation offers over 50 different intramural sports leagues including soccer, basketball, flag football, softball, street hockey, volleyball and ultimate frisbee, just to name a few. Over 8,000 students participate in intramural sports annually at Rutgers, so what’s stopping you? “I had a lot of friends on my floor who did intramural soccer,” said Rodas. “We’d all go to their games and cheer them on.” Opportunities exist for Men’s Women’s and Co-Recreational play, with varying levels of competition. “Regardless of your skill level, if you’ve played before or if you haven’t played before, it’s a great thing to get involved in,” said Sontupe.

2. Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA)

Do you want to get involved in all of the fun events Rutgers has to offer? Why not even be a part of planning them? Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA, for short) is a “university-wide student programming council that services the entire Rutgers community.” Some past events have included concerts, comedy shows, lectures, performances, art projects and more. The organization strives to bring a variety of entertainment events to campus because of the diverse population at Rutgers. But the best part about this organization? “Students run it, not the school,” said Joel. Need I say more?

3. Rutgers University Dance Marathon (RUDM), For the Kids

This 24-hour dance marathon raises money for Embrace Kids Foundation, which supports children with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other serious diseases. “There are a lot of volunteer organizations on campus, but this one is pretty popular because a lot of people participate in the dance marathon,” said Sontupe. This 24-hour dance marathon may sound daunting (it involves absolutely no sitting and no sleeping), but hey, in 2017 RUDM raised a record-breaking $1,038,986.13. Impressive, am I right? Don’t miss out on your chance to line dance with 2,000 fellow students while also raising money for a good cause.

Getting In

The admissions board at Rutgers University conducts a holistic review of student applications, and takes into account things beyond test scores and your high school GPA. But like any school that says that, those factors remain important. However, the requirements vary depending on which location you apply to. Rutgers-New Brunswick is the most competitive, where the middle 50 percent of regularly admitted Fall 2016 students scored between 1240 to 1560 on the redesigned SAT, 24 and 34 on the ACT and had high school GPAs that ranged from 3.3 to 4.3. Rutgers-Newark is the next most competitive Rutgers location, and then Rutgers-Camden.

To complete your application online, you must include which Rutgers schools you are applying to (you can either apply to one, two or all three) and information on your high school extracurricular activities such as previous activities, employment, community service, etc. Like most colleges, the Rutgers admissions board also requires applicants to submit essays. You are allowed to respond to one of five prompts. For example: “What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)? If you are stumped by all four of the questions, the fifth option allows you to write an essay on a topic that you choose.


Main Locations: New Brunswick, NJ; Newark, New Jersey; Camden, New Jersey

Tuition & Fees: In-state: $14,372; out-of-state: $30,023

Total Cost on Campus: In-state: $31,733; out-of-state: $47,384

Undergrads Enrolled: approx. 49,359

Grads Enrolled: more than 19,583

Total Enrolled: approx. 68,942

Acceptance percentage: 58%

Retention Rate: 92% (for Rutgers University – New Brunswick)

Percentage of Male Students: 46.7%

Percentage of Female Students: 53.3%

Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: more than 79% of undergrads

100% guarantee that we'll be friends if you tag me in Harry Potter memes or Tasty videos on Facebook. Aspiring magazine journalist at the University of Maryland (but dabbling in marketing as well).

Enter our Monthly Giveaway

Win $100 for YOU & $100 for your student org. Sign up to enter our monthly giveaway.