top of page
  • Writer's pictureNancy Adis

Newark NJ – A City Brimming with Educational Opportunities!

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Earlier this month I traveled to Newark, New Jersey to visit two urban public university campuses that are literally right next to each other and between the two, offer a wide range of academic options.

Rutgers University - Newark Campus is one of their three main locations and offers a wide variety of programs from arts to business, criminal justice to urban education, and neuroscience to philosophy on their 38-acre campus. Serving approximately 13,000 students, largely from New Jersey, this diverse public research university has a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio and focuses on civic engagement – such as offering legal clinics to serve the local residents and community partnerships to advance social challenges. Flexible scheduling supporting continuing education and dedicated programs with mentoring for first generation students are part of the university’s focus on embracing challenges and providing innovative solutions to make higher education accessible to all.

They also have an honors college with its own living learning community that’s intergenerational and interdisciplinary. This honors program seeks to admit students from community colleges, GED programs, and high schools, believing that these students will benefit significantly and will positively affect their communities. The program’s goals are to cultivate thought leaders within their fields, positive collaborators within their communities, and change agents in the world. Selection for participation is based on critical thinking skills, social and emotional intelligence, leadership skills and academic and artistic potential.

Another public research university in downtown Newark, is the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), a science, technology, and design university for STEM-based education. With 50 undergraduate degrees and over 65 graduate programs, the NJIT provides an experience that is a unique blend of liberal and technical education. They offer an interdisciplinary approach to learning and a focus on helping students develop beyond the classroom to become well-rounded global citizens. Within their College of Science and Liberal Arts there is focus on “addressing the complexities of modern life at the intersection of science, technology and human values, and to providing the intellectual foundations necessary to understand and analyze them”. University departments collaborate to investigate the latest trends and expand interdisciplinary initiatives in such areas as genomics, robotics, mathematical biology, nanotechnology and environmental science.

The 11,500 NJIT students have access to over 140 clubs and organizations, 19 Division 1 sports teams, and a $110 million Wellness and Events Center. With a focus on continuous improvement to meet the changing needs of the marketplace, NJIT has initiatives like new online learning programs and programs for pre-college students, teachers, and working professionals. They have an innovation institute, a startup incubator, and 130 research institutes, centers and specialized labs to provide students with the resources they need to research, innovate, and partner with industry and government. They also have an honors program providing unique opportunities to engage with alumni and providing merit aid for all students selected.

There are so many interesting educational opportunities in Newark – both for those who live on either of these two campuses and those who live nearby (and NYC is only a 20-minute train ride away) – and with a combination of university, federal, and state funding (such as the Garden State Guarantee) attendance at state universities like these two are more accessible and affordable.

There are many colleges and universities available to students, depending on their interests and career goals. Confident College Planning can help families uncover a variety of new options you may not have heard of and guide you all throughout the application process. Contact me at for assistance – I would love to help you on your college choice journey!


bottom of page