What Does It Take to Get into Rutgers University–New Brunswick?

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Rutgers University at New Brunswick is the premier branch of Rutgers’ network, an influential research hub with a name that has achieved global recognition. It is one of three regional Rutgers campuses and with an acceptance rate of just 58%, it is the hardest one to gain acceptance to.


The New Brunswick campus is a melting pot of cultures, backgrounds and interests, with over 60 countries represented amongst 43,000 students. The campus itself is stretched over five independent neighborhoods, each boasting its own unique offerings for the student population—from College Avenue’s organic farms to Busch’s Olympic-size pool. And with New York City and Philadelphia a bus ride away, students never run out of adventures to be had or opportunities to be found.


In short, there’s something for everyone at this Rutgers branch. If you’re one of the New Brunswick hopefuls looking to call this campus home, read on for a breakdown of what it takes to stand out in an applicant pool of thousands.


Applying to Rutgers—New Brunswick: A Quick Review


For freshmen applicants, Rutgers offers two application deadlines: Early Action and Regular Decision. Students who are satisfied with their test scores and have their applications in order may choose to apply by the Early Action deadline of November 1st, allowing them to receive their decision sooner. Unlike Early Decision, which is not offered by this university, Early Action is not binding.


Alternately, the Regular Decision deadline is December 1st and students will receive their decision approximately a month after Early Action applicants. For more information on deadlines, check out the Rutgers website here.


Here’s a review of the steps for a complete Rutgers—New Brunswick application:


  • Create an account for the online application
  • Fill out the ‘Extracurricular Activities’ section of the application
  • Complete the required admissions essay (more information here)
  • Submit the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR) by creating an SRAR account
  • Submit SAT or ACT scores through the test agency’s website (Writing or essay component not required)
  • Submit the $70 non-refundable application fee or fee waiver


*Note: Letters of recommendation are not used for admissions consideration

Rutgers—New Brunswick Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get In?


The most popular of Rutgers’ three campuses, New Brunswick offers admission to only 58% of an incredible 70,000 applicants. That means almost 30,000 applicants are rejected each year, and this number is only going up.

So, How Does One Get Into Rutgers—New Brunswick?



The following is a list of requirements that must be satisfied in order to be considered for admissions.


  • English: 4 years
  • Foreign Language: 2 years of one language
  • Mathematics: 3 years, including Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II
  • Science: 2 years
  • Other Courses: 5 other academic courses
  • Total: 16+ academic units


For school-specific requirements lists, see here.


The Numbers

Though exact numbers vary depending on the school within Rutgers New Brunswick, both the GPA and standardized test scores of admitted students are, across the board, very competitive. As an example, the School of Arts & Sciences saw the following profile of admitted students during the 2018 admissions cycle:


  • Middle 50% SAT Score: 1270-1430
  • Middle 50% ACT Composite: 26-33
  • Middle 50% GPA: 3.6-4.1
  • High School Percentile Rank: 76-95%


More likely than not, your GPA and high school percentile are fairly finalized by this point. However, it is not too late to increase your SAT or ACT composites. To optimize your chances of acceptance, aim to reach or exceed the upper end of scores seen above.


In a school as large as Rutgers, numbers can play a huge role in determining who is accepted and who is not. It is by no means the only deciding factor, but by improving your SAT or ACT composite, you can greatly increase your odds of acceptance.


Interests and Activities

If your GPA or test scores happen to be on the weaker side, your extracurriculars provide a great opportunity to make up for it. Rutgers includes an extracurricular activity section on the application because the admissions committee wants to get a sense of who you are and what makes you unique. These activities can be great for showing AdComm that you are more than just the numbers on your application.


If you are still deciding which activities to pursue, remember to choose activities that you’re interested in. Don’t choose what to spend your time on because you think it’s what colleges want to see. Rather, focus on pursuing your authentic interests and demonstrating your values through the hobbies you engage in. But remember: a college would rather you commit yourself wholeheartedly to one or two passions than spread yourself thin over multiple engagements.


Character and Personality

If you are further into your high school career, your extracurricular activities are likely more or less locked in. At this point, it is no longer about what they are, but rather, it is about how you frame them, and for that matter, how you frame yourself.


The required admissions essay is a great opportunity to highlight your personality and tell the admissions committee more about what matters to you. Fortunately, Rutgers offers several prompts to choose from, so select the one that speaks to you the most. Within the 3800 character limit, paint an implicit picture of what you’d look like as a member of the Rutgers community.


What to Avoid:


  • Coming across as offensive, rude, or close-minded
  • Writing cliches
  • Redundancy
  • Grammatical Mistakes


What If You Get Rejected?


Unfortunately, not everyone can be accepted, and in a pool of 70,000 applicants, the harsh reality is that many aren’t. Though rejection is never fun, just remember that this is not the end of the line. This is one school in a country full of thousands! You’ll find your school.


Here’s a list of universities that are remarkably similar to Rutgers at New Brunswick, and whether you’ve been rejected or not, they’re worth considering.


  • The College of New Jersey
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Connecticut
  • Rutgers—Camden
  • Rutgers—Newark
  • County College of Morris
  • Seton Hall University


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

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Short Bio
Rebecca Weinstein is an undergraduate student at Stanford University, where she plans to study English with an emphasis in creative writing. When she is not studying at college, she lives in Morris County, New Jersey with her two dogs and three cats.

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