Is Rutgers University Hard to Get Into?

Being the largest public school in New Jersey and a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) just like all the Ivy Leagues, many college-bound teens wonder just how difficult it is to get into Rutgers University.

Rutgers University is harder to get into than open admissions schools and easier to get into than highly selective schools. With a 61% acceptance rate, one’s chances of getting accepted are more than 50/50. At RU, there is no minimum GPA students need to meet for their applications to be considered.

To have an idea of the school’s selectivity level, especially its New Brunswick campus, which is the largest of the Rutgers University System, here’s a table of the most selective schools in New Jersey and their acceptance rates:

Princeton UniversityPrinceton6%
Stevens Institute of TechnologyHoboken40%
The College of New JerseyEwing49%
Bais Medrash Toras ChesedLakewood59%
Rutgers University – New BrunswickNew Brunswick61%
Yeshivas Be’er YitzchokElizabeth65%
Ramapo College of New JerseyMahwah66%
Kean UniversityUnion69%
Bloomfield CollegeBloomfield71%
Drew UniversityMadison71%
Georgian Court UniversityLakewood71%
Rider UniversityLawrenceville71%
Rutgers University – NewarkNewark71%
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewark71%
Rowan UniversityGlassboro74%
Seton Hall UniversitySouth Orange74%
College of Saint ElizabethMorristown74%
Centenary CollegeHackettstown75%
William Paterson University of New JerseyWayne75%

What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Rutgers University?

Like many colleges and universities, Rutgers University does not have a published minimum GPA requirement all first-year applicants and even transferees have to meet. However, the general consensus among numerous college ranking sites is that the estimated high school GPA requirement at RU is 3.3.

At RU, one of the academic admissions factors is the GPA. As a matter of fact, it shares the same relative importance of “very important” with rigor of secondary school record and standardized test score.

With only a little more than half of all applicants getting accepted (61%), a high GPA is a definite must.

Although it’s true that Rutgers does not have any published minimum high school GPA first-year applicants should meet, the institution, however, has a published GPAs of students admitted into its various schools:

School of Arts and Sciences – Newark3.4 to 4.0
Rutgers Business School3.4 to 3.8
School of Public Affairs and Administration3.1 to 3.9
School of Criminal Justice3.3 to 3.8

RU has also published the GPAs of admitted transferees obtained from their previous colleges:

School of Arts and Sciences – Newark3.0 to 3.7
Rutgers Business School3.2 to 3.7
School of Public Affairs and Administration3.0 to 3.6
School of Criminal Justice3.0 to 3.7

Above, we mentioned that the high school GPA is a very important academic admissions factor considered when evaluating first-time, first-year applicants. There is another one admissions officers consider: class rank.

But unlike GPA, academic rigor and test score, class rank has a relative importance of “considered” only.

Still, since Rutgers University has a holistic admissions policy, being near or at the top of your graduating class can spell the difference between receiving an acceptance letter and getting a rejection or a deferral.

Not all high schools in the US use a ranking system. It’s for this reason exactly why only 19% of first-time, first-year students accepted into Rutgers are able to submit their high school class rank — well, at least as per the school’s Common Data Set 2020 to 2021.

Curious as to how admits who submitted their class rank fared in high school? Check out this table:

Top 10% of high school graduating class30%
Top 25% of high school graduating class66%
Top 50% of high school graduating class91%
Bottom 50% of high school graduating class9%
Bottom 25% of high school graduating class2%

Please take note that the top 50% and the bottom 50% should be equivalent to 100%.

What Test Score Do You Need to Get Into Rutgers University?

Most first-year students admitted into Rutgers University who submitted their SAT scores have section scores of 580 to 680 (SAT EBRW) and 600 to 730 (SAT Math). Meanwhile, the majority of first-year students accepted into RU who submitted their ACT scores have a composite score range of 25 to 32.

Not too happy with your high school GPA? Luckily, Rutgers University has a holistic admissions policy.

This means that it will also take a look at other components of your application when evaluating you, such as your standardized test score. Needless to say, an impressive SAT or ACT score might increase the admissions chances of an applicant whose GPA is not that high.

Of the admitted first-time, first-year students into Rutgers, 90% submitted their SAT scores. On the other hand, only 18% submitted their ACT scores.

Usually, the SAT EBRW middle 50% range for applicants who get accepted into RU is 580 to 680. The SAT Math middle 50% range, meanwhile, is 600 to 730. And when it comes to the ACT middle 50%, the range for students who get an offer to enroll at Rutgers University is 25 to 32.

Here are some important things to keep in mind based on the figures above:

  • 25% of admits have SAT EBRW scores lower than 580 and SAT EBRW scores higher than 680.
  • 25% of admitted students have SAT Math scores lower than 600 and SAT Math scores higher than 730.
  • 25% of accepted applicants have ACT composite scores lower than 25.
  • 25% of admits have ACT composite scores higher than 32.

To give you a much better idea of whether or not your SAT score is enough to win you an acceptance letter from RU’s admissions officers, check out the following table, which shows the percentage of admitted first-time, first-year students into the school and their SAT section scores:

700 to 80020%39%
600 to 69950%40%
500 to 59928%20%
400 to 4992%1%
300 to 3990%0%
200 to 2990%0%

And now, let’s take a quick look at a table demonstrating the percentage of first-time, first-year students accepted into Rutgers as well as their ACT composite and section scores:

30 to 3651%40%45%
24 to 2931%44%41%
18 to 2317%14%13%
12 to 172%2%1%
6 to 110%0%0%
1 to 60%0%0%

Took the SAT or ACT more than once and not happy with your latest score?

Fret not.

That’s because, like many colleges and universities that consider standardized test scores in the admissions process, RU superscores SAT and ACT scores.

When you submit your various test scores, the school will take into account only the highest section scores across all test dates and add them up to obtain your composite score.

Which Admissions Factors are Considered at Rutgers University?

Because Rutgers University has a holistic admissions policy, it considers various admissions factors, academic and non-academic alike. Some of the most important include the GPA, test score, academic rigor and extracurricular activities. There are also a few factors that RU does not consider at all.

Since the acceptance rate at Rutgers is 61%, your chances of gaining admission into it is a little more than 50/50.

But if you don’t want to risk it, making sure that your application can make the school’s admissions officers happy is a great idea. This is when the importance of knowing the various admissions factors considered comes in.

Needless to say, if RU is at the top of your college list, it’s a must for the various academic and non-academic factors taken into account in your application to shine. And with some of them having more weight in the admissions process than the rest, knowing the ones on which you should focus more is a huge plus.

The following are the various academic factors considered at Rutgers and their relative importance:

  • Academic rigor – very important
  • GPA – very important
  • Standardized test score – very important
  • Class rank – considered
  • Admissions essay – considered

Unlike at most colleges and universities, Rutgers University does not require applicants to submit recommendation letters. This means that applying to the school is less stressful and tiring. But since no one will be vouching for your college readiness, you should make sure that your application will be able to highlight your positive aspects.

And now, let’s check out the different non-academic factors RU considers and the relative importance of each:

  • Extracurricular activities – important
  • Interview – considered
  • Talent or ability – considered
  • Personal qualities – considered
  • First-generation – considered
  • Geographical residence – considered
  • State residency – considered
  • Race or ethnicity – considered
  • Volunteer work – considered
  • Work experience – considered

Rutgers University does not care at all about some non-academic admissions factors other schools consider. They are alumni member relations, religious affiliation and demonstrated interest.

Just Before You Apply to Rutgers University

US News ranks Rutgers University #23 in Top Public Schools and #63 in National Universities. On the other hand, it’s #1 in Top Public Universities in America by Niche and #2 in Best Public Colleges in New Jersey by College Simply. Because RU is highly ranked, it’s easy to assume that getting into it is difficult.

The good news is that the acceptance rate at Rutgers is 61%. What’s more, there is no minimum GPA requirement students need to meet for their applications to be considered.

RU has a holistic admissions policy — make sure your entire application shines, and you’re golden!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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