The following reviews are the views of students or alumni at this school and are unrelated to the school data and other editorial content on usnews.com. These reviews neither reflect nor impact a school's position within the Best Colleges rankings.
Rutgers is huge, and as expected, there are not enough administrators to accomadate every student's personal needs. The help is there, if you want to seek it out, but be prepared for a lot of bureaucracy and paper work. It's in New Brunswick, which is a limbo city, neither here nor there. There's a huge socio-economic divide between the kids going to school and the general population of the city, and the school usually gets it's way in terms of zoning, city planning, and funding, often to the detriment of the rest of the New Brunswick community. As a public school, Rutgers is influenced by the tax-payer's and the state's interests. Sometimes this is great and means the school can't cut funding for important academic and artistic programs, but more often it means we spend a million dollars (literally) for a new football coach to boost our image and attract better atheletes. Such is the paradox of public funding. It all depends on how smart the public and the administrators are.
Not that this is news to anyone, but Rutgers is an extremely large school. Coming from a small high school I thought it would be a nice change of pace to attend classes in large lecture halls. What I didn't take into consideration was the minimal amount of contact I'd have with my professors and the impact that would have on my studies. Most professors will tell you that they encourage their students to ask questions during lecture but it really doesn't flesh out. For classes that don't have recitation periods you may find yourself looking for outside tutoring if you need extra help. New Brunswick is a haven for filth and depravity...and that's not a bad thing. Being drunk on the streets of New Brunswick at 2 am on a friday night is an experience you can take with you for the rest of your life. You'll meet strange characters, be invited into dark exciting places, and probably eat a horrifyingly greasy sandwich. School pride was minimal at best until the RU football team beat Louisville two years ago. Now they are putting millions into building a new stadium and selling more RU sweatshirts then they ever have. As far as frequent complaints go, there is one that must stand above the rest. To even mention another minor annoyance would belittle the intensity with which every RU commuter despises the parking administration. There will never be anywhere to park. And just when you think you've found something in the corner of east-bumble*** and you've assessed the literature provided to come to the conclusion that this is indeed a viable bone-fide parking space, you will return to your car only to find a red envelope stashed tenderly between the wiper blade and your windshield.
I just love the whole dynamic of Rutgers. I like that it's set in an urban area where public transportation is so close. College ave is blocks from fine dining, shops, and nightlife spots. I enjoy getting to go to a different campus everyday and I think the bus system is terrific. Rutgers and the city of New Brunswick makes for an interesting college experience, one that prepares you and sets you in the real world. Although aspects of this city are very dangerous and neighborhoods may not be very affluent, I feel it's good for students to see that. It's humbling, it makes you keep in mind what you're working towards by earning a college degree, the amount of people you can help. Living close to College Ave I get nervous when I'm walking home from the computer lab at 2 or 3 in the morning. But when I walk by a Rutgers Patrol car it puts my mind a little more at ease. The College Ave area is very well monitored and controlled. The city Rutgers is situated within also creates a wealth of internship opportunities and business connections. I feel there's a really strong sense of Rutgers pride. I love that Rutgers alumni help out undergrads as much as they can. I love that our stadium is painted scarlet with the red shirts of all the screaming Rutgers students and fans during football games. I'll never forget the chaos of rushing the field during the Louisville game. I'm extremely proud to tell people that I go to Rutgers.
The best thing about Rutgers is sheer amount of opportunity it provides, for people of all majors and backgrounds. The school is small enough to have a close-knit group of friends, (especially if you get involved) but large enough "disappear" if you wish. People out of state tend to give Rutgers more credit, while in-state people usually have a baseless negative attitude towards it. I spend most of my time on campus within my clubs and organizations, along with the many libraries available for studying. The many Rutgers campuses offer many different "college campus feels," from the "college-city" feel of New Brunswick to the small college feel of Cook Campus. The Rutgers administration, unfortunately, is reflective of New Jersey itself in that I do feel there is a significant amount of corruption and disregard for the wellbeing of students. Controversies, however, are not too common. School pride is most evident at the football games, a great and exciting way to show Rutgers pride. I'll always remember the experiences I've had volunteering and participating in student organizations, which are all extremely diverse, which brings up another one of Rutgers' strong points. Diversity at Rutgers is unparalled, where people from around the globe come to study. The most frequent student complaint is probably the buses, which can be annoying at times but generally work very well for the amount of students they have to transport in and around the four New Brunswick campuses.
Rutgers is huge. That is the best and worst thing about it. The different campuses feel like different worlds. It can be very difficult when you live on one, but have all your classes on another and your social activities on a third. Commuting between the campuses means sitting on a crowded bus, which oftentimes get stuck in traffic around New Brunswick. There are also strong stereotypes about each campus, which can be hard to deal with. The school is very disorganized. When I first started it was divided into separate colleges. It has since merged to form the School of Arts and Sciences. This transition has caused chaos for both administration and students. Several of my important academic questions have been juggled around various departments, forcing me to run around different campuses trying to get an answer. In the recent years, with the success of the football team, pride in the school has improved. The national recognition has renewed the students pride in Rutgers and has united the university
Overall, Rutgers is a pretty decent University. I feel that I have a decent amount of fun here and that I'm getting an enriching education. However, thats not to say that I wouldn't change several things about the school. In high school, when i first told my fellow graduating class mates that I was going to be attending Rutgers, it was kind of frowned upon to a certain extent. "Oh, so you're staying home for the most part? Not going/doing anything exciting for the next four years?" was the most common response I would receive when telling friends that I was, in fact, staying in Jersey for my college career. However, i have found that what lacks in adventure category has certainly been made up in the convenience one. The NJ transit ride to get too and from school and home is a mere 12 minutes, making it very easy for me to rush home if I have a need for any supplies, rent checks, or emergency family issues. But all proximity qualms and compliments aside, the school still has a few issues which have never sit well with me. The school is too big. It's not that there are too many students, but that it is literally and physically too large. The five plus campuses that make up Rutgers University are too spread out amongst the towns of New Brunswick and Piscataway. The school has a very divided sense and lack of unity considering the only thing that really connects its give campuses is the highway of route 18. This almost gives the university a Disney World type feel, reminding us that the path from MGM to Epicot is not too different from the path to Busch Campus from College Avenue Campus. Considering this division, it makes the school have a much larger feel. If you meet someone on Busch Campus and you live on Livingston, it is possible you will never bump into or see them again. The amount of people is a good thing, but everyone being separate is not.
Thom JuniorReviews provided by: Unigo