Our son is at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and is very happy.
He auditioned unsuccessfully at his first choice conservatory in NYC. When he weighed his options last April, TCNJ came out on top for him.
Mostly it was a strong connection to the instrumental prof there who he had worked with the previous summer at Governor's school. Many others on the forums here have pointed out the importance of a 'fit' with an instrumental music instructor and this was key for our son.
His other school choices each had strong points for him to consider, including a large merit award from the Hartt school.
TCNJ also offers strong academics, small classes, a beautiful campus and a bunch of motivated, focused kids to hang out with. Our son is enjoying some of the writing and history classes more than he thought he would!
He may pursue a graduate degree at a conservatory.