Yes, but you might graduate from Cornell with over $100,000 dollars in debt. Even if you do get the job over the TCNJ student, you will have the huge weight on your back of paying off major student loans. You're future earnings, although you might be making more, will be tied up in paying off loans for years after you graduate.
My cousin is graduating from TCNJ this year and she will be attending graduate school at Columbia University next year, she said that all of the grads pursuing secondary school were able to make the schools they wanted. She was one of the students who rejected Ivies for a full ride at TCNJ, and she loved it.
As for Rutgers, it is a big name mainly since it takes up so much space. How could you possibly compare two colleges where one has its own zip code and one has a 200 acre campus? TCNJ is quite superior academically, and the advantages Rutgers may enjoy over TCNJ are non-existent to 90% of the students just because there's so many! I was accepted to Rutgers with a substantial scholarship but I chose TCNJ instead (I am from NY). It's a no brainer for me.
TCNJ (Trenton State as most people in NJ still call it) is not well known. Frankly, I find it amusing that TS adopted Princeton's former name in the hope of acquiring some cachet. Anyhow, I occasionally do recruiting for a large firm and routinely meet other recruiters. Whether you like it or not, Rutgers still carries more weight among recruiters. The school has an array of opportunities for undergrads in both the hard sciences and liberal arts and believe it or not, the kids I've met (no doubt the cream of the school) are on a par with those I've met from the better state Univs such as UVA and Mich. That's not to say that RU's facilities or reps are comparable, just that RU offers opportunities to those willing to take advantage of them, which are far more than TCNJ can offer. Yes, the SAT average may be lower, but we recruiters don't look at the SAT scores of schools when looking for candidates.
In full disclosure, I am a Rutgers College grad from the early 80s who went on to grad school and am now a senior in my firm. In addition to my recruiting activities, I also visited a number of schools this past year to prepare my daughter. We visited RU, but she didn't like the large sprawling campuses. She did, however, like the BME program there and other opportunities it afforded in case engineering didn't work out. In the end she chose the University of Virginia, which gave her the same choices--as well as a national reputation. SO, in the end, don't get hung up with USNWR rankings and labels since in 5, 10, 20 years they won't mean much as they constantly change.
I'm with kamaro1. I still don't get how Trenton State suddenly became TCNJ and the next hot thing. As far as I know they had the same no-name faculty, a puny library, and generally limited resources with no endowment to speak of. Somehow--maybe Rutgers classic lack of user friendliness--they have attracted a much better class of students than in the recent past. But it's still in the deadwater suburb of Ewing and mostly a suitcase school. Beware.
Damn stop the hate on here guys, go back to the Rutgers forums if you love it so much! I am quite sure that it will not be a problem for TCNJ grads to get jobs, especially since a lot go to prestigious grad schools right after undergrad.
No hate here. Just remarking on how the two schools are really apples and oranges. I just went through this with my daughter here in Virginia. The same contrast exists between the University of Virginia and William & Mary. One is a larger university with a multitude of majors (e-school, etc.) and graduate programs/research while the other is a classic, small liberal arts college. Both are excellent institutions. In the same vein, you just can't compare Rutgers and TS, both are different and appeal to two different constituencies. Anyhow, I still stand by my original post that Rutgers still has the better name recognition among recruiters and the public at large.
We have a S at TCNJ and we were concerned about the "suitcase" issue but it tuned out to be no problem. He almost never comes home and we are less than 2 hours away. He tell us that the vast majority of the kids stick around now a'days. I also understand that this wasn't the case in the past.
That said: TCNJ and Rutgers are two very different schools, and to compare a rural, highly selective, small LAC with a large, urban, University that accepts students across the qualification spectrum would be silly.
Rutgers has more resources. More libraries, more well known professors, a diversity of students, and a better out of state reputation. If you don't mind a large school, Rutgers would be a better choice that would help you if you end up not living in NJ. Some people think Rutgers is a ivy since it is one of the 1st universities in the US. It is considered a "public ivy" and well known overall to employers and graduate schools. However, it is large and not as personal as TCNJ. Opinions of TCNJ are good in-state, but Rutgers has many excellent departments according to national rankings.
"Public Ivies" were published in a copy of the NY Times, and correct me if I'm wrong, but Rutgers wasnt on that list. Schools that claim to be public ivies don't just do it because they feel like it (like you're doing) they were actually cited as such. Also, one of the qualities of an ivy-league school is SELECTIVE competitive academics, in addition to high graduation and retention rates.
Sorry to say, Rutgers is no longer considered a public ivy as it once was in the 60s, 70s and early 80s before the current administration and its predecessors jettisoned its reputation in favor of big time athletics. That said, Rutgers still has strong reputation OUTSIDE of the state which I can a test to from my recruiting and the responses from my colleagues who ask about my alma mater. And within Rutgers itself there are pockets of excellence that are well known, pharmacy, business, poli sci (don't know how many times Ross Baker has been in the NYT and on tv). Just remember this, rankings change and so do admit rates/SAT scores over time. Trenton-TCNJ may be up in the rankings now and garnering a reputation in state, but these things change over time (case in point, Rutgers). I suggest that readers don't look at "rankings" but look at what they want to pursue as a major/career. Secondly, they should look at a fallback position as well. I just went through this with my daughter who chose to go to the University of Virginia over Virginia Tech for engineering. Even though VT has the more known engineering program, she chose UVA in case engineering didn't pan out so that she would have a wider array of other opportunities/majors. Same holds true to RU.
And btw, TCNY doesn't qualify as a public ivy as well. Those are reserved for Berkeley, UVA, UMich, and the U of NC if I remember correctly.
Last edited by Kamaro1; 04-17-2009 at 10:11 AM.
Reason: Forgot to add line
TCNJ is such a different school than Rutgers. They're both good - but offer totally different learning environments. I DID NOT want to go to a big school - but rather, wanted a small environment with really smart kids. TCNJ is a beautiful place, and similiar to a small liberal arts school. PLUS...students love TCNJ - they have one of the highest retention rates in the country! Once students are admitted, they don't leave. RU can't compete again TCNJ's retention.
Rutgers has a retention rate on par with other, major public universities with a freshmen retention rate of 89 percent. I would hazard to guess that the lower retention rate large state U's have relative to smaller, liberal arts colleges comes from the more demanding and competitive majors these schools offer. For example, at RU I'm sure the washout rate for pharmacy, electrical engineering, etc., are probably much higher then a french lit or poli sci major. Again, these are two very different schools with two different missions. One is not "better" then the other, despite the best attempts of USNWR to tell you otherwise.
I currently go to TCNJ, but I am transferring to Rutgers.
The reason for transferring is simply because Rutgers has a better biomedical engineering program. I've also been screwed over by the school repeatedly. I was rejected from the honors program simply because I handed in my application by the deadline. They had filled up the honors program BEFORE the deadline (some kids weren't even going to the school) However, I will say that TCNJ is a very good school for liberal learning and sciences. Additionally, TCNJ is one of the top teaching schools.
As for "full rides," TCNJ doesn't give out full rides for academics anymore. If you're ranked high enough, you will get a full tuition scholarship without room and board. Need-based students will sometimes get full rides. Some students do get scholarship laptops, but I'm not sure on what the prerequisites for that are. I was second in my class with a 1480 on my SAT's, but I didn't get one of those laptops (granted...the scholarship laptops aren't fantastic, but they serve their purpose well).
The school on weekends are sometimes pretty empty. While the school is becoming less of a "suitcase school," many people do still go home on weekends. However, that just means more "fun" for the rest of us (use your imagination). On the other hand, the College Union Board does an excellent job of providing activities and shows for the students. Demetri Martin recently visited the school for a show, and Stephen Lynch is having a show tonight. Brand New, Ludacris, and Lupe Fiasco also had shows here recently.
Essentially, what it comes down to is atmosphere. TCNJ is in the suburbs of Trenton. There really isn't much to do off campus, but there's no need to go off campus unless you're going to a party (and most of the houses are within walking distance). Academic-wise, TCNJ and Rutgers are pretty even. I think as far as liberal learning, TCNJ is a better school with better professors, but Rutgers provides more varied classes. Rutgers has a better engineering program by far though. As for the sciences, the schools seem pretty even. Rutgers might win out there because they have more money.