Pharmagal, I have tried to PM you, but your file is full. I think my letter may help others deciding on the program. So, I've decided to post it.
Congrats on your son's admission into the program. This year there was a record number of applicants, so you should be very proud of your son's scholarly achievement.
I'm currently in the program with Rutgers, finishing my second year of the "undergraduate experience". I have to say that the program has lived up to its expectations, in so far as granting me a spot in medical school. I'm doing the program in 6 years (I don't think TCNJ allows you to do this, though). So, I'll be starting NJMS this August. Overall, I've enjoyed my undergraduate years, knowing that I have a spot saved for me at medical school as long as keep a 3.3 GPA (very easy) and score average on the MCAT (that's a lot of pressure off my back). I'm sure your son will be (has been) accepted into many other prestigious institutes and programs and will be deciding where he wants to go. It's a very hard decision to make. It was odd when my high school friends heard that their valedictorian is going to Rutgers instead of HPME or Yale. Yet, for the most part, I think that a joint program trumps an ivy league any day of the week. Many people go crazy over name (brand loyalty, I guess), but, then again, they know little about what's important in becoming a doctor (residency!). Not to say that a degree from Harvard Medical school means little (by far, I think anyone would opt to go there if given the chance), but the outcome changes little if you want to stay on the clinical side of things. NJMS has a strong list of applicants who got into some of the best residency programs (please check my posting at my website: http://med.h3k.googlepages.com/
for this year's match list). I'm sure your son will be able to get into one of these prestigious residencies at the end of his 7 years, as I am guessing he will do equally well on the USMLE Step 1 for residency selection as he did on his SATs.
There are many talented students that enter the program through TCNJ and your son will thoroughly enjoy their companionship over the next years. Last year, a girl, who was her class's valedictorian and received a 2370 on her SATs, left Princeton to go to TCNJ-NJMS. So the caliber of students in the program is quite high. Yet, I do have to admit, outside my small group of BA/MDers at Rutgers, I feel somewhat isolated from the rest of population -- that is, in an intellectual sense. So that, along with other factors, propelled me to finish my undergrad. earlier. Yet, in the long run, I think I would not have enjoyed the Ivy League experience being a pre-med (not to mention the additional debt...)
If your son does plan to marticulate into the program, I would suggest that he do well in his classes, score high on the MCAT, and continue his extracurricular activities. This will give him the opportunity to receive merit aid from NJMS, if he plans to stay. But, if he wants to apply out of the program, he will be strong candidate at many schools. Yet, a facet of the program that learned during the later years is that once you apply to another medical school your admissions into NJMS is rescinded. I scored very well on the MCAT (in the 99 percentile) and have a 4.0 GPA. But, I am going to stay in the program -- mostly because I save two years, finances, and my lack of strong ECs at college. A few years back, a person with a score like mine applied out of program and was admitted into Harvard Medical School. So, in a way, you could use the 7 year as a medical school backup. Nonetheless, I have emphasized that it is residency that matters (unless you want to go into research, in which case the school's reputation also plays some factor). So, it is comparitively easier to get a higher class rank at NJMS and that, combined with a strong performance on Step 1, will get you into some of the most desired residencies. For example, this year someone got a dermatology residency at Harvard's affiliated MGH (extremely difficult).
I know that you must also be concerned with the recent scandals that are occuring at UMDNJ. This, sadly, has lowered the reputation of the institution in the eyes of the public. Nonetheless, these scandals involve the hospital and associated administration and has little impact on NJMS as a medical school. NJMS has accreditation for the next 8 years, so the school is doing fine.
I think I've covered many things and am sure that you may have additional questions. Please feel free to PM me if you need help in deciding where to go or related issues. Also, if you want, I'm sure TCNJ can have you speak to a student currently in the program.