ok, well, I am a parent, but I will try to best communicate both mine and my daughter’s POV
Aesthetically: TCNJ is really pretty- no matter the time of year. It is a beautiful campus that is very well laid out. I have visited at least 5 times at different times of year and I am always struck with how attractive the campus looks. It’s been very clean every time I have visited.
Surrounding: The New Campus Town has brought some cute little shops and food venues to the campus area. Barnes and Noble, Panera, a hot dog place, sushi, insomnia cookies, an urgent care, a postal place…some other places…
Personality: My very first experience at TCNJ was three years ago at a tour over Spring break. School was in session at TCNJ, so I said, let’s do a tour. It was definitely early (she was only a Freshman), but she had been to Princeton on MLK day and we had the day free. As soon as we stepped on campus, my daughter said, “I like it here” As the parent, I had heard, let them talk…don’t ask too many questions. I asked, What makes you think that? She said, “look at everyone. They are all happy”. I think at Princeton, she saw a very serious vibe, but at TCNJ, she just felt people were warmer.
Tour guide: Our tour guide was AMAZING. I wish I could remember her name because I can’t tell you how many times I have thought about what a great job that girl did selling the college. As we went from location to location, she smiled and waved to so many people and just made us feel like the college really was a GREAT community. This girl’s father was a professor at Rutgers, so she could have gone for free, but chose TCNJ and said she was SO happy with her experience.
Reputation: TCNJ has a very solid reputation. I is ranked as the #1 Public College in the Northeast in US News and World Reports. Money ranked it very highly as a great investment. Poets and Quants ranks the business school very highly …if you look up TCNJ ranking, you will see it shines as a public uni.
Academics: I have been to some open houses where I got to interact with various department heads and professors. All have been very engaging and helpful. They genuinely seemed to take an interest in my daughter. They, too, seem happy.
Leadership: the new President has a terrific education pedigree, and I feel that she will continue to escalate TCNJ and it’s programs
Grants: I have followed TCNJ in the news and see that they are successful in getting grants…this translates to opportunities for students be it research or improvements to educational programs
Opportunities: I have spoken with students in various programs who have had excellent internship opportunities and the ability to study across the various schools…for example, a comp sci major can do a minor in a business specially or an art program
Class size: Small classes are what my daughter wants. TCNJ has small classes
Cost: TCNJ feels like a private college at a public price. As a family that won’t get financial aid, comparing TCNJ to other schools she was interested in initially would be a HUGE cost difference. it makes more sense to have money for grad school than to burn through it with an undergrad degree.
Sports teams; TCNJ campus always seems to have a sporting event or something fun happening. Having it all located on a campus versus some other schools we visited where the athletic facilities are separate makes for more opportunities to get out of the dorm room.
I am sure there are more things. Oh, My daughter reached out to a department head to ask a few questions, and the professor invited her to attend some classes if she wanted to. I liked that. She hasn’t scheduled that yet, but the offer is there.