Lower Intensity colleges in NJ & nearby

Stockton is a good option. If I were you, I’d be looking at all of the public colleges in NJ…Rutgers and TCNJ probably are reaches but you never know.

Add in places like York, and McDaniel. I’m sure there are others.


Just a quick thank you for all the responses. One of my kids has been having an allergic reaction so I can’t respond to everyone now but I appreciate your ideas and will read them carefully later.


Ramapo College offers several Environmental/Sustainability programs:

I can’t speak for their intensity, or lack thereof - but I’ve never heard anyone mention anything.

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I didn’t attend, nor did my daughter - but we’re very familiar with the area and the surroundings.

Generally, it’s a very pretty, quiet location at the “edge” of suburbia. Many students will walk a few minutes to a county park with fishing, hiking, a (seasonal) waterfall - and after a bit of a climb, long-distance views of Manhattan.
There are parties, and as expected, rather occasionally people don’t quite know their limits - but it certainly does NOT have a negative reputation with the host town.

A car would be helpful, a least for a friend group, although there are shuttle buses. Quite a few shopping centers and eateries within 10 minutes, in case someone is hoping for that type of part-time work.

Also 10 minutes to the commuter “Bergen Line” train that has frequent service to NYC (via Secaucus).


McDaniel sounds like they have a lot of scaffolding for students. The McDaniel Plan | McDaniel

They offered my D a lot of merit aid ($30k/year and a chance for a full tuition scholarship). They sent a LOT of emails, handwritten notes with contact info from staff, etc. so I think they would give your student a lot of attention.


Hi. I’m back after a bit of a break.

I have a kid at Rutgers Camden and we get a fantastic tuition deal but I haven’t been overly impressed with it. The disability office is amazing. Professors have been a mixed bag. The campus is small and the surrounding area is rough. It’s not a good match for a kid like D23 who likes to explore outdoors. I think D20 is beginning to feel very limited at the campus and may regret her choice in some ways.

Thank you for your comments about the area. It seems like a good match for someone who likes being in nature.

Yes, D would be eligible for the $30K scholarship as the child of a teacher. :slightly_smiling_face:


I was thinking that Monmouth was the cost outlier for D20. Scranton was the cost outlier for D18. I was thinking we shouldn’t bother with either of those again.

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We visited Stockton. I wish I could like it more. The new science buildings are very nice. Otherwise the facilities don’t impress me despite being in a beautiful setting. I like that it is four classes a semester rather than five. D said it is fine and she could go there is she had to. Maybe we need to go back in better weather and check out the Atlantic City campus.

D is starting to express a desire for a larger school. I think an LAC type of place in an area with things to do nearby would also work.

Marymount Manhattan, U Ha, Hofstra, etc.

What’s U Ha?

I don’t think these colleges’ costs would come down to in state public levels which is what I am comparing everything to.

Hartford - oh sorry - I forgot - the chain is old. I saw - LACs with stuff nearby.

I don’t see “low stress” - this is college - so your daughter has a chance to improve her time management.

As for cheap, you gotta go south - but then you’re not nearby. Or York in PA.

good luck.

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Have you looked at St. Michael’s? It’s a small, supportive LAC that is quite generous with merit for mid-stat kids… but it shares a vibrant college town with UVM, so there’s a lot going on nearby, plus amazing outdoor opportunities. They don’t have a marine bio major (although there are some marine-oriented study abroad programs), but they have enviro science, enviro studies, and a conservation biology concentration within the bio major, as well as math, statistics, and data science. They offer a lot of academic support, and have an additional layer of fee-based academic coaching as an option: https://www.smcvt.edu/academics/academic-support/ It’s a shorter drive to Burlington than to Orono, and there are direct flights to Burlington from Newark, Philly, etc. so that’s another option for access.


+1 for McDaniel. Allegheny is also worth a look – other end of PA! Lots of resources for kids who sound like yours.

You might want to check out Scranton. We’ve known a couple of kids who have thrived there who were capable but not exceptional students.

Realize UMO feels too far but it really is a great option for a kid looking for a more intimate version of Rutgers. With that said, it’s still a bigger school, and these generally expect kids to find abd avail these of resources on their own.

I remember reading things about Allegheny which made me think it’s very intense and that scared me off. Otherwise, it seems like a great place.

Scranton always comes out much higher on cost than most schools we considered.

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The health insurance cost continues to drive me crazy. At U of Maine, we might be paying as much for health insurance as we would for tuition at Rutgers.

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If you are looking as far as Maine, Check out WVU. Big merit.

You also have the Pa publics like Slippery Rock, Millersville and others.