How to Get Into Rutgers University: Admissions Data & Strategies

April 15, 2022

Rutgers University’s prized New Brunswick Campus is ranked among the top 25 public institutions in the country. Possessing standout programs in engineering, computer science, business, and nursing, Rutgers’ flagship campus attracts scores of talented students from its home state of New Jersey, but also around the globe. In fact, the university (across all levels) is home to students from all 50 states as well as 9,000 international students from 125 countries. With an average SAT score of over 1300, access to the New Brunswick campus is a more selective process than some may realize.

Given this competitive environment, the intent of this article is to give those considering applying to Rutgers University information such as:

  • Rutgers University’s Class of 2025 acceptance rate
  • SAT, GPA, and class rank of accepted Rutgers University applicants
  • Admissions stats by academic discipline/school
  • Admissions trends from the Class of 2025
  • Rutgers University’s system for rating applicants
  • A look at the demographics of current undergraduates
  • The percent of accepted students that attend Rutgers University (yield rate)
  • Tips for applying to the Rutgers University
  • How to assess whether applying to the Rutgers University is even worth the $70 application fee (for you)

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Rutgers University Acceptance Rate – Class of 2025

There were approximately 46,500 applications for admission into the Rutgers Class of 2025; only 7,283 of that group went on to enroll. The university has yet to release their official acceptance rate for entering 2021-22 freshmen. Looking at the previous year, the acceptance rate was 67%. Two years ago, the admit rate was 61%.

Rutgers University Admissions – SAT, ACT and Class Rank

For Class of 2024 members (most recent stats available), the mid-50% SAT range for enrolled freshmen was 1180-1410, the ACT range was 25-32. Within this cohort, 30% of students placed in the top decile of their high school class, 66% were in the top quartile, and 91% landed in the top half. However, for a meaningful look, we need to look at each individual school within the larger university…

Rutgers Admissions Statistics by School – Class of 2025

School of Arts and Sciences

  • SAT mid-50% range: 1290-1490
  • ACT mid-50% range: 29-34
  • High school GPA range: 3.7-4.1
  • High school percentile rank range: 73-95

Rutgers Business School

  • SAT mid-50% range: 1350-1500
  • ACT mid-50% range: 30-34
  • High school GPA range: 3.8-4.2
  • High school percentile rank range: 79-95

School of Engineering

  • SAT mid-50% range: 1340-1510
  • ACT mid-50% range: 31-35
  • High school GPA range: 3.8-4.2
  • High school percentile rank range: 76-95

School of Environmental and Biological Sciences

  • SAT mid-50% range: 1270-1470
  • ACT mid-50% range: 29-34
  • High school GPA range: 3.7-4.2
  • High school percentile rank range: 74-95

School of Nursing–New Brunswick

  • SAT mid-50% range: 1280-1450
  • ACT mid-50% range: 29-32
  • High school GPA range: 4.0-4.3
  • High school percentile rank range: 85-96

Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy

  • ACT mid-50% range: 31-35
  • High school GPA range: 4.0-4.3
  • High school percentile rank range: 85-95

Mason Gross School of the Arts

  • SAT mid-50% range: 1230-1410
  • ACT mid-50% range: 28-32
  • High school GPA range: 3.6-4.1
  • High school percentile rank range: 65-95

Admissions Trends & Notes

  • 81% of current undergraduates are New Jersey residents.
  • Rutgers will continue to be a test-optional school through 2024.
  • The Class of 2025 was the most ethnically diverse in school history.
  • Within the Class of 2025 alone, there were students from 35+ U.S. states and 55+ countries.
  • There were 3,100+ first-generation students in the Class of 2025.
  • 1,050 incoming freshmen were the children or grandchildren of a Rutgers alum.

How the Rutgers University Rates Applicants

Rutgers University considers only three factors as “very important” to the admissions process: rigor of high school course load, GPA, and standardized test scores. The item designated as “important” as part of the admissions process is extracurricular activities. “Considered” factors are: class rank, essays, an interview, geographical residence, talent/ability character/personal qualities, racial/ethnic status, work experience, volunteer work, first-generation status, talent/ability, and state residency

Straight from the Rutgers admissions office:

  • “The number of applicants Rutgers admitsis determined by the quality of the applicant pool, which changes from year to year and varies by college/school, and the space in the entering class.”
  • “We conduct a holistic review of each student’s application that takes into consideration many more factors than test scores and cumulative grade-point averages.”

Rutgers University Demographics

Let’s now take a look at the demographics of the Rutgers University undergraduate student body.

The states that send the highest number of students to Rutgers are:

  1. New Jersey
  2. New York
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. California
  5. Maryland

The greatest number of international students come from the following countries:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. South Korea
  4. Taiwan
  5. Mexico
  6. Canada

In terms of ethnic identity, the breakdown is as follows:

  • White: 35%
  • Asian: 30%
  • Hispanic: 13%
  • African American: 6%
  • Two or More Races: 4%
  • International: 10%

The stated religious affiliation of current students is as follows:

  • No religious preference: 34%
  • Catholic: 17%
  • Protestant: 16%
  • Hindu: 6%
  • Muslim: 6%
  • Jewish: 5%
  • Buddhist: 2%

A look at the gender split reveals that university enrolls an equal number of men and women.

  • Men: 50%
  • Women: 50%

Rutgers University’s “Yield Rate”

Rutgers University’s yield rate—the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of students who are admitted is 24%. This figure is significantly lower than other powerhouse state universities like the University of Florida (47%), University of Michigan (45%), and UVA (43%).

Tips for Applying to Rutgers University

If you plan on joining the 46,000+ Rutgers University hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • Apply early by November 1, if possible. You will receive a decision by January 31.
  • Rutgers University does not consider “demonstrated interest” so you will not be judged on whether or not you made a campus visit, contacted an admissions officer, etc.
  • Current high school seniors must complete a Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR).
  • Rutgers does not use the Common App at this time. Students can pick between the Coalition Application and applying directly through the Rutgers Application Portal.
  • Make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the single supplemental essay required by Rutgers University. In the 2021-22 cycle, the prompt choices for the Rutgers personal statement were as follows:

Rutgers requires that you provide a short essay that is your original work. Please address one of these topics. Answer in 3800 characters (which is about 500 words).

  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  2. Describe a time you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  4. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
  5. Submit an essay on the topic of your choice.

Should I Apply to Rutgers University?

Students who pursued a reasonably rigorous high school course load and earned a mixture of A’s and B’s will be viable candidates to the New Brunswick campus. SAT scores above a 1300 will put applicants on solid footing, but the temporary test-optional policy can be utilized by those without strong standardized test results.

Of course, it goes without saying that all teens applying to a school of Rutgers University’s caliber—particularly in certain strong programs/colleges— also need to also have a proper mix of “target” and “safety” schools on their college list. More on creating a balanced college list can be found here.