Our current out-of-state students and alumni have a lot to say about their college searches, their enrollment decisions and their experiences at The College of New Jersey. Here’s a small sampling of their words of wisdom:
Basically I have always wanted to go to school in New Jersey. I found TCNJ and instantly fell in love; it was the perfect size and location, it’s beautiful, the classes are small and it is a very good school. When I visited for the first time I knew it was perfect. Everyone was SO nice and friendly and I felt as if I belonged. And I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT HERE. I could not even imagine having a better college experience. I love the people, my professors, advisor, classes, friends, my floor, elk, EVERYTHING! People think it’s crazy that I am from California but honestly it feels like I’m home. I don’t get homesick because already I feel like I have a family here. I am so grateful I chose TCNJ; it was the best choice of my life 🙂
Allie Weiner (Lafayette, CA)
Communication Studies; Class of 2016
Be your own person, and go your own way. There is no greater journey than seeing where your own path leads, and no greater regret than being misled by the path of another’s.
Dan Zuller (Great Neck, NY)
Finance, Class of 2012
I was reluctant to consider TCNJ because it was so close to home, but an invitation to attend Junior Visit Day convinced me to take a closer look. In the middle of my tour I turned to my parents and I said, “I want to go here.” After the tour I spoke with both the heads of the Special Education and the Math/Science/Technology Departments. I was impressed that they displayed an interest in my future at TCNJ. I knew that I would not just be a number at the school.
I applied early decision to TCNJ and to this day, I believe it has been the best decision I have ever made. TCNJ is such an amazing place with astounding professors, students and an overall friendly campus. Students and their parents often ask why I chose a New Jersey state school when I live in Pennsylvania. I take pride in telling them it was because it was (and still is) the perfect fit for me and I could not be happier!
Dana-Joy Carducci (Newtown, PA)
Special Education – Math, Science, Technology; Class of 2015
I fell in love with the TCNJ campus when I first visited. Yes, my Long Island accent is pointed out (even though I don’t think I have one), and I don’t necessarily know everyone’s hometown. However, that doesn’t matter here at TCNJ. Mostly, I was between SUNY Geneseo and TCNJ. The major aspects that pushed me to go to TCNJ rather than Geneseo was the location and the Bonner Program. TCNJ is far enough from home where I can live on my own, but still close enough where I can take public transit and be home in a few hours. With many other schools, I would have to take buses from the middle of nowhere to get home! Also, I was accepted into the Bonner Scholars Program which is possibly the best decision I ever made. I joined a Bonner family at TCNJ, where everyone is dedicated and passionate about serving the community.
Regina Zick (Baldwin, NY)
Psychology, Class of 2014
Choosing Early Decision is great because you know well in advance where you are going. It made my senior year a lot less stressful and made my classmates very jealous. 🙂
Emily Readdy (Amherst, NH)
Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2014
I conducted my college search by looking at the campus life, dorms and academics, not by what state it was in. TCNJ is a school that excels in all of these categories and continues to strive for excellence. I ended up choosing TCNJ because of their Chemistry program. No other school I applied to put as much emphasis on undergraduate research as TCNJ.
Kristina Robold (Bensalem, PA)
Chemistry, Class of 2016
I was very indecisive about where I wanted to go to college. I was accepted into eight different schools and had trouble deciding between all of them. What made TCNJ stand out to me was the sense of community. The students, professors and staff were all really friendly. I felt comfortable as I was walking around campus and felt like I would fit in with the student body. I didn’t feel as welcome when I visited other schools; that’s what really stood out about TCNJ and led to my decision to go here.
My experiences at TCNJ over the past four years have been incredible. Living over five hours away, I wasn’t going to go home on the weekends and I was afraid that everyone who lived in NJ would. That is definitely not the case. My best friend lives 20 minutes from campus and she’s gone home for the weekend about as often as I have, which is basically never! I’ve gotten involved with many different clubs and organizations and that has made a huge impact on my experience at school. There is always something going on, and being involved allows you to branch out and informs you of all the fun events that different groups are sponsoring on the weekends. Being from out of state hasn’t negatively impacted my experience at TCNJ in any way.
Emily Conforto (Hanover, MA)
Art History and History, Class of 2013
Don’t be afraid to look into lesser-known colleges. There are many hidden treasures out there!
Ian McGovern, (Warwick, RI)
Biology, Class of 2014
Put yourself in your future surroundings. Look for both a comfortable and an enjoyable college experience.
Elliot Stein, (Middletown, DE)
Electrical Engineering, Class of 2011
Visiting campuses can make or break a decision, so make sure not to judge based on the weather or how pretty the campus is but rather look at the students. These will be your classmates for the next few years and it’s extremely important to find others that will stimulate your personal growth. I feel very fortunate to have found a good fit at TCNJ as it really has everything I wanted in a college; great education, good friends and classmates, a beautiful campus and a prime location. This is extremely important to me as I frequent both Philadelphia and New York City to check out galleries and exhibitions for my majors and will be looking in both cities for internships next semester. There are very few schools that are situated so close to two major cities which gives me so many more opportunities. And it’s also close to Princeton and New Hope, which are fun places to visit with friends on the weekends.
Briana Wickham (Tappan, NY)
Graphic Design & Interactive Multimedia, Class of 2014
I like TCNJ because of the small groups in the lectures. You know your professor and your professor knows you! There are many friendly/helpful people and it has a very beautiful campus.
Mortiz Weil (Muellheim, Germany)
Business Administration, Class of 2014
What made TCNJ standout to me was the sense of community I immediately felt during my first tour. It was important to me that I find a place where I can feel at home during my college experience. After a year here, with all of the experiences I’ve been lucky to have and the friends I’ve been able to make, TCNJ has not let me down. There’s so much to do. I could very easily travel up to New York and see a Broadway show, or get together with some friends and go to the beach during the warm seasons. I’m very glad with the decision I made to come to TCNJ and don’t regret a single thing about it.
Justin Binnix (Severna Park, MD)
Music and Mathematics, Class of 2015
Go to a college without any previous ties. It’s a little scary at first, but it’s a great feeling to know that you have a brand new start, without anyone from your past dictating how your college life will go.
Sarah Berliner (Brooklyn, NY)
Psychology, Class of 2010
After a few visits all the schools blend together, so it helps if after you visit a school you write down your thoughts so you can remember your impressions when it comes time to make your decision.
Matt Uhrich (Glenside, PA)
Communication Studies (Radio, TV and Film), Class of 2009
I was looking for suburban, affordable, a student population size/class sizes on the smaller side and a strong biology/pre-med program, which TCNJ has with its medical advisory committee and link to UMDNJ. Another huge selling point for me was the student retention rate and overall happiness of the students running the programs and on campus. When it came time to choose the school I wanted to go to it was between Villanova and TCNJ, and my guidance counselor encouraged me to pick here because the biology program was spectacular and in her opinion even better and tons more affordable than the program at Villanova. She was right, and even though the first time I ever visited the campus was Accepted Students Day, I instantly fell in love with the feel of the campus.
Deanna Tarquinnio (East Setauket, NY)
Biology, Class of 2013
Pick a school for you, not for your friends or family… dare to be different!
Sarah Schackner (Granby, CT)
Secondary Education – Mathematics, Class of 2014
Keep things in perspective… you may not be accepted into your first choice, but they are the ones missing out on you, and not vice versa.
Remy Friedman (Atlantic Beach, NY)
Seven-Year Medical Program – Biology, Class of 2014
Always be asking yourself: do I want this to be my new home? Do I want these people to be my new family?
Hannah Knight (Ellicott City, MD)
Early Childhood Education – Psychology, Class of 2011
TCNJ is not the typical model of a college with lecture halls and students falling asleep during long boring power point presentations. Classes are set up to be engaging and thought provoking, so that even on days I’d rather be asleep at home I feel like I’m learning. Once I visited the campus I was sold; TCNJ is amazingly beautiful and the size of the student body fit with what I wanted coming from a small school. As an out of state student the tuition is a little more, but I know it’s worth the extra money because of the quality of education I’m getting.
LeighAnn DePamphilis (New Hope, PA)
Deaf Education – Psychology, Class of 2015
I first heard about TCNJ from my SAT tutor. While it was well known by some of the guidance counselors in my high school, none of my friends had ever heard of it. While at first I was nervous about attending a school where I literally knew no one, I actually found that it worked to my benefit. I was able to make new friends without worrying about carrying over anything from high school with me to college. I love that my home life and school life are completely separate. Once on campus I found support in the Out-of-State Student Alliance (OSSA). It was great to talk to people who were having similar experiences and as the club’s current president I would love to do the same for current and incoming freshmen.
Kim Bernstein (Stony Book, NY)
Criminology, Class of 2015
Websites like The Princeton Review are very helpful when trying to find the right school. Keep an open mind when reviewing schools from these searches. A school you’ve never heard of may be the perfect one for you!
Samantha Leschek (Germantown, MD)
Criminology, Class of 2012
Visit the schools! You need to take in the atmosphere and get a feeling if it’s the right place for you.
Julia Novak (Mineola, NY)
Special Education – Spanish, Class of 2013
I transferred from another state institution to TCNJ last semester and couldn’t be more pleased with my decision. I realized that I needed a school that was student-centered, small, friendly and completely accessible to me. TCNJ’s primary concern has and always will be the student; I developed relationships with my professors within the first few weeks of classes. They are always there for me whenever I have a question, academic or personal, and are such great mentors. It’s also important to me that I study with students who are kind and motivated and passionate about learning. Those students are definitely here at TCNJ. The classes are small and therefore engaging, so I’m never hesitant to voice my opinion!
Having been through the college application process once before, I was much more decisive and particular about my college choices when I was looking to transfer, and my decision had very little to do with state borders. Now that I’m a TCNJ student I know what a rare gem it is, especially as a public college.
Melanie Stanek (Yardley, PA)
English, Class of 2014
The most important thing is choosing a school where you feel most at home!
Lauren SchianodiCola (Staten Island, NY)
Nursing, Class of 2014
When I was looking for colleges to apply to, I was looking for the “small campus with a big campus feel”. I used collegeboard.org a ton during my search for schools, and it really helped me narrow my list down to places where I thought I would fit. TCNJ was a smaller campus, had a great business program, and was far from home, but still close enough to drive back for the weekend. I had never been to New Jersey and did not necessarily have a positive image of the state, thanks to pop culture. After agreeing to visit, I realized that New Jersey wasn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be and that it was actually a really beautiful place.
Molly Crawford, (Towson, MD)
Business Management, Class of 2014
Take pictures of the campus and its facilities so you remember what it looks like down the road.
Lauren Spring (Langhorne, PA)
Elementary Education – Math, Science & Technology, Class of 2012
I was looking for an academically successful nursing program with small class sizes and of course a campus where I could feel at home. I found a lot of colleges met some of those criteria, but only TCNJ fulfilled all three. Coming to TCNJ I was a little anxious not knowing anyone but I’ve made such good friends already in the short time I’ve been here. Everyone is really friendly and helpful. I was surprised how quickly I started calling TCNJ home, but I truly feel at home and my whole floor feels like family. I love my professors; they are an amazing mixture of brilliant and non-intimidating. I’ve shown up early for lab just to drink coffee and chat with Dr. Uzwiak, my anatomy professor. I’m incredibly happy with my decision to attend TCNJ!
Kaitlyn Ellert (Highland Mills, NY)
Nursing, Class of 2016
Don’t be afraid to go far from home. As long as you get involved, you will meet wonderful people.
Emma Rotella (Aptos, CA)
Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Mathematics, Class of 2013
I did the overnight program here at TCNJ, which gave me the opportunity to attend a class, stay over in a freshman dorm and meet current freshmen who answered any questions I had. I was able to get a better feel for the school and see if TCNJ was a right fit for me. The overnight program ultimately confirmed my decision to attend TCNJ and I highly recommend it!
Courtney Mulligan (Mount Sinai, NY)
Psychology, Class of 2013
When I looked at TCNJ one of the things I really liked was the size of the college; it’s not big but it’s also not too small. You get to know students outside your major as well as the other students in your major, which is great since you always know someone in your classes and you can get help on work. You also get to know upperclassmen who can give you advice on classes and professors. Since it’s a small school the professors get to know you by name and genuinely want to see you do well.
Devon Hall (Kemblesville, PA)
Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2013
TCNJ was the perfect choice for me. The small school is filled with amazing professors who continue to be an inspiration; I have never had a professor who didn’t find time to work with me one on one! The public transportation is also really convenient (for people who don’t have cars like me!) and the school is close enough to the City so that it is easy for me to visit my friends when I get homesick.
Kailey Aiosa (Wantagh, NY)
Secondary Education – English, Class of 2015
What made me decide to go to TCNJ is it that it is a small, intimate school and has a really good Biology program. Also, TCNJ is the perfect distance from home because I am away but can get home in a couple hours. When I got to campus, I was accepted right away. No one really cares whether you are from in-state or out-of-state.
Syndi Baris (Kings Park, NY)
Biology, Class of 2016
The College of New Jersey seemed like a pretty respectable school because of its statistics on collegeboard.com, yet the second I stepped on campus it was like a utopian dream to me. Everything was set up and organized so extravagantly that I knew it was the place I wanted to be!
Jordan Saied, East Stroudsburg, PA
Psychology, Class of 2016