The College of New Jersey

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First-year Applicants

TCNJ students are academically gifted, demonstrate strong initiative, and have diverse talents. TCNJ’s admissions staff examine every component of a student’s application, but none more carefully than the high school transcript. The record of course selection, grades, GPA, class rank, and the strength of the curriculum provide the most accurate predictor of a student’s chance for success in college.

While there are no minimum transcript requirements for admission, recently admitted students averaged an A/A- GPA and a rank in the top 20% of their graduating class.

TCNJ takes a holistic approach to the review of our applicants, considering student abilities and involvement beyond academics. All other criteria used in the evaluation process can be found in the “Requirements” section below.

In light of the extraordinary circumstances precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, The College of New Jersey’s Office of Admissions implemented a test-optional policy for first-year students in 2020.  Now, first-year applicants can decide whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores when applying to TCNJ. While the pandemic’s impact on SAT and ACT testing opportunities contributed to the urgency of this policy, this decision aligns with our ongoing efforts to promote maximum access to a TCNJ education to all students, and we are proud to offer test-optional application reviews for almost all academic programs**.

The test-optional admissions policy currently runs through the Fall 2026 semester.  Historically, admitted students have averaged 1265 on the Math and Reading sections of the SAT and a 28 on the ACT. At the end of the 2025-2026 application cycle, we will determine whether to reinstate a testing requirement for undergraduate applicants or to extend the test-optional policy.

Because we receive over 12,000 applications, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible once the application becomes available. Historically, TCNJ begins notifying students on-or-around the middle of December. All students are notified of their official admission decision no later than April 1st.

** TCNJ will continue to require standardized test scores for our Accelerated Seven-Year Medical School opportunities.  For Fall 2024 applicants to our Nursing program, standardized test scores are strongly recommended.  Fall 2025 Nursing applicants will be required to submit an SAT or ACT score.


TCNJ uses the Common Application for first-year applicants. You can submit the Common Application online starting August 1st. Our Codes: SAT CEEB: 002519 | ACT Code: 002614 | Financial Aid: 002642


Common Application Link.

Other Applications

The Coalition Application

Non-Traditional Application


$75 Application Fee

There are two methods of making your non-refundable payment:

  • Submit payment through the Common Application or Coalition Application.
  • Mail check/money order by selecting “Fee Waiver” on the Common Application or Coalition Application and mailing payment to The Office of Admissions, First-year Applicant.

TCNJ will waive a student’s application fee if they make an official visit to our campus OR submit a paper copy of one of the following:

  • College Board Fee Waiver
  • NACAC Fee Waiver
  • TCNJ Out-of-State Fee Waiver
  • National Merit Semifinalist/National Achievement Fee Waiver
  • Common Application Fee Waiver (verified by school counselor)
  • Coalition Application Fee Waiver (verified by school counselor)
  • A formal letter from a student’s school counselor (must contain specific reasons why the counselor believes a waiver is necessary for this student)

Academic Major

Students can declare an official TCNJ program of study on their application if they are leaning toward a particular major. They can also apply “Undeclared” in several of our seven academic schools or to the college as a whole.

High School Transcripts

An official high school transcript must be sent to The Office of Undergraduate Admissions directly from the high school office (otherwise, they will not be considered official). This can be submitted through Naviance or mailed to TCNJ’s Office of Admissions, Attn: First-year Applicant. The Common Application secondary school report does not need to be submitted. If you attended high school and/or college outside of the United States, your transcript will need to be evaluated by a United States agency that provides foreign credentials evaluations before being sent to TCNJ.

Official Test Scores

As mentioned above, The College of New Jersey’s Office of Admissions has a test-optional** policy for students applying to the College as first-year students through 2025-2026.  While standardized test scores will not be required, applicants interested in sharing their scores are still encouraged to do so. Scores must be sent from the official testing agency or printed on an official school transcript.

  • TCNJ will superscore multiple test dates from both the SAT and ACT, respectively.
  • TCNJ does not use the Writing sections of the SAT or ACT. SAT II Subject Tests are NOT required.
  • ** TCNJ requires standardized test scores for our Accelerated Seven-Year Medical School opportunities.  Nursing applicants for Fall 2024 are strongly encouraged to submit standardized test scores, with those scores being required for Fall 2025 Nursing applicants.

Our Codes: SAT CEEB: 002519 | ACT Code: 002614


TCNJ strongly encourages first-year applicants to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. One must be from a teacher. The other letters can come from other teachers, school counselors, coaches, employers, or extracurricular advisors. It is not necessary to use The Common Application Teacher Evaluation form if a recommendation is being mailed to TCNJ.


The Common Application or the Coalition Application essay is the official essay used in the evaluation process.  TCNJ also requires a secondary writing prompt designed to explore your interest in The College in more detail.

Resume (not required)

In addition to filling out the activities list on The Common Application or The Coalition Application, applicants are encouraged to submit an Activity Resume to detail involvement in clubs and organizations, employment, internships, volunteering, education, etc.

Supplemental Requirements for Art and Music Programs

For students applying into the Visual Arts, Art Education, Music (BA), Music Performance and Music Education majors, extra emphasis will be placed on their high school transcript, extracurricular involvement, and audition (Music applicants) or portfolio (Visual Art applicants) results.

Additional Program Requirements

Art, Education, Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), Music, 3-Year Baccalaureate Degree

Additional Dual Degree Program Requirements

Counseling program, Pharmacy program, Physical Therapy program, Seven-year Medical program, Seven-year Optometry program, Speech-Language Pathology program

Admissions Interview (not provided)

TCNJ does not provide an Admissions Interview as part of the application process.

Mailing Address

All paper documentation should be mailed to:

The College of New Jersey
The Office of Undergraduate Admission, Attn: First-year Applicant
Trenton Hall, Room 228
PO Box 7718
Ewing, NJ 08628

* Whenever possible, it is in the best interest of the applicant to mail everything in one package.

Scholarships and Aid

The College of New Jersey offers scholarships and awards to incoming first-year students based on academic performance, leadership, and a number of other factors. These awards are renewable for all four years of study at TCNJ.

In-State Scholarship Program

Out-of-State Award Program

Lions Pride Need-Based Grant

RaiseMe – College Scholarships

Bonner Community Scholarship

Financial Aid

The only form you need to apply for state and/or federal aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must list “The College of New Jersey” as a recipient and write TCNJ’s school code number (002642) on your FAFSA. You must also provide your Social Security Number on your application to be considered for state and federal aid.

There are two options for filing the FAFSA:

  • File electronically over the Internet, which is the quickest and most efficient process, via the Financial Assistance Web site.
  • Complete the paper version of the FAFSA, which can usually be obtained from your high school or college or by calling 800-4-FED-AID.

Deadlines and Notifications

The College of New Jersey prides itself on giving every application the most thorough review possible. While TCNJ makes every effort to notify students regarding their admission decision as early as possible (starting in early February), some applications will undergo multiple reviews before a final decision is made. Therefore, the Admissions Office can only guarantee that a general admission decision will be mailed prior to April 1st, no matter how early the student applies.

Early Decision*

  • Application Deadline: November 1
  • Supporting Documents Deadline: November 15
  • Notification of Decision: December 1

*Students accepted through the Early Decision programs MUST attend The College of New Jersey. Early Decision students will be given the same consideration for scholarships and need-based financial aid as those applying for General Admission. Early Decision is not available to students applying to TCNJ’s seven-year medical, optometry or physical therapy programs, as these programs have their own, unique application timelines. 

General Admission

  • Application Deadline: February 1
  • Supporting Documents Deadline: February 15
  • Notification of Decision: No later than April 1 (for students applying by the original February 1 deadline)

Spring Admission

  • Application Deadline: November 1
  • Supporting Documents Deadline: November 15
  • Notification of Decision: December 1

Other Deadlines

Applications for the seven-year medical programs and the seven-year optometry program are accepted only for fall admission and are due November 1st. Early Decision is not available to students applying to TCNJ’s seven-year medical or optometry programs, as these programs have their own, unique application timelines. 

Applications for the seven-year physical therapy program are accepted only for the fall admission and are due December 1st. Early Decision is not available to students applying to TCNJ’s physical therapy program, as this program has its own, unique application timeline. 

Music auditions must be completed by November 19th (Early Decision), or March 15th (General Admission). Spring first-year applicants must complete their audition by November 19th.

Visual Art applicants must submit their portfolio for departmental review by November 1st (Early Decision I) or February 15th (General Admission). Spring first-year applicants must submit their portfolios by November 1st.  Portfolio submission is optional for Art Education applicants.


TCNJ is honored to evaluate the applications of our military veterans. All eligible military Service members are highly encouraged to receive approval from an Educational Service Officer (ES0) or counselor within the Military Service prior to enrolling at The College of New Jersey.

Please review this website for more information about the various funding sources available for veterans who attend TCNJ.

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