Forbes has released its annual list of the top colleges in the country, and 15 New Jersey schools are on the list.

Not surprisingly, the top New Jersey school is Princeton University which ranked third overall (behind #1 University of California, Berkeley and #2 Yale), but other schools from the Garden State made the cut as well:

158. Stevens Institute of Technology
174. The College of New Jersey
189. The New Jersey Institute of Technology
212. Rutgers University
215. Seton Hall University
223. Ramapo College
277. Montclair State University
293. Drew University
352. Rowan University
374. Fairleigh Dickinson University
394. Monmouth University
452. Stockton University
531. St. Peter’s University
538. New Jersey City University

For this year’s list (there was no 2020 list due to the pandemic), Forbes put an emphasis on how accessible the schools were to low income students; traditional metrics like return on investment were also used.

They also factored in how much aid the average student gets, the average debt each student carries, and an early career average salary. Graduation rate, retention rate, and academic success were all give weighted values in the compilation.

Princeton, for example, averages $52,188 in grant aid per student; each student graduates with about $3,888 in student debt and can expect an early career average salary of about $150,000. A Rutgers student, on the other hand, gets an average of almost $15,000 in aid, graduating with $8,483 in debt, and earning an early career salary of $115,200.

A public school was ranked number one for the first time in the 15 year history of Forbes’ rankings and six public institutions were in the top 25.

For the complete list, go here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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