You think you want to attend a New Jersey public college, but Rutgers isn't for you. Perhaps Rutgers is too big for you or is too hard for you to get into. In late March, I visited two schools in Northern New Jersey that you might want to consider: William Paterson University and Montclair State University.
In this blog post, I'll focus on William Paterson University (shown in these photos) The next blog post will be on Montclair State University.
William Paterson University sits on a 370-acre campus in suburban Wayne; there are one or two buildings off-campus with a shuttle bus servicing them, including the “messy” art building.
The school has a diverse undergraduate enrollment just shy of 10,000, with a quarter of the student body living on campus. Housing, made up of suites and apartments, and is guaranteed all four years. Commuters should allocate time to find parking and to walk to class.
Students attend small classes, averaging 21 students and can major in one of 48 majors in 5 colleges: Arts and Communications; Business; Education; Humanities and Sciences; and Science and Health. Four new majors are being added in the Fall: Sports Management, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Environmental Sustainability. Students need 120 credits to graduate. Forty credits make up the general education requirements. There are pre-professional programs as well as an Honors College.
Some special facilities on campus are the new science building, nursing simulation labs, financial learning center, TV broadcast studios, radio station, and redesigned student center. Travel abroad and National Student Exchange (i.e., where you spend a semester at another US college) are available.
The average high school student admitted to WPU had a 3.1 GPA and a 1050 SAT (Critical Reading and Math); credentials for the nursing school are more stringent. To qualify for an academic scholarship, students need a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and 1050 on their SATs. There are also scholarships for talented artists ranging from $1K to $10K.
The college has about 80 clubs, Greek Life, Division III athletics, trips off-campus on weekends (e.g., ski trips, trips to Canada, trips to Atlantic City), and a NJ Transit bus that takes students to places like New York City and the Willowbrook Shopping Mall. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 – 2 PM no classes are scheduled; this is a great time for clubs to meet. The big issue in the Pioneer newspaper was that the Student Government Association ran out of funds for the remainder of the spring semester, causing many club events to be cancelled or postponed.