How to Get Into Rutgers University: Admission Guide

Students reading about how to get into Rutgers University
November 23, 2023
10 min read

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 10/03/23

Rutgers University is known as an academic, health, and research powerhouse. Read on to learn more about this university and how to join it.

Three students looking at computer

Navigating the admissions process for Rutgers University can be exciting and stressful, but with the right knowledge and strategic approach, you can turn your aspirations into reality. We’ll explain everything you need to know about how to get into Rutgers University.

Whether you're a high school student crafting your college application or a prospective transfer student looking to transition, understanding the complexities of Rutgers' admissions process and requirements is essential. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps, strategies, and insider tips to help you successfully achieve your goal of gaining admission to Rutgers University. 

From academic achievements and standardized tests to extracurricular involvement and personal statements, we'll delve into every aspect of the application process, ensuring you have the tools and insights you need to maximize your chances of becoming a Scarlet Knight!

Rutgers University Acceptance Rate

Rutgers University has an acceptance rate of 66%, meaning you have a high chance of getting into this school! Getting into this school is moderately competitive, so ensure you have a strong application. 

The Rutgers University transfer acceptance rate is around 55%. Whereas, Rutgers University Early Decision acceptance rate is non-existent because the school doesn’t offer it. 

Rutgers University Yield Rate?

The Rutgers University yield rate for this year is 28%. Compared to last year, the number of applicants has decreased by 3.49% (1,507).

Rutgers University Supplemental Essays with Examples 

Students will have to submit an essay addressing one of the following subjects:

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

It’s important to note that unless you apply through Rutgers Application, these Rutgers University essay prompts are actually Common App personal statements.

Here are some examples of well-written supplemental essays. 

Essay Example #1

Prompt: Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

I was about to eat the last cookie when I heard a low growl. I looked up at my friend, her cheeks flushed red, and her brow pinched in a tight dip. She didn’t make eye contact with me when I extended my hand to give her the cookie. She pushed it away, and I kept insisting until she finally gave in. Growing up, family was extremely important to me. I was taught to treat others like my family, a mantra we would repeat. Sharing that cookie, despite not having lunch that day, was like sharing the last tortilla with my brother.
As much as I would like to say family is important to me now, it’s not. At least not the accepted concept of family which is the people you are related to by blood. The problem with this concept of family is that you don’t get to choose the people in your family, no matter how good or bad of a person they are. 
Unfortunately, I learned this through my dad’s death. Before this tragedy, my family was inseparable. We would have parties every weekend to celebrate the big game or just see each other. Now, those parties only frequent the occasional birthday. It was weird for me to lose my closeness with my family, but this closeness was quickly replaced by relationships with my friends. I’ll never forget the heartfelt discussions I had with my friend Nick, who would give his shoulder for me to cry on and tell a joke that would make me wheeze in laughter.
Two years have passed, and I stand towering over my dad’s grave. There’s a flag pierced in the dead grass, and my hands are frozen. It’s quiet, and I think about the detrimental truth my mom whispered in my ear. It took me so long to realize this, blind to the hints he left behind. He would have improved his chances of surviving cancer if he took care of himself. He didn’t care about my brother and me, and at his grave I accepted that. I talked to him genuinely one last time, touched his tombstone, then walked away. I moved on.
This truth of my dad not caring for his health dawned the realization that my family was just a bunch of people who didn’t know me. I coped through isolation as I was comfortable being alone, but my family tried to force me out to go places and surround myself with people who weren’t emotionally available. In response, I instead surrounded myself with the people I chose to be my family, such as Nick. We would often go to the mall and browse each store or go to the Rollercade and spend hours falling. I would steal sips from his red ICEE, and he would always try to catch me but slip on the floor. These moments meant more than scarce instances I had with my dad. 
Every day I message my friends, some new and others old. I cherish these people who are not bound by blood, but for my personality, my laughter, my jokes, and my intelligence. I’ll never forget how my reformed belief of family allowed me to make friends who have made long lasting impressions and positive influences in my life.

Rutgers University Admissions Requirements

Female student being interviewed

To get into Rutgers University, aim for an ACT score of at least 30 or an SAT score of 1375 or above. Maintain a GPA of 3.7 or higher and engage in diverse extracurriculars to demonstrate your excellence beyond the classroom.

Rutgers requires its students to submit the following application materials to be considered for enrollment: 

High School Course Requirements

Depending on the program you plan on applying to, there are certain credentials you’ll need to complete in high school:

  • Four years of English 
  • Zero to two years of a foreign language
  • Three to four years of Mathematics (including Algebra, Geometry, and for some programs, Precalculus) 
  • Zero to two years of Science (of Biology and Chemistry or Physics and Chemistry, depending on your program)
  • Five to nine other academic courses

While your cumulative GPA will be considered, ensure you receive the highest marks in these core courses to demonstrate your academic merit.

Rutgers University GPA Requirements

Your weighted GPA will be considered heavily in the selection process. Here’s a table of the average GPA of admitted students for the past three years:

Year Average GPA
2023 3.7
2022 3.7
2021 3.5

This table will give you an idea of the GPA you’ll need to get accepted. 

Rutgers University SAT Requirements

While Rutgers is adopting a test-optional policy until 2024, students may still submit SAT scores if they believe it will strengthen their application. Although Rutgers is test-optional, those applying to the Rutgers-Camden BS/DO or Rutgers-Newark 7-year BA/MD joint-degree programs will be required to submit at least one standardized test score (ACT or SAT). 

Rutgers University Average SAT

Here’s a table of ​​Rutgers University SAT scores for the past three years: 

Year Average SAT Score
2023 1375
2022 1355
2021 1295

This table will give you an idea of the SAT scores over the past few years. 

Rutgers University ACT Requirements

Like the SAT, the ACT isn’t required but will be considered if admitted. Ensure that you do well to be considered a strong applicant. 

Rutgers University Average ACT

Here’s a table of ​​Rutgers University ACT scores for the past three years: 

Year Average ACT Score
2023 30
2022 30
2021 33

This table will give you an idea of what to aim for when taking the ACT exam. 

Application Fee

A required non-refundable application fee of $70 is paid through either Rutgers Application or Common App. Rutgers must receive the fee or a fee waiver before an applicant’s application will be considered complete and ready for review.

GED Students Requirements

Applicants who hold a GED diploma/certificate must provide their official GED results. Alongside these results, submitting transcripts documenting any high school coursework is essential.

English Proficiency Test Requirements For International Students

If an applicant’s undergraduate education was in a non-English speaking country, you must submit a current TOEFL or IELTS score within two years. Exemptions apply to Permanent Residents, US citizens, or international applicants with at least three years of English-instructed undergraduate studies or a master's degree. 

Minimum scores include:

  • Paper-based TOEFL: 550
  • Computer-based TOEFL: 213
  • Specific section requirements for IBT TOEFL, or an IELTS score of 7. 

Proficiency in English is essential, but some programs may have stricter language requirements; consult your program for details.

Letters of Recommendation

Admissions do not consider letters of recommendation, so there’s no need to ask for one. Instead, the Rutgers application offers various sections where applicants can highlight their achievements, activities, community service, and personal experiences.

Extracurricular Activities

On your Rutgers application, you’ll be required to fill out a section about the extracurriculars you pursued throughout high school. You’ll be asked to list up to five activities in order of importance.

There will also be an Awards section where you can list up to five awards received, a Volunteer section for any unpaid service you participated in, an Employment section, and a Pre-College Program section.

The final Natural Disasters and Emergency Situation section is optional and will ask you to check off all the boxes that apply to you. It will include prompts relating to COVID-19 and other circumstantial issues that may have affected your education. 

Talent Assessment

Students interested in applying to the Mason Gross School of Arts will be required to submit an audition, interview, or portfolio as part of their application.

Self-Reported Academic Record 

Without interim transcripts, the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR) lets high school seniors report their academic details, including grades and GPAs. It's mandatory for current seniors but not for graduates or transfer students. 

Applicants can use their high school transcript as a reference, covering grades 9-11 and indicating grade 12 courses in progress as 'In Progress.' Ensure accuracy, as discrepancies can impact admission. International students can use SRAR but must also send official records and certificates from an educational authority upon enrollment.

Transfer Student Requirements

Transfer students must submit the application fee, college transcripts, and an essay (which is recommended). 

Rutgers University Tuition and Fees

Rutgers is considered an affordable university with lower tuition costs than many similar-ranking institutions. Here’s a breakdown of its annual tuition:

Rutgers Campus Resident Tuition Non-Resident Tuition
Newark $16,586 $35,348
Camden $17,079 $35,841
New Brunswick $17,239 $36,001

Source: Rutgers Tuition and Fees

To help students cover these costs, Rutgers offers comprehensive financial aid to its students in the form of merit and needs-based grants.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Rutgers provides financial aid through FAFSA to help you pay for tuition. Students may be offered financial aid packages—a combination of various types of aid, such as Rutgers University merit scholarships, awards, grants, loans, and work-study. 

Rutgers University Application Process and Deadlines

Students must submit a Rutgers-specific application through the school’s online portal. They must identify their campus, school, and program preferences and complete all sections to be considered for admission. Rutgers University decision date

Keep these Rutgers University decision dates in mind to avoid any delays with your application:

Due Date What’s Due
Early August Applications open
Early November Early action application suggested deadline
Early December Regular decision application suggested deadline
Late January Decision notifications sent out for early applications
Early February Transfer applications suggested deadline
Late February Decision notifications sent out for regular applicants
Mid-April Decision notifications sent out for transfer applicants

Source: Rutgers’ Application Deadlines

Ensure that you meet the Rutgers University application deadline. While students can submit their applications past the suggested deadlines, doing so will limit their chances of admission, as Rutgers accepts students on a rolling basis. 

Students who submit past the suggested deadlines will also receive their decisions later than the listed notification deadlines.

Tips for Getting Into Rutgers University

Female student working in library

Now that you know the basics of how to get into Rutgers University, you may be curious about how you can elevate your application to maximize your chances of acceptance. Since Rutgers has such a high acceptance rate, you can follow a few simple tips to impress the admissions committee:

Participate In Various Extracurriculars

You’ll be asked to separate your extracurriculars, work, and volunteer experiences on your application. You should pursue activities from each section. While you don’t have to participate in five extracurriculars or pick up a new job each year, you should stick to at least one activity per section for several months, or preferably years.

Choose Your Essay Topic Wisely

Your supplemental essay will not only give the committee insight into your writing skills but will also help them connect with you more. 

Choose a topic you feel most compelled to write about and keep your answer simple! Use language you understand and focus on the topic at hand. Proofread your essay several times before submission to show off your impeccable writing skills.

Only Write the SAT/ACT if Necessary

Considering the stress you’ll already be under trying to apply to your top choices on time and graduating from high school with the necessary GPA, you should only write the SAT or ACT if you believe it’ll strengthen your application.

In other words, if your GPA is not quite high enough to be considered competitive, receiving an SAT or ACT score in or above the expected range can make up for this weak spot in your application.

If you already have a competitive GPA however, you can avoid the added stress and opt out of writing the SAT/ACT as it will not give you any additional advantage. 

FAQs: Getting Into Rutgers University

For any remaining questions about how to get into Rutgers University, read on to find your answers.

1. How Hard Is It to Get Into Rutgers University?

Considering its high acceptance rate, Rutgers is relatively easy to get into. 

2. Can I Get Into Rutgers With a 3.0 GPA?

Yes, a 3.0 GPA will put you within the median competitive range for the majority of Rutgers’ programs. This equates to a weighted GPA of around 3.7.

Ensure you earn a high GPA, even a 4.0 wouldn’t hurt! It always helps to aim high and be as competitive an applicant as possible.

3. Can I Get Into Rutgers with a 2.4 GPA?

A 2.4 unweighted GPA will put you at around a 3.3 weighted GPA. This GPA is considered to be on the lower end, but you may still be considered a competitive applicant for certain programs.

4. Is Rutgers an Ivy League School?

No, Rutgers is not an Ivy League school.

5. Is Rutgers Prestigious?

Yes, Rutgers is considered one of the top public research schools in the nation. It is well known for its distinguished faculty, academics, and health-related programs.

6. Do You Need to Write an Essay for Rutgers?

Yes, students must submit one essay as part of the Rutgers application process. Students are given seven essay topics to choose from for this admission material.

7. How Many Letters of Recommendation Do I Need to Submit to Apply to Rutgers?

Rutgers does not require letters of recommendation as part of the application process. The application process provides adequate opportunity for students to describe the accomplishment, activities, honors, awards, and experiences that would otherwise be shared through recommendation letters.

Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve covered how to get into Rutgers University, you’ll be set when applying! Rutgers prides itself on being students’ home away from home, where they’re immersed into a supportive yet academically rigorous environment! Keep the deadlines, admission requirements, and tips shared in this guide to ensure you too can join Rutgers’ renowned community!

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