The 10 Best College Towns In New Jersey For 2019


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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and New Jersey is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in New Jersey are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in New Jersey for 2019:

  1. Caldwell, NJ (Photos | Homes)
  2. New Brunswick, NJ (Photos | Homes)
  3. Camden, NJ (Photos | Homes)
  4. Madison, NJ (Photos | Homes)
  5. Woodland Park, NJ (Photos | Homes)
  6. Glassboro, NJ (Photos | Homes)
  7. Lodi, NJ (Photos | Homes)
  8. Newark, NJ (Photos | Homes)
  9. Jersey City, NJ (Photos | Homes)
  10. West Long Branch, NJ (Photos | Homes)

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Caldwell, New Brunswick and Camden - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Caldwell ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Read on to find out more or for more on New Jersey check out:

How'd we figure out the best college towns in New Jersey?

To crunch our data on New Jersey's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 12 places in New Jersey with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In New Jersey For 2019".

And it looks like Caldwell placed Summa Cum Laude.

Caldwell, NJ
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 8,032
% Undergrad Pop.: 23.0% (4th best)
Median Rent: $1,376 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 570.0% (5th best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Caldwell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Caldwell is a borough located in northwestern Essex County, New Jersey, about 16 miles outside of New York City. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 7,822, reflecting an increase of 238 from the 7,584 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 35 from the 7,549 counted in the 1990 Census.

Colleges: Caldwell University

New Brunswick, NJ
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 56,792
% Undergrad Pop.: 49.2% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $1,395 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 950.0% (10th best)
Crime Rank: 10th best
More on New Brunswick: Real Estate | Data | Photos

New Brunswick is a city in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. It is the county seat of Middlesex County, and the home of Rutgers University. The city is on the Northeast Corridor rail line, 27 miles southwest of Manhattan, on the southern bank of the Raritan River. At the 2010 United States Census, the population of New Brunswick was 55,181, reflecting an increase of 6,608 from the 48,573 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 6,862 from the 41,711 counted in the 1990 Census. Due to the concentration of medical facilities in the area, including Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Saint Peter's University Hospital, as well as Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick is known as "the Hub City." The corporate headquarters and production facilities of several global pharmaceutical companies are situated in the city, including Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Colleges: Rutgers University-New Brunswick, New Brunswick Theological Seminary

Camden, NJ
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 75,550
% Undergrad Pop.: 4.9% (10th best)
Median Rent: $896 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 1400.0% (13th best)
Crime Rank: 14th best
More on Camden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Camden is a city in Camden County, New Jersey. Camden is located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 77,344. Camden is the 12th most populous municipality in New Jersey. The city was incorporated on February 13, 1828. Camden has been the county seat of Camden County since the county was formed on March 13, 1844. The city derives its name from Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden. Camden is made up of over twenty different neighborhoods.

Colleges: Rutgers University-Camden, Cooper Health System Center for Allied Health Education

Madison, NJ
Overall SnackAbility
7.5
/10

Population: 16,080
% Undergrad Pop.: 9.6% (6th best)
Median Rent: $1,643 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 470.0% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 1st best
More on Madison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Madison is a borough in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 15,845, reflecting a drop in population of 685 from the 16,530 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 680 from the 15,850 counted in the 1990 Census. It is known as "The Rose City" and was named in honor of President James Madison.

Colleges: Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus

Woodland Park, NJ
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 12,542
% Undergrad Pop.: 15.9% (5th best)
Median Rent: $1,430 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 590.0% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 3rd best
More on Woodland Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Colleges: Berkeley College-Woodland Park, Branford Hall Career Institute-Woodland Park

Glassboro, NJ
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 19,387
% Undergrad Pop.: 41.5% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $1,057 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 990.0% (11th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Glassboro: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Glassboro is a borough in Gloucester County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 18,579, reflecting a decline of 489 from the 19,068 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,454 over the 15,614 counted in the 1990 Census.

Colleges: Rowan University

Lodi, NJ
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 24,805
% Undergrad Pop.: 6.0% (8th best)
Median Rent: $1,227 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 790.0% (8th best)
Crime Rank: 6th best
More on Lodi: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Colleges: Felician University

Newark, NJ
Overall SnackAbility
4
/10

Population: 282,803
% Undergrad Pop.: 4.1% (11th best)
Median Rent: $1,014 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1480.0% (14th best)
Crime Rank: 11th best
More on Newark: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newark is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey and the seat of Essex County. As one of the nation's major air, shipping, and rail hubs, the city had a population of 277,140 in 2010, making it the nation's 67th-most populous municipality, after being ranked 63rd in the nation in 2000. For 2015, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated a population of 281,944, an increase of 1.7% from the 2010 enumeration, ranking the city the 70th largest in the nation. Newark is the second largest city in the New York metropolitan area, located approximately 8 miles west of lower Manhattan.

Colleges: Essex County College, Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Jersey City, NJ
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 265,932
% Undergrad Pop.: 3.4% (12th best)
Median Rent: $1,271 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 730.0% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 9th best
More on Jersey City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Jersey City is the second-most-populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey, after Newark. It is the seat of Hudson County as well as the county's largest city. As of 2016, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated that Jersey City's population was 264,152, with the largest population increase of any municipality in New Jersey since 2010, an increase of about 6.7% from the 2010 United States Census, when the city's population was at 247,597, ranking the city the 77th-largest in the nation.

Colleges: New Jersey City University, Hudson County Community College, Saint Peter's University

West Long Branch, NJ
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 7,944
% Undergrad Pop.: 52.8% (1st best)
Median Rent: $1,493 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 530.0% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on West Long Branch: Real Estate | Data | Photos

West Long Branch is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 8,097, reflecting a decline of 161 from the 8,258 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 568 from the 7,690 counted in the 1990 Census. It is the home of Monmouth University.

Colleges: Monmouth University, Monmouth University - Monmouth Park Corporate Center

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in New Jersey, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

For more reading, check out:

12 Best College Towns In New Jersey

Rank City Population
1 Caldwell, NJ 8032
2 New Brunswick, NJ 56792
3 Camden, NJ 75550
4 Madison, NJ 16080
5 Woodland Park, NJ 12542
6 Glassboro, NJ 19387
7 Lodi, NJ 24805
8 Newark, NJ 282803
9 Jersey City, NJ 265932
10 West Long Branch, NJ 7944
11 Lakewood, NJ 55135
12 Hoboken, NJ 54117

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?