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Old 01-06-2012, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Hoboken
51 posts, read 68,478 times
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As a Rutgers (College Ave) grad, I enjoyed my college experience in the city of New Brunswick.. sure, NB's not a 'quaint' college town, but it was a city that catered a lot to it's student residents.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:36 PM
 
1,900 posts, read 1,655,559 times
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I think the bigger problem than college towns is the colleges themselves. NJ doesn't have enough universities to serve its population. In one way, its ingenious - the state "outsources" its higher education to other states (pretty much every big school on the East Coast has a large NJ segment).

If you think about it, Rutgers and NJIT are pretty well known. But nobody's heard of the next tier, Montclair State, Kean, Rowan, etc. Compare this with these schools' counterparts in Maryland (Towson, UMBC, Salisbury) which are all pretty well known. I think that as a whole, the NJ state school system is very dysfunctional and something needs to change.

That said, I love Princeton and New Bruns.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:39 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
11,775 posts, read 8,709,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soug View Post
I think the bigger problem than college towns is the colleges themselves. NJ doesn't have enough universities to serve its population. In one way, its ingenious - the state "outsources" its higher education to other states (pretty much every big school on the East Coast has a large NJ segment).

If you think about it, Rutgers and NJIT are pretty well known. But nobody's heard of the next tier, Montclair State, Kean, Rowan, etc. Compare this with these schools' counterparts in Maryland (Towson, UMBC, Salisbury) which are all pretty well known. I think that as a whole, the NJ state school system is very dysfunctional and something needs to change.

That said, I love Princeton and New Bruns.
no matter where you go, there are schools one has never heard of. towson seems to be popular with NJ folks. I didn't really know of it growing up in NEPA. but i knew of fairleigh dickinson and some other NJ schools - but never heard of Stevens til i moved to hoboken...
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:22 PM
 
5,263 posts, read 4,686,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soug View Post
I think the bigger problem than college towns is the colleges themselves. NJ doesn't have enough universities to serve its population. In one way, its ingenious - the state "outsources" its higher education to other states (pretty much every big school on the East Coast has a large NJ segment).
You are probably not old enough to remember the administration of Governor Richard Hughes, but if you do recall this wonderful, honest, progressive, and fair-minded man, he once stated that, NJ is the cuckoo state. The cuckoo is the only bird that places its eggs in other birds' nests, and since NJ sends such a high percentage of its students out of state, that qualifies our state for the cuckoo moniker--or something to that effect.

Governor Hughes drastically increased the appropriations for building programs on state college campuses, and yet, he also managed to hold down the tuition costs. I can tell you from having been there that the state colleges in NJ charged only $125 per semester, back in the mid-late '60s, and there were no tuition increases during that period of time.

So, in most cases, someone could obtain his/her degree from Rutgers, Newark State (now Kean U), Paterson State (now Wm. Paterson), Trenton State (now TCNJ), Jersey City State (now NJCU), or Montclair State for a grand total of $1,000. (Ramapo and Stockton did not yet exist!) Yes, salaries were much lower in those days, but college costs (when considered as a percentage of middle-class income), were MUCH lower in those days, as compared to today.

Unfortunately, none of Richard Hughes' successors had the same commitment to building and maintaining the state college system, while simultaneously holding down tuition rates, and the result is that, as our population grew and our colleges failed to keep pace with population increases, the "outsourcing" of students mushroomed again.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:25 PM
 
832 posts, read 1,120,017 times
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Originally Posted by Cherno View Post

Montclair - This is the most attractive place and one that I see as a natural winner to invest in. However, the college is toward the north part of town, far enough away from the downtown for their to be a big disconnect. A bike path could change that. I would love to see Montclair to become known as a cool college town, maybe on par with some New England schools. It already has the Wellmont Theatre.
No Thanks to the Bike Path. They've added many around town and we've already seen people getting hit and killed as a result. There is a local bus that goes right into uptown/downtown areas of Montclair. There are also cabs and the train.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:34 PM
 
1,249 posts, read 1,167,822 times
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In another 15 years New Brunswick will be all Rutgers and J&J. Just give it some time. I have never gotten bored. I grew up in the area and this has always been my hangout spot. I have never been to State College, Bloomington or Ann Arbor so I do not know how they would compare.

How about Rutherford, where Felician College is? Not only is the college so lame and boring and a huge waste of money, on a dry campus, but the town itself is dry as well. It is a nice town with some beautiful old victorian houses, but a glorified suburban family town more than anything else. The only thing open later than 8PM on Park Ave was the Dunkin Donuts, where we used to attempt to hit on the local high school girls who couldn't stay out too late because of curfews. The closest bar is Blarney Station across the train tracks in East Rutherford. Nice little place, but expensive.

You left out Wayne too, where William Paterson University is. Another suburban family town, this time with a major state college in it as opposed to a small Catholic school. They tell you it is 25 miles away from Manhattan, which you blow $40 just getting in there now that once you are there you cannot afford to do anything else, let alone get back into NJ.

And Georgian Court. Oh yeah. What a place for a college. Lakewood of all places, sheesh.

Montclair State University is actually located right on the borders of Upper Montclair, Little Falls and Clifton. Nexis, what sort of "town center" do you speak of? Are you talking about the area along Main St. (Long Hill Rd) by the Quick Chek? That is like on par with Georges Rd in North Brunswick if even that. Nothing going on there at all. And downtown Montclair is pretty dumpy, worlds apart from the neighborhood the college is in. Yet another typical suburban family town here.

How does Ewing have potential? TCNJ is sort of out of place there since it is a real yuppy school in a town that is, shall we say, becoming Trenton's toilet. They should move it to some place like Princeton or West Windsor/Plainsboro, where its students can fit in with local residents whose noses are just as high in the air. Similar thing for Rider in Lawrenceville too, although I do not think this town is really getting bad despite it also borders Trenton - on Rt 1 nevertheless! Nothing really funky going on in this town either.

Monmouth and Stockton are at least near the beach. So what if the towns they are in are rather lame. Although I will admit that most of the time college is in session it is too cold to swim.

I'd tie New Brunswick and Hoboken for the most happening towns with colleges in them. Except Hoboken could use more of a major state college. Maybe if NJCU relocated there, it would be cooler, because the neighborhood that school is in now is pretty bad. Problem is NJ is primarily a "suburban" state. Most of NJ today is suburbia. There is not much here for a young hip crowd plain and simple. Another reason people hate NJ so much.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
6,971 posts, read 12,217,791 times
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best college town is hoboken...too bad the colleges are geek fests

get a rutgers campus over there
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:31 AM
 
143 posts, read 153,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HubCityMadMan View Post
In another 15 years New Brunswick will be all Rutgers and J&J. Just give it some time. I have never gotten bored. I grew up in the area and this has always been my hangout spot. I have never been to State College, Bloomington or Ann Arbor so I do not know how they would compare.

How about Rutherford, where Felician College is? Not only is the college so lame and boring and a huge waste of money, on a dry campus, but the town itself is dry as well. It is a nice town with some beautiful old victorian houses, but a glorified suburban family town more than anything else. The only thing open later than 8PM on Park Ave was the Dunkin Donuts, where we used to attempt to hit on the local high school girls who couldn't stay out too late because of curfews. The closest bar is Blarney Station across the train tracks in East Rutherford. Nice little place, but expensive.

You left out Wayne too, where William Paterson University is. Another suburban family town, this time with a major state college in it as opposed to a small Catholic school. They tell you it is 25 miles away from Manhattan, which you blow $40 just getting in there now that once you are there you cannot afford to do anything else, let alone get back into NJ.

And Georgian Court. Oh yeah. What a place for a college. Lakewood of all places, sheesh.

Montclair State University is actually located right on the borders of Upper Montclair, Little Falls and Clifton. Nexis, what sort of "town center" do you speak of? Are you talking about the area along Main St. (Long Hill Rd) by the Quick Chek? That is like on par with Georges Rd in North Brunswick if even that. Nothing going on there at all. And downtown Montclair is pretty dumpy, worlds apart from the neighborhood the college is in. Yet another typical suburban family town here.

How does Ewing have potential? TCNJ is sort of out of place there since it is a real yuppy school in a town that is, shall we say, becoming Trenton's toilet. They should move it to some place like Princeton or West Windsor/Plainsboro, where its students can fit in with local residents whose noses are just as high in the air. Similar thing for Rider in Lawrenceville too, although I do not think this town is really getting bad despite it also borders Trenton - on Rt 1 nevertheless! Nothing really funky going on in this town either.

Monmouth and Stockton are at least near the beach. So what if the towns they are in are rather lame. Although I will admit that most of the time college is in session it is too cold to swim.

I'd tie New Brunswick and Hoboken for the most happening towns with colleges in them. Except Hoboken could use more of a major state college. Maybe if NJCU relocated there, it would be cooler, because the neighborhood that school is in now is pretty bad. Problem is NJ is primarily a "suburban" state. Most of NJ today is suburbia. There is not much here for a young hip crowd plain and simple. Another reason people hate NJ so much.
Montclair sort of has three "downtowns." The Bloomfield Avenue/Church Street area is mostly NOT dumpy. (Church Street is cool with cute shops and Raymond's). There is Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters amongst the independent shops. Bloomfield Avenue only gets dumpy as it goes toward Glen Ridge,

The Watchung Avenue area with the wonderful Watchung Booksellers and some cute indie shops,

and the Upper Montclair area on Valley Road, which is all Tudorish and cute with some nice independent shops (also Starbucks/Talbots/Clairidge Theater).

However I would agree it's not a typical college town.

Let's remember though that MSU, WPU, and the other state "colleges" (now universities, were originally started as teacher colleges or as they were known then - "normal" schools - for commuters. (That's why the road in front of MSU is Normal Avenue).
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:28 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,336 posts, read 13,260,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HubCityMadMan View Post
In another 15 years New Brunswick will be all Rutgers and J&J. Just give it some time. I have never gotten bored. I grew up in the area and this has always been my hangout spot. I have never been to State College, Bloomington or Ann Arbor so I do not know how they would compare.

How about Rutherford, where Felician College is? Not only is the college so lame and boring and a huge waste of money, on a dry campus, but the town itself is dry as well. It is a nice town with some beautiful old victorian houses, but a glorified suburban family town more than anything else. The only thing open later than 8PM on Park Ave was the Dunkin Donuts, where we used to attempt to hit on the local high school girls who couldn't stay out too late because of curfews. The closest bar is Blarney Station across the train tracks in East Rutherford. Nice little place, but expensive.

You left out Wayne too, where William Paterson University is. Another suburban family town, this time with a major state college in it as opposed to a small Catholic school. They tell you it is 25 miles away from Manhattan, which you blow $40 just getting in there now that once you are there you cannot afford to do anything else, let alone get back into NJ.

And Georgian Court. Oh yeah. What a place for a college. Lakewood of all places, sheesh.

Montclair State University is actually located right on the borders of Upper Montclair, Little Falls and Clifton. Nexis, what sort of "town center" do you speak of? Are you talking about the area along Main St. (Long Hill Rd) by the Quick Chek? That is like on par with Georges Rd in North Brunswick if even that. Nothing going on there at all. And downtown Montclair is pretty dumpy, worlds apart from the neighborhood the college is in. Yet another typical suburban family town here.

How does Ewing have potential? TCNJ is sort of out of place there since it is a real yuppy school in a town that is, shall we say, becoming Trenton's toilet. They should move it to some place like Princeton or West Windsor/Plainsboro, where its students can fit in with local residents whose noses are just as high in the air. Similar thing for Rider in Lawrenceville too, although I do not think this town is really getting bad despite it also borders Trenton - on Rt 1 nevertheless! Nothing really funky going on in this town either.

Monmouth and Stockton are at least near the beach. So what if the towns they are in are rather lame. Although I will admit that most of the time college is in session it is too cold to swim.

I'd tie New Brunswick and Hoboken for the most happening towns with colleges in them. Except Hoboken could use more of a major state college. Maybe if NJCU relocated there, it would be cooler, because the neighborhood that school is in now is pretty bad. Problem is NJ is primarily a "suburban" state. Most of NJ today is suburbia. There is not much here for a young hip crowd plain and simple. Another reason people hate NJ so much.
The area around the Septa West Trenton Station will be redeveloped into a dense housing / Retail area with future Transit lines to NYC , and Trenton by 2035 making that area slightly more lively. These would be middle Income apartments and condos , so in theory that would cause the area to change. These are small infill sites , but former Factories and warehouse sites about 300 acres worth. Monmouth is getting Rail service to NYC and New Brunswick so things will change there.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:51 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
5,864 posts, read 5,789,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherno View Post
A friend complained to me recently how so many of his peers went out of NJ for college, citing the excellence of schools like Rutgers, TCNJ, etc.

I said to him that many middle-to-high income college families want their kid to get the "college campus town experience" and that's an important priority. Many kids visit these towns, fall in love with them and enroll. Now these socioeconomic groups do not define what is a good college town. Or do they? Do many states, counties and municipalities invest in these towns to attract out-of-state and international students? Yes sir/ m'am.

The hard truth is that NJ can't compare to New England or Upstate New York's many quaint/ cool towns. PA has a good amount too.

Then the question on whether NJ is just "too small" came up . . and as a result suitcase schools are inevitable. But then we thought of Delaware (UD - Newark), Rhode Island (URI - Kingston), etc. we kind of stopped in our tracks.

The economy has slowed the flow out as many NJ students are choosing state colleges & universities (and community colleges) in bigger numbers and Christie is on record saying he wanted more NJ kids going to NJ higher ed schools.

But when you look at our college towns, it's not too impressive when you've got options:

Princeton - Out of reach for many, Nassau St & Palmer Square are pretty much it. Has so many chain shopping stores that resemble say, Summit or Millburn.

New Brunswick - I actually like the momentum that's been happening here, but it couldn't hold a candle to Bloomington, In., State College or Ann Arbor.

Pitman/ Glassboro - Pitman has a cool old theater and the area is trying, but Rowan's towns have a long way to go. That light rail project may help.

Pomona - Stockton is in the woods and there is no real town there. Students are better off living in Brigantine or Margate, scattered around.

West Long Branch - Long Branch itself has seen some recent positives, but isn't really a college town.

Ewing - The disconnect between this town that has so much potential and the state's premiere college could not be greater. Really started a couple decades back with the change of the "Trenton State" name.

Madison - Has Drew & FDU Florham. A cool single street with a train station, but not a cool town.

South Orange - Seton Hall's town also has one cool street, but this is still a bigger bedroom community for Manhattan workers.

Teaneck/ Hackensack - Meh

Mahwah - Double Meh

Camden - Nope

Union - Kean's college has some nice new condos/ apts. & an awesome coffee shop by the train station, but you can't walk anywhere. It's that bad.

Newark - A good amounts of colleges here, but Newark has a long way to go. It will never be a "college town" but it could be a really awesome city.

Hoboken - If you're an engineer, Stevens' campus is excellent and you're in Hoboken where many other workers are close to your age and likely in their 20s too. This town IMHO represents a great, attractive town for a NJ student to go to. But it's not a college town. I lived there for years and never even met a Stevens student. I did see a couple Stevens sweatshirts though.

Montclair - This is the most attractive place and one that I see as a natural winner to invest in. However, the college is toward the north part of town, far enough away from the downtown for their to be a big disconnect. A bike path could change that. I would love to see Montclair to become known as a cool college town, maybe on par with some New England schools. It already has the Wellmont Theatre.

It's really sad. Recently I visited Willamsport, PA which (I found out has Lycoming College) and it was bigger and nicer than many of our college towns. It's like they combined Lambertville with Morristown, which was a pretty good result.

What do you think could be done?
Everybody knows the" college educational experience" is always better the further away you get from mom and dad.
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