Rutgers’ Honors College nearly ready

Published On: July 5th, 2015

Rutgers University is putting the finishing touches on its new Honors College in New Brunswick – an elite program designed to keep the best students in state.

A new residence hall for the students in the heart of the College Avenue campus is nearly finished and the first class of more than 550 freshmen will move in at the end of next month, officials said.

The building, on Seminary Place, will house the first-year students along with advising and administrative offices of the college, apartments for live-in faculty fellows, high-tech seminar rooms and common space.

Landscaping has been completed around the building and furniture will be moved in within two weeks, said Chris Paladino, president of the New Brunswick Development Corp., which worked with Rutgers on the project.

The Honors College residence hall is part of a $330 million initiative to transform Seminary Place between College Avenue and George Street. A new home for Rutgers Theological Seminary has been completed and construction has begun on an academic building next to the Honors dormitory space.

Students admitted to the inaugural class of the Honors College have SAT scores that are on average 200 points higher than the rest of the student body in New Brunswick, which is the most selective of Rutgers’ campuses, Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi told the school’s governing board last month.

Average SAT scores for the general population at Rutgers New Brunswick range between 1630-2000, according to federal data.

Rutgers used the new facilities and scholarships to entice top students to stay in state, Paladino said Friday.

“Anecdotally, I’ve happened upon several students who decided not to go out of state because of the Honors College,” said Paladino. “Rutgers was able to attract a level of academic excellence that raises the entire university.”

The Honors College is one of several building projects that are substantially transforming the flagship campuses in New Brunswick-Piscataway. Projects also are under way at campuses in Newark and Camden.

Rutgers is hoping that its recent entrance into the Big Ten Athletic Conference also will help attract high-performing students from out of state.