Rowan University

General Rowan University is a public university in New Jersey with about 14,000 undergrads.  The Glassboro campus is flat and set on 200 acres, about 20 minutes from Philly.  Most of the buildings are red brick and there is a street going through the middle of campus. A new business building and a new engineering building are slated to open in January. Bikes and skateboards are popular ways to get around campus.

Admissions –Freshmen had an average high school GPA of 3.6 and an average new SAT score of 1290.  The mid-50% of new SAT scores are 1140 -1330.

The school is test optional for students with an average 3.5 high school GPA who write an extra essay, except for engineering or honors students. 
The grades and scores needed for admissions into engineering are higher; engineering students need at least a 3.3 GPA and 1290 on the new SAT. 
Art students have a portfolio requirement and music students need to audition.  
Freshman retention is 91%. The scholarship deadline is 1/31 and the application deadline is 3/1.
Student body –  About eighty per cent of freshmen live on campus and twenty per cent are commuters; this is not a suitcase school.
Academics – The average class size is 22 with classes capped at 40 students.  No Teaching Assistants teach classes.  
Internships are popular, with over 250 companies recruiting each semester. Study abroad is available. There are no co-ops.
The newest school at Rowan is the School of the Earth and Environment and the newest program is Nutrition.
The most popular major in the school is biological science.
Education majors can start student teaching in their first year and there is a child development center on campus. There is a 5-year Bachelors/Masters program in education. 
Engineering is hands-on with lots of projects.
Popular majors in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are Exploratory Studies (undeclared), Sociology and Law and Justice.
There is a 5-year Bachelors/Masters program in athletic training.
There are a number of majors where students can complete their Bachelors degree in three years, saving about $22,000.
The Honors program is by invitation only.  Honors students generally have at least a 3.5 GPA and at least a 1775 on the old SAT.  Honors students have special housing, honors classes, and special trips.
Financial – Tuition, fees and room and board cost about $25,000 per year.  Merit aid of between $2,000 and $21,000 per year is available. 
Student Center with Law School Fair
Social – The school has over 100 clubs, Greek life and NCAA Division III athletics.  The student center was bustling with a law school fair on the day I visited.  The rec center has two pools, racketball courts, an indoor track and much more.  There is plenty to do on-campus on the weekends and there are also off-campus trips.
Rec Center


Food and housing – There are ten on-campus dining options.  Learning communities are available.  There is hall style and suite style housing available for freshmen.  The newest housing, Holy Pointe, has air conditioning.  Upperclassmen have on-campus housing opportunities, including townhomes.

What’s new at NJ, NY and PA colleges

Admissions representatives from several universities shared highlights of what’s new at their institutions at the NJACAC fall kickoff. 
The Rider representative talked about:
  •  Special activities to commemorate the college’s 150th anniversary, including a gala, special performances, the breaking of a Guinness world record for the longest string of cranberries.
  •  The Westminster Choir College getting a new building. 
  • Sports management being offered as a new co-major.
  • The Musical Theater degree becoming a Bachelors in Fine Arts, requiring an application by January 1.
  • The current college president retiring on June 30th and the search for a replacement.

The Rutgers representative spoke of:
  • The opening of the Residential Honors College housing for 500 students and faculty in September 2015. 
  • Mason Gross having a new digital film making major starting in 2015.
  •  Rutgers planning for a 2016 celebration of their 250th anniversary.

  • Will be celebrating their 150thanniversary in 2015 with a Lehigh vs. Lafayette football game in Yankee Stadium. 
  • Has purchased two Bethlehem Steel buildings and turned them into research space. 
  • Has a new college president who came from the University of Virginia. 
  • Is in the midst of a one billion dollar capital campaign.

·         Has fully integrated the engineering school into the university. Has new majors including Design and Performance Study, and an interdisciplinary Business and Film/TV.
·         Is looking for a new president. 

·         Is building a Campus Town Center which will open in August.  It will have a first floor with Panera,Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and a pizza place, and a second floor housing 430 TCNJ students. 
·         Has a new STEM facility housing natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. 
·         Will be switching to a 4-1-4 schedule to encourage a higher 4-year graduation rate and to give more students the opportunity to study abroad. 

·         Will require students to complete the CSS PROFILE in order to get financial aid.  They expect this will enable them to give more aid to students whose families make between $75K and $150K per year.
The Rowan representative spoke of:
  •  Bringing in five companies, including Lockheed Martin, on property Rowan owns next to the college campus so students can do research and work with those companies.
  • Two new med schools and the integration of medical studies with arts, business, and STEM.  Students can get accepted into medical school right after high school; the med schools are focusing on community/family medicine. 
  •  The freshman class being 40% bigger than last year. 
  • Rowan focusing on improving their graduation rate and having a goal to reach a 90% graduation rate. 

Visual and Performing Arts

Here are some important points made by Beth Dombkowski of Rowan University and Laura Arbogast of Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on Visual and Performing Arts from the June NJACAC Conference:

  • Look at the college’s accreditation.  You would like to see accreditation by NASM for Music, NASAD for Art and Design, NAST for Theatre, and NASD for Dance.
  • Consider the school’s location.  Being in or near a large city is a major plus (e.g., it will provide you more opportunities for art internships).
  • Consider whether you would prefer a discipline-specific school (e.g., FIT) vs. a Larger University (e.g., Rowan)
  • Consider whether you would prefer a Traditional program (e.g., all Visual Arts students start by taking the same basic art courses) or a Direct Entry program (e.g., need to know what type of art you are most interested in and begin courses in that area of art immediately).
  • Attend a Performing Arts and Visual Arts Fair – These are college fairs that focus on schools with strong programs in performing and visual arts.  There are upcoming fairs in our area in the Fall including:
    • Philadelphia, Monday, 10/6
    • New York City, Tuesday, 10/7
  • Some good questions to ask the school are:
    • What are students producing?
    • Who will teach me?
    • What are support services?
    • What performance opportunities are available to me as an undergraduate?
    • What internship or employment opportunities are available to me?
    • Can I perform professionally outside of school while I am an undergraduate?
  • Tips on creating an art portfolios:
    • Different colleges have different portfolio requirements.  Review the requirements for the colleges you are considering.
    • Summer is a good time to work on your portfolio.
    • Go to a National Portfolio Day to get feedback on your portfolio from the colleges you are planning to apply to.  Typically high school juniors and seniors attend National Portfolio Days.   Upcoming 2014 dates in our area include:
      • Philadelphia – Sunday, 11/9
      • SUNY Purchase – Saturday 11/15
      • New York City – Sunday, 11/16
  • Tips on music auditions and placement exams:
    • Colleges generally list what is required for their music audition on their Web page.  Make sure you can do and are prepared to do all the parts of the audition.  This varies from college to college.
    • Colleges often require placement exams.  For example at Rowan, all music majors are required to take placement exams in Theory, playing the piano, and sight singing.
  • Theater major tips:
    • Bring a resume listing your theater performance experience to your audition
    • Before your audition, rehearse you piece in front of a live audience.
  • The job outlook for the visual and performing arts in the Northeast shows growth in:
    • Film & video editors (19%)
    • Interior design (14%)
    • Art director (11.7%)
    • Fine artists (10.3%)
    • Set and exhibit design (9%)
    • Photographer (7%)