Rutgers Preparatory School

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Rutgers Preparatory School
Rutgers Preparatory School logo.svg
Somerset, NJ
Type Independent, Day
Motto Severa res est verum gaudium
"Hard work is true joy"
Established 1766
Headmaster Dr. Steven Loy
Faculty 104.0 (on FTE basis)
Enrollment 680 (in PK-12 as of 2014-15)
Average class size 19
Student to teacher ratio 6.5:1
Campus 41 acres (0.17 km2)
Color(s)      Maroon and
Athletics 21 interscholastic sports
Athletics conference Skyland Conference
Team name Argonauts[1]
Accreditation New Jersey Independent Schools Athletic Association
Average SAT scores 680 verbal
720 math
690 writing
Newspaper The Argo
Yearbook Ye Dial
Endowment $43.5 million[2]
Budget $22,000,000 (est.)
Tuition $34,000

Rutgers Preparatory School (also known as Rutgers Prep or RPS) is a private, PK-12, coeducational, college preparatory day school, located on a 41-acre (0.17 km2) campus along the banks of the Delaware and Raritan Canal in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. Established in 1766, Rutgers Preparatory School is the oldest independent school in the state of New Jersey and the 16th-oldest in the country.

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 680 students (in Pre-Kindergarten through the 12th grade) and 104.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 6.5:1. Nine RPS faculty members hold doctoral degrees in their respective fields, and over half of the faculty currently holds an advanced degree.[3] Tuition for the 2014-15 school year was set at $32,500. The school does not publicly release endowment figures, however IRS filings indicate close to $60 million in investable assets alone.

The school has a frequently cited student honor code, and requires its students to complete ten hours of community service each school year in order to advance to the next grade level. The vast majority of students take Advanced Placement courses, and the academic environment at the school is highly competitive. Rutgers Preparatory School is a member of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools.[4]


Now known as Alexander Johnston Hall of Rutgers University, this was the original building of Rutgers Preparatory School in New Brunswick

Rutgers Preparatory School is the oldest independent preparatory school in the state of New Jersey.[5] Founded as the Queen's College Grammar School, it was established on November 10, 1766 under the same charter that founded Queen's College (now Rutgers University).

Instruction began on August 15, 1768 under its first master, Caleb Cooper. Cooper, a graduate of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), was hired by the college's trustees to begin instruction at the Queen's College Grammar School, chartered along with the college in 1766. In 1825, the trustees renamed the college and grammar school after Colonel Henry Rutgers whose donation allowed the college to reopen after years of financial difficulties. The Rutgers College Grammar School established its location at the corner of College Avenue and Somerset Street in New Brunswick in a building designed and constructed by local architect and builder Nicholas Wyckoff in 1830. From 1829 until 1963, the school operated at this location presently known as Alexander Johnston Hall, the second-oldest surviving building on the Rutgers University campus. From 1809 to 1830, Rutgers Prep shared Old Queens, the oldest building at Rutgers University (1809), with the young Queens College (after 1825, Rutgers College) and the New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Before then, instruction was carried on in various taverns and boarding houses in the New Brunswick area.

The school's original mission was to train young men for the ministry, and its curriculum had focused on theology and classical studies. Over the course of the 19th century, however, more secular options were added. During the Progressive Era, Rutgers Preparatory School was among the first schools in the nation to institute a curriculum involving the laboratory sciences, extracurricular activities, student publications, and community service. After experimenting with the admission of women as early as the 1890s, Rutgers Prep became fully coeducational in 1951. That same year, it eliminated the American football team and ended its boarding program to become a day school to which students commuted rather than lived. In 1956, faced with the prospect of Rutgers becoming the state university, the university's Board of Trustees decided to divest itself of the preparatory school, which became fully independent in 1957, relocating to its current location on the Wells Estate (purchased from the Colgate-Palmolive Company) in nearby Somerset.

The school expanded rapidly on its new campus, adding an Upper School building (in partnership with the Colgate-Palmolive Company), playing fields, and a field house. In the 1960s, its curriculum and athletic offerings expanded dramatically, and the school made efforts to attract a more racially and economically diverse student body and faculty. These efforts continued throughout the 1970s.

In November 1983, an electrical fire destroyed a large part of the Upper School building. Classes were held in trailers while a new, larger, and more modern Upper School was built. The new building, which is still in use, opened in 1985.


Rutgers Preparatory School offers three levels of education: a Lower School serving pre-kindergarten to grade five, a Middle School offering grades six to eight and an Upper School offering traditional secondary level education from grades nine to twelve. Students are required to complete twenty course credits in order to graduate, accumulating a minimum of five credits per year, and are to take courses based in a traditional liberal arts curriculum that spans across several academic departments (English, History, Mathematics, Science, World Languages, Art, Computers, Music, and Drama).

The school offers a wide variety of AP (Advanced Placement) courses, which are the high school equivalent of a college-level course. Additionally, the School offers five language courses: Spanish, French, Latin, Japanese, and Arabic. Rutgers Preparatory School has also partnered with the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University, and by participating in its Waksman Student Scholars Program (WSSP), Upper School students are able to participate in, and contribute to, an authentic research project in molecular biology and bioinformatics.[6]

Each student in the Upper School is required to perform a minimum of ten hours of community service during each academic year as a condition for advancing to the next grade level and for graduation. This community-service obligation may be fulfilled either through volunteer work with a non-profit organization, through a charity, or through a service that in some way benefits the school community (tutoring, etc.). In addition, at least five of these hours must be completed outside the school campus.


The school has a 100% college admissions rate. A majority of the students are given offers of admission to selective public and private universities in the Northeast and throughout the country.[7]

Institutional awards and recognition[edit]

Rutgers Preparatory School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and was recognized in 1992 as a Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education.[8]

The School received its most recent accreditation from the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) in 2012.

The School's delegation was awarded first place in the 2010 Euro Challenge, an international high school economics competition.[9]

In 2014, Rutgers Preparatory School received the Franklin Township Organization Environmental Stewardship Award, in recognition of contributions to the environment of Franklin Township, including participation in the "Rutgers Green Purchasing" and "River-Friendly School Certification" programs, recent construction of a new LEED certified building, new energy management installations, and development of an effective composting and recycling program.

Rutgers Preparatory School is the only school in New Jersey to be a member of the Council of International Schools. It is also the only high school in the world to be granted Non-governmental Organization (NGO) status by the United Nations.[10]


The 41-acre (170,000 m2) campus is located in Somerset, New Jersey directly on the Delaware and Raritan Canal and the Raritan River. The historic 18th century Elm Farm building, which was the home of the Wells family in the late eighteenth century, now houses administrative offices and several classrooms. The campus includes three full-size athletic fields, a FieldTurf synthetic turf field, a softball field, and a full size baseball field. The "Field House" currently features two full size gyms, male and female locker rooms with showers, a wrestling room, a fitness center, and the offices of the athletic administration and trainer. In addition to the Early Childhood Education Center, and Lower, Middle, and Upper School buildings, an art studio was constructed in 1992 and a new music building was constructed in 2008.

In 2009, the school broke ground on a multimillion-dollar, multi-phased endeavor that includes an expansion of the system of roads and parking on the campus, a widening of Easton Avenue, the addition of new athletic fields and tennis courts, and the construction of an entirely new complex. The first phase of the new complex, which was completed for the 2011-2012 school year, houses the dining commons and several new classrooms on the first floor. The second floor of this new building was completed in Fall 2012, and includes several more upper school classrooms as well as a state-of-the-art all-division room and other multi-use spaces. This new facility is LEED certified.


Students in Lower School partake in music class twice a week for 30 minutes. Once in Middle School, all students still take a daily music class, and are offered the choice of choir, band, and/or orchestra. Once in the Upper School, students may elect to partake in music, either in vocal or instrumental ensembles. The school also offers a music theory and composition class.

"Jazz Band" (Grades 8-12) and "Madrigal Singers" (Grades 9-12) are auditioned musical ensembles offered as out-of-school activities for more advanced students. Winter and spring music concerts take place annually at various locations.

Since the late 1990s, the Rutgers Preparatory School Madrigal Singers have been attending the New Jersey American Choral Directors Association High School Choral Festival, and have regularly received ratings of "Superior." In 2000 and 2008, the Madrigal Singers performed at Carnegie Hall. In 2013 and 2014 flute players from the School's Music Department performed at Carnegie Hall with Sir James Galway.


The Rutgers Prep Argonauts[1] compete as a member school in the Skyland Conference, which is composed of public and private high schools covering Hunterdon County, Somerset County and Warren County and operates under the auspices of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[11] The athletic program fields 44 high school and middle school teams, including 15 varsity athletic teams. Boys’ teams include soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis, lacrosse, wrestling, and cross country. Girls' teams consist of: soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, cross country, tennis and lacrosse. Additionally, the school has two co-ed teams: golf and swimming. Rutgers Prep is a member of the NJSIAA Non-Public B, NJISAA Prep B, and Skyland Conferences.

NJSIAA state championships
State titles
  • Boys Cross Country – 1990, 1996
  • Girls Cross Country – 1997, 2002
  • Boys Basketball – 1956, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012
  • Girls Basketball – 1992, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012
  • Volleyball – 1992, 2002, 2005, 2011
  • Wrestling – 1993, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009
  • Swimming – 1991, 2001
  • Boys Lacrosse – 1988, 1989, 1990, 2009, 2010, 2013
  • Girls Lacrosse – 1986, 1999, 2002
  • Golf – 1987
  • Baseball – 1988, 2011, 2012
  • Softball – 1988, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Boys Tennis – 2001, 2002, 2004
  • Girls Tennis – 2000
  • Girls Soccer – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

NJSIAA Sectional Championships

  • Baseball – 2013

Somerset County Championships

  • Boys Tennis – 2001
  • Boys Basketball - 1979, 1981, 1983
  • Girls Basketball – 2004, 2008, 2011

Patriot Conference Championships

  • Boys Cross Country – 1986, 1990, 1995, 1996
  • Girls Cross Country – 1996, 1997, 1998
  • Boys Lacrosse – 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Girls Soccer - 2004, 2006
  • Boys Basketball – 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 2004, 2005, 2009
  • Girls Basketball – 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • Volleyball – 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • Wrestling – 1994, 1995, 1996,1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
  • Golf – 1996, 1998, 2010
  • Boys Tennis – 2001, 2003, 2004
  • Baseball – 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008
  • Softball – 2000, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

In recent years, student-athletes have been awarded individual honors including:

  • All-American
  • All-State
  • All-Metro Region
  • All- Prep B
  • All- Prep
  • All-Somerset County
  • All-Area
  • All-Non-Public
  • Player of the Year
  • All-Skyland Conference

Student publications[edit]

  • The Argo — Award-winning monthly newspaper
  • Excelsior — biannual literary magazine
  • Ye Dial — school yearbook

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rutgers Prep School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 2, 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Rutgers Preparatory School Accessed December, 2014.
  4. ^ Rutgeres Preparatory School, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. Accessed February 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Sahn, Michelle. "Students helping students is the norm at Rp", Home News Tribune, November 18, 2004. Accessed October 21, 2007. "The young people involved in these projects, as well as a host of others, are among the 710 students who attend Rutgers Preparatory School, the oldest independent school in the state."
  6. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  7. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  8. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
  9. ^ 2010 Euro Challenge, accessed October 22, 2010
  10. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  11. ^ League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  12. ^ History of the NJSIAA Baseball Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 2, 2017.
  13. ^ History of the NJSIAA Boys' Lacrosse Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 1, 2017.
  14. ^ Miller, Steven. "A 6-foot-11 girl basketball player takes Philly by storm", The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 15, 2011. Accessed February 9, 2011. "So when the 6-foot-11 high school junior plays Saturday at Philadelphia University and Sunday at Upper Dublin High, she expects the same reactions from her opponents that she had from her teammates when she enrolled at Rutgers Prep less than two years ago."
  15. ^ James Bishop, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed September 1, 2007.
  16. ^ William Henry Steele Demarest, 1906-1924, Rutgers University Library. Accessed February 9, 2011. "He moved to New Brunswick in 1865, graduated from the Rutgers Grammar School in 1879 and immediately entered Rutgers College."
  17. ^ Fred A. Hartley, Jr., Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed February 9, 2011.
  18. ^ Staff. "Robert Wood 'Johnson, 74, Dies; Chairman of Johnson & Johnson; Founder's Son Led Company Until 1963 - No. 2 Man on War Production Board", The New York Times, January 31, 1968. Accessed February 9, 2011. "The youngster was graduated from the Lawrenceville School and Rutgers Preparatory School and received private tutoring but did not attend college."
  19. ^ Staff. "Stanley Kamel, Los Angeles, Calif.", Home News Tribune, April 12, 2008. Accessed February 9, 2011. "He attended Rutgers Preparatory School and was a graduate of Boston University School of Fine Arts, in 1965."
  20. ^ Selected Poetry of Aline Kilmer (1888-1941), Representative Poetry Online, University of Toronto. Accessed February 9, 2011. "Aline Murray Kilmer was born August 1, 1888, in Norfolk, Virginia, educated at Rutgers Prep School and the Vail-Deane School in Elizabeth, New Jersey."
  21. ^ Sgt. Joyce Kilmer Triangle, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Accessed February 9, 2011. "Born on December 6, 1886, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and educated at Rutgers Preparatory School, Kilmer attended both Rutgers University and Columbia University before earning his degree from Columbia in 1908."
  22. ^ Kojiro Matsukata, Class of 1889 Football Team, Rutgers University Community Repository. Accessed February 9, 2011. "Kojiro Matsukata son of Count Matsukata, entered Rutgers College in 1885 through the Rutgers College Grammar School."
  23. ^ Lawler, Sylvia. "BILL COSBY'S RUDY MEETS A GOLDEN GIRL", The Morning Call, December 20, 1987. Accessed February 9, 2011. "She doesn't take a lot of offers of personal appearances because The Cosby Show already takes time out of her school week, and this third- grader loves her school work at Rutgers Preparatory in Somerset, NJ."
  24. ^ Staff. "RAGS to REELS, Max Raab made a fortune in the garment business, then switched to movies such as A Clockwork Orange. His Rittenhouse Square will debut Saturday.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 3, 2005. Accessed February 9, 2011. "Max attended Germantown High briefly before winning a work-study scholarship to Rutgers Prep."

External links[edit]