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Where to stay (and park) in NJ convenient to Columbia U?

We'll be attending Columbia University graduation on Manhattan, but want to stay in NJ to cut costs and have parking. Where is the best area to look for a hotel and public transportation to Columbia U? We don't know the area at all.
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Columbia University does offer packages for families visiting commencement week, however if you're set on staying in Jersey for a cost savings, you may also wish to take public transportation to and from NYC.
I'd recommend Rensissance Inn, Rutherford NJ for quality and location to bus & Chris Steak restaurant on property. Quality Inn, Lyndhurst is well worn but across the street from the Renaissance.
Secacus, NJ is another town to search for hotels, make a point to ask before booking how close to the bus route to NY (190 is a fairly regular bus route).
If you choose to drive, you may prefer the choices of hotels in the Meadowlands or East Rutherford. Near enough to the highway & Rt. 3 (into Lincoln Tunnel) but not convenient to bus lines.
Congratulations to your graduate!
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