Aerial photo of the Montclair State campus

Resources for Counselors

Information for High School Counselors

A Letter from the Director of Undergraduate Admissions

Dear colleagues,

The coronavirus public health crisis has turned upside down our shared work of preparing students for their entry to higher education and the world. It’s rendered our most rote tasks more complicated, and it’s stretched our abilities to provide excellent counsel and service to our students. But, as I’m sure is true in your community, this crisis has galvanized the Montclair State community. We’ve come together to ensure students stay at the center of all we do, and we’re here to help you do the important work you do so well.

As you help your graduating seniors navigate their next steps as accepted students or begin the college exploration process with juniors and underclassmen, we’re here for you and your students, and we’ve built an array of virtual resources to make your lives easier. 

I’ve been talking with school counselors and our frontline staff to understand the most pressing questions you and our students have. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for on this resources page, I encourage you to contact me directly with your questions at

Take a look at the many opportunities we’ve created to help students get to know Montclair State below. You’ll find a Virtual Tour and Interactive Campus Map, helpful videos, and many live sessions where students can connect directly with faculty, staff, current students, and other prospective students.

The Montclair State team is here to help. Let’s help launch these students together!


Jordanna Maziarz
Acting Director
Undergraduate Admissions

Montclair Bound Counselor Newsletter Fall 2020

Download and review our Fall 2020 Montclair Bound Counselor Newsletter! This newsletter includes a letter from the Director of Undergraduate Admissions, information on our Counselor Mini-Workshop Webinars, Student Stories, Important Dates and Deadlines, and more.

Presentations: Learn More About Montclair State

Feel free to download and review the following presentations below! Please check back often for additional resources.

Red Hawk Restart: Fall 2020 Reopening

While this is a unique moment in our history, we are prepared to take on these challenging times with our students’ safety as our first priority. ⁣⁣⁣⁣Hear from Karen Pennington, VP for Student Development and Campus Life, about what students can expect this fall.


Montclair State’s restart plan will guide every aspect of how we operate, from safeguards, to academics, to campus life, housing, dining, transportation and more. Review the detailed plan now on our Red Hawk Restart website. 

Answers to Questions for Current and Future Applicants

How will pass/fail grading impact admissions decisions—now and in the future?

Montclair State University has a long history of conducting a holistic review of all applicants. Unlike many large institutions, every single application at Montclair State is thoroughly reviewed by an admissions counselor. Since becoming the first public four-year institution in New Jersey to adopt an SAT/ACT optional admissions policy in 2014, our focus has been even more keenly targeted on student performance in the classroom. The transcript tells that story, and we interpret it by considering factors like trends in performance year-over-year, the rigor of courses students are taking, and their performance in courses (like Algebra II, English, and other writing-intensive courses) that are indicators of success.

With many schools—Montclair State included—adopting expanded pass/fail grading policies, we do not expect any significant change to the way in which we review applications will be necessary. We will still conduct a holistic review, considering all factors– including the uniqueness of this moment in our history and its impact on students– and we will always err on the side of giving students the benefit of the doubt.  As school counselors, you help us make those decisions by providing us additional backstory in your letters of recommendation. These are particularly helpful when students have complicated stories to tell.

How will the cancelled SAT dates impact admissions decisions?

Montclair State has a test-optional admissions policy, so students applying to the University will be at no disadvantage during the application process if they missed the opportunity to sit for the SAT in 2020.

Is Montclair State changing its policy on Advanced Placement (AP) credit given the new testing model?

We recognize that these are extraordinary times, so we will not make any changes to our existing policies related to accepting AP scores for college-level credit. 

Answers to Questions for Accepted Students

Will Orientation be online? When will I find out more information?

We are planning a comprehensive orientation experience for you this summer! Orientation will be conducted online through a mix of live sessions presented by faculty and staff, recorded information, and interactive online modules. Students will be guided by their Orientation Leader, who they’ll meet virtually in advance of their orientation date. 

Direct students to the Accepted Students Checklist for more information on how to sign up.

How do students create their course schedules for the fall semester?

All incoming freshmen complete the First-Year Questionnaire. This survey helps advisors build first-year students’ fall and spring schedules in advance of orientation. After the schedule is built, the academic advisor will invite the student to a virtual welcome meeting to talk about what to expect before the fall semester begins.  Students will connect with their academic advisor during various Orientation activities this summer.  At these meetings, they’ll learn more about creating an educational plan and be able to ask any questions about their schedules or next steps.

Direct students to the Accepted Students Checklist for more information on the First-Year Questionnaire.

What about placement testing?

In most cases, your student’s academic advising team will use information from the student’s prior high school or college record to determine placement into courses at Montclair State.

Foreign Language Placement Testing
All students at Montclair State University must complete or transfer in 6 credits of world language coursework to meet graduation requirements. If you plan to continue studying a world language you have studied previously, you must complete the Foreign Language Placement Test. Learn more about the test

Math & Chemistry Placement for Students in Majors within the College of Science & Mathematics
Incoming freshmen do not require any placement testing. Your advising team in the College of Science & Mathematics (CSAM) will determine which level of math and/or chemistry in which to place you based on the courses you took in high school and how well you did in them. 

Special considerations: 

– If you have completed or are currently enrolled in a college-level math course or will complete a relevant math AP exam, you must email as soon as possible with the course and grade/score that you expect to or have earned. CSAM majors who have not completed at least Algebra II in high school will not be able to take any CSAM courses and should contact immediately for advising. 

– Students admitted to the Health Careers and/or EOF programs must take the Accuplacer and/or Chemistry Readiness Test (CRT). 

Students can contact the Academic Success Center at 973-655-5425, 973-655-4476 or email for questions about placement into courses.

Can admitted students take courses during the summer before they begin in the fall?

Admitted freshmen may take WRIT 105: College Writing I during the summer before starting in the fall. We offer this course through our Red Hawk Advantage program. Students can get a jumpstart on their college career by taking this course at a reduced rate. In light of the COVID-19 emergency, all courses being offered during the Summer 2020 term will be conducted online. Learn more about the Red Hawk Advantage and encourage your students to sign up for an information session today!

My students have concerns about paying for college because their families’ financial situations have changed. Who can they talk to?

Each situation is different, so we recommend your students schedule time to speak one-on-one with a Financial Aid Counselor who can best advise on their unique circumstances. Have them schedule a Telecounseling appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor today!

Students have other questions about financial aid, billing or registration. Who can they talk to?

A one-stop resource for any questions about paying for college, navigating our systems or planning for the fall, is Red Hawk Central. Please reach out to them for additional support at or 973-655-7600.

Getting to know Montclair State

How can students get to know Montclair State from afar?

We know students walk onto our campus and feel its wow factor. Over and over, we hear that students visited Montclair State and instantly felt at home. So much of that feeling, though, is owed to the incredible sense of community and the pride current students, faculty, and staff feel about being Red Hawks. To help students get a sense of what it’s like to join Red Hawk Country and be an important part of our community, we’ve created and curated a number of virtual resources.

Students can:

  • Register for Virtual Open House to hear from our Deans and current students, learn more about our academic programs and experience a virtual campus tour.
  • Take a virtual tour, explore our campus, and learn more about our community through our Video Viewbook and Interactive Campus Map
  • Get help navigating the Accepted Students Checklist, learn more about applying as a transfer student, or attend an information session for prospective freshmen by signing up for a webinar.
  • Schedule a telecounseling session for one-on-one support from our admissions counselors.
  • Claim their Montclair State Swag! Attend a Virtual Accepted Student Day to learn more about Montclair State’s tremendous value, interact with other incoming students, and get access to the materials and giveaways we would’ve offered if we were able to have an in-person Accepted Student Day. More dates are planned. Students should check our Virtual Resources website and their email frequently!

Counselors – would you like to set up a virtual visit and information session for your students with one of our Admissions Counselors? 

We’re ready to “meet” your students and help them launch their college search process with a live information session with one of our Admissions Counselors. Vanessa Devericks, Lead Admissions Counselor for Recruitment Coordination, will help you set up your session. Reach out to her today at