Newly Admitted Class of 2017 Rolls in like a Lion

A newly admitted student gets a high-ten from Rocky at Accepted Students Day 2013.

Rounding out a busy admissions recruitment season at Montclair State University, members of the newly admitted Class of 2017 surprised and delighted the University by turning out in huge numbers for Accepted Students Day on April 14. The numbers of participants at the annual event doubled this year, and, with the spring-related wind gusts that day, kept the campus community on its toes.

More than 5,000 accepted students and their guests, some visiting the campus for the first time, met fellow students and families, and enjoyed informative presentations, ice cream and candy, residence hall tours, and more, choosing from a number of other activities all aimed at celebrating the incoming class and engaging students in their final selection and enrollment process. Photo opportunities with Rocky the Red Hawk, Montclair State’s mascot, were a big hit.

The University’s “Class of 2017” Facebook page broadcasted the large turnout in a message to followers after the event: “By the numbers, look how awesome you are: 3,800 box lunches served. 2,000 ice cream cones served. Over 1,200 cases of candy and snacks handed out. 100 beach balls inflated. Over 150 pictures taken with Rocky the Red Hawk.” In the words of the post’s author, “the incoming class is highly motivated. You can see they’re looking forward to attending in the fall.”

Indeed, tuition deposits submitted by accepted students are 50 percent greater than the number last year at this time. The event itself cultivated nearly 300 additional commitments to attend the University this fall. Overall, for fall 2013 admission, the undergraduate admissions office received more than 16,000 applications. Of those, about 8,300 incoming freshmen have been offered admission. At the same time, traditional markers of academic quality and preparedness have remained consistent. The average SAT score (including math, critical reading, and writing scores) of the admitted class is 1530, while the average high school Grade Point Average (GPA) is 3.3.

Also notable is a change in the admissions policy this year due to interruptions and challenges caused by Superstorm Sandy. In November, the University decided to accelerate its admissions decision making and communication to applicants. In another show of support directly to victims of the storm, campus organizers gave Accepted Students Day attendees an opportunity to donate school supplies to kick off a charity drive by Jersey Cares, a Newark-based nonprofit organization that cultivates volunteers for specific community needs. The attendees’ donations are earmarked for school-age students living in areas affected by Superstorm Sandy.

This is such an exciting time to be a part of Montclair State University,” said Lisa Kasper, director of Undergraduate Admissions. “You can feel the energy in the air. Families are seeking affordable options, students are seeking a dynamic social and residential environment, and both are looking for a challenging, quality education. Montclair State is the definitive answer.”