For high school students who know they want to attend Montclair State University, the application process – and the dreaded waiting for that college acceptance notification – just got a little easier. With the kickoff of the University’s new Early Bird Junior Admit Program students can apply in their junior year of high school.
“We know applying to college is a very stressful experience for students, and we also know there are thousands of students who have Montclair as their top choice before senior year,” says Director of Undergraduate Admissions Jordanna Maziarz. “So, why not give them a chance to apply early and find out if they’re admissible? Early Bird admissions gives qualified high school juniors a chance to know they’re admitted to a high-quality university and takes a lot of stress out of the college equation before they start senior year.”
Traditionally, students apply in their senior year and must meet certain requirements based on their major of choice. “Through Early Admit, students are receiving pre-admission to the University based on their junior year transcript, which allows us to simplify the review process,” Maziarz explains.
This program is closed for 2022. However, students interested in applying to the University for fall 2023 may do so via the Common App or the Montclair application. Students who are not admitted through the Early Bird program are offered personalized telecounseling appointments with an admissions counselor to discuss how they can strengthen their application before reapplying to Montclair, Maziarz says.
As an added bonus, students do not have to pay a college application fee or resubmit transcripts when applying to their majors. There’s also the added benefit of learning about scholarship monies early. “Since we also give students their scholarship awards as part of Early Bird, students also have a rough idea of what their cost of attendance might be; this does not include need-based aid they might be eligible for based on the FAFSA,” Maziarz says.
Vice President for Enrollment Management Wendy Lin-Cook adds that Early Bird goes beyond an early acceptance program. “This is a comprehensive program to help the student to get acquainted with Montclair and prepare for success when they transition into their post-K-12 academic career,” she says.
Once admitted through the Early Bird program, the students receive invitations to special events and virtual programming throughout the year to help them meet other students, learn about their academic program options, navigate the financial aid process and more, Maziarz says.
“The students are eligible to enroll in college-level courses through the University’s pre-college and summer bridge programs, interact with faculty and interact with academic advisors during their senior year and familiarize themselves with the Montclair community,” Lin-Cook adds. “We know that student success starts at the moment of acceptance.”
The Admissions office announced the new program to high school guidance counselors and juniors via email – to great success. More than 600 “highly qualified applicants” from 27 states and seven countries have been admitted since April. Maziarz adds: “We have already awarded over $2 million in scholarships to this group.”
The program was designed specifically for people such as Eva C., a rising senior from Bergen County who has her heart set on becoming a Red Hawk. “I have no other colleges in mind,” she says.
Eva learned of the new program during one of her many visits to the University’s website and applied. “I’m always there to learn about things going on, such as open houses and tours,” she says. “I also follow MSU admissions on social media.”
She described the process as fairly easy. “I thought I was going to need more than they asked for,” she says, noting that she supplied a transcript and an essay (which is optional), as well as information about her and her parents. Eva was excited to learn she was accepted and is excited about applying to her major, Family Science and Human Development; she also plans to minor in Business. Her goal is to become a social worker and school guidance counselor for children with special needs and eventually open her own day care for children with special needs.
Last month she participated in the Hispanic Student College Institute, which provides students with a preview of the college experience, as well as educates them on everything from financial aid and the college essay and application process to information and resources about majors and internship opportunities. When students were asked if they had taken advantage of the Early Bird Junior Admit Program, Eva proudly raised her hand and later had friends ask her about the process and encouraged them to apply.
“It’s a really good opportunity, and it’s also non-binding if they have other schools in mind,” she says. “I highly recommend it to any student considering going to Montclair.”
The Early Bird program will reopen in early Spring. Rising juniors interested in applying to Montclair in 2024 can reach out to the Admissions Office or follow admissions on Instagram for more information.
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