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Presidential Scholars

Success Ready

The Montclair State advantage is now even stronger.

Leveraging its resources as a national doctoral research university, Montclair State is launching an exciting new program for high-achieving New Jersey high school graduates. Starting with the fall 2018 entering freshman class, the University’s new Presidential Scholars Program will give accomplished, motivated students the added challenge of special academic and career preparation opportunities, and the added support of a $5,000 scholarship for each of their four years of study.

Montclair State is preparing New Jersey’s high-achieving students for real-world success, with rigorous academics in a welcoming, diverse community; easy access to career-ready internships in New York and New Jersey; and now, a new program that rewards and challenges accomplished students with high aspirations.

Click here to start the fall 2018 freshman application. Qualified applicants will be invited to join the Presidential Scholars Program.

A Distinctive Approach to Academic Excellence

The Presidential Scholars Program is designed to identify and cultivate New Jersey’s high-achieving students and to help them make the most of their undergraduate experience. Throughout their four years of study, Presidential Scholars will participate in academic, cultural, research-driven, and career-focused programs and activities that take the college experience to the next level and prepare them to be competitive candidates in their next step after graduation – whether that’s graduate school or the workforce.

Experiences in the Presidential Scholars Program include:

  • Faculty-student research partnerships
  • Guided career counseling and career development workshops
  • Access to alumni mentors
  • Access to internship opportunities
  • Off-campus activities and retreats
  • Common academic experiences, like the Common First-Year Book

In addition to the program’s many experiences, Presidential Scholars will benefit from a close community of fellow scholars and dedicated faculty. Representing fewer than 10 percent of each incoming class, Presidential Scholars will form a small cohort who will get to know each other through shared coursework in specialized learning communities and will work closely with faculty and staff throughout their Montclair State experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the Presidential Scholars Program?
Current high school students who will graduate by June 2018, apply to Montclair State and receive an offer of admission for the fall 2018 incoming class. An unweighted* GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) is required, with a demonstrated record of rigorous high school study.

*If you are not sure if your reported GPA is weighted or unweighted, talk to your school counselor. Montclair State University recalculates all weighted GPAs on an unweighted 4.0 scale.

What does it mean to have a “demonstrated record of rigorous high school study”?
At Montclair State, all students are evaluated according to a holistic review, which includes an examination of the types of courses applicants have taken. When determining how challenging an applicant’s high school coursework is, we look closely at courses taken in the junior and senior year. Courses demonstrating a high degree of rigor are those that go beyond what is required for a standard, college-preparatory curriculum. We look for:
  • Additional years of math, beyond Algebra II
  • Additional years of science, beyond Chemistry
  • Additional years of world languages, beyond the two consecutive years of the same foreign language required
  • Honors courses
  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) courses
  • Courses taken for college credit during high school

Students with significant rigor will have taken a number of these types of courses over the junior and senior year. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions uses an internal measure, called the Rigor Score, to determine significant rigor. Typically, students with a rigor score that qualifies for the Presidential Scholars Program will have taken a blend of these types of courses.

There are many combinations of coursework that can equate to a highly rigorous curriculum. An applicant could, for example, have taken four or more AP courses, eight or more honors courses, a combination of a number of AP and honors courses, in addition to advanced math, science, or language courses. There is no one set path, and all applications are reviewed individually and holistically to ensure each applicant receives fair and thorough consideration for the program.

Will students accepted to the Presidential Scholars Program be eligible to apply for financial aid?
Yes, applicants who qualify as Presidential Scholars are eligible to apply for need-based financial aid, in addition to their merit-based award of $5,000 per year. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.25 to qualify for a renewal of their Presidential Scholars award in the following academic year.
Is a supplemental essay or other supporting materials required to be selected into the program?
No further supplemental application materials beyond the regular optional essay and high school transcript(s) are required for acceptance into the Presidential Scholars Program.
How many Presidential Scholars will be accepted into the program?
All freshman applicants residing in New Jersey that meet the qualifications to be a Presidential Scholar will be welcomed into the program.
How will I know I’ve been offered a spot in the Presidential Scholars Program?
Qualified applicants will receive notification of their status as Presidential Scholars in a letter sent separate from the admissions decision letter. Applicants are reviewed regularly for eligibility, and notifications are sent on a rolling basis shortly after the admissions decision is processed.
If I haven’t been offered a spot in the Presidential Scholars Program, may I appeal?
If you believe you have been overlooked for the program, it is possible to submit additional information and your candidacy reviewed again. If new academic information, such as senior year grades or schedules, is available and was not present at the time of your initial application, you may request that your application be reviewed by emailing askthedirector@montclair.edu.

Please be sure to attach a copy of your senior schedule and/or grades with your request or have your school counselor send them to the email address above.

How do I confirm my spot in the Presidential Scholars Program?
All eligible Scholars who have been invited to join the program must confirm their acceptance by returning the Presidential Scholars Reply Form, included with the notification letter, and pay the non-refundable tuition deposit by May 1, 2018.