Is Montclair A Good School?

I’m considering spending a year or two in NJ colleges (home state) to save money. I want to get an MSW, so at Montclair I would be in the Family/Child studies program. It’s very affordable, my net cost is only $5,501. With the federal direct subsidized & unsubsidized loans, my remaining direct expenses are only $1! Even if the net price is less than I’ll pay, as this often happens, it’s still a cheaper school. But, I’ve heard this college is good, but not outstanding…what do you think?

PLEASE READ I accidentally put my parent’s child support in “taxed income” instead of “untaxed income”, so my direct expenses are actually $1,167, after loans. Still a great price.

It’s a good school for its level, and probably a good choice for you.

Montclair is a good school, yes.

I’d say for the price it is definitely worth it.
But if the school is good or not, that is subjective. It’s all about if the school is good for YOU.
Even if it’s a ‘bad’ school, if you make the most out of it, learn and get good grades, become involved in the community etc. you’ll still be successful.

It’s a very nice location, arguably the best of all the NJ state schools. We lived in Upper Montclair for several years near the school. The quaint Upper Montclair downtown is close, the Iris Gardens are next to campus and there are many parks in the area. Manhattan is 12 miles away and you can get the bus right on Valley Road. Montclair is a nice town for college students. It is upper crusty but also edgey.

Montclair State University is definitely in a nice location but I would not label it as the best of all the NJ state schools. The College of New Jersey is ranked much higher and is much more selective. Just want to give accurate information.

@Momofk All of my comments were about the location.

Unless you can get into a much more selective school, it seems like a good choice for what you want to study. Reasonably caring school and good location.

@momofk I don’t think I can get a good enough SAT for TCNJ. I have a 1410, when I re-take it I’m aiming for a 1500/1600. I don’t like the south jersey area at all, I don’t really like NJ in general, but for a year north jersey would be fine. Montclair is a nice town.

Definitely retake the SAT but honestly, with your stats, a place like Montclair or maybe Seton Hall will be good for you.

Montclair is now test optional.

@TheDidactic Seton Hall is good, but it’s really expensive! It would only be around 30k because I’m in-state, but I’d be paying the same in CA, where I’d prefer to be.

I have heard good things about it, and IMO it is easily the best choice in your situation for what you want to study.

My D chose Montclair this Fall as an incoming Freshman. We toured Rutgers, Rowan, TCNJ and Stockton (all of the State schools) and Montclair won for best location, best majors offered, and the dorms, state-of-the-art sports center (with the built in pool and workout machines facing the NYC skyline) and convenience to NYC (via bus OR train) for internships and after-hours fun was just icing on the cake. The campus and new buildings are beautiful, we felt we were touring a college in Florida, where D wanted to go but in the end felt it would be too expensive.

TCNJ and Rowan were out in the middle of nowhere, no real college town feel and lack of public transportation, even though we heard that most kids leave campus on weekends. At Rowan and TCNJ, D hated their dorms, felt there were old and dirty. Rutgers was just too big and again, problem with the dorms and fear of living off campus in New Brunswick. Stockton was ok, but not many majors to choose from and the campus seemed dead on weekends.

Privates in NJ were out of the question, like someone else mentioned, in that case she would be in Florida.

@JerseyShoreMom Thank you so much! This response honestly sums up my opinions.

I’m not considering TCNJ & Rowan, because the locations are so inconvenient. (I’m not a fan of southwest NJ, I’d be miserable!) I should at least be able to enjoy SOME aspects of my college! Rutgers would be a reach for me, so I’m not considering it. I’ve read that in New Brunswick, prostitution is becoming an issue, unfortunately.

The privates are very expensive in NJ, even as a resident! I recently realized NJ tuitions are so high because most are private schools.

Anyway, thanks so much for the Montclair info! It really sounds like it has the best of everything, and at such a low cost! I hope your daughter has a good experience. :slight_smile:

I saw that you said that you aren’t considering Rutgers because its a reach, but you should definitely still apply, you never know! Montclair State is a school that probably has mostly NJ kids so that may be annoying if you don’t want to be going to school with people you know. But on the plus side, Montclair is a great location! Close to NYC and Montclair itself is a nice town (except for some parts). I would consider it for myself but I live a few towns away so I wouldn’t really be “going away”. My dad wants me to also stay in state for two years then transfer out so it will save money, but I really want to go to one school for four years. You should apply to Seton Hall (I heard this is a really nice school, my friend loved it when she looked at it, also close to NYC) and Monmouth (down the shore, does it get better???). They are expensive but those schools are pretty easy to get into and private schools give a lot of money, so you never know what you can get!!

@whatisstudying I know Rutger’s is mostly NJ students, but it’s very big, so I don’t think I’d see many people I know. I think Montclair is mostly NJ students, too. I also feel like New Brunswick is in the middle of nowhere, although it’s not rural. It’s a great school, though!

At Seton Hall, my estimate was about 30K, so it’d still be pretty expensive (unless I could get more aid). But, it is a great school! It’s not very far from me, either.

I’m taking a tour at Monmouth this month! It’s kind of a “snobby” school (even The Princeton Review said so), and it’d cost me about the same as Seton Hall. My grandma attended this school, so this could be helpful…The campus is beautiful, so I’m excited to check it out!

We didn’t even consider Montclair for my '15 daughter. I toured Montclair with my '09 daughter and the place was horrible, old buildings, old dorms. It wasn’t until my '15 daughter decided after looking at Rowan, Stockton and TCNJ that she wanted a school with football and more activities so I took her up to Montclair but said she probably wouldn’t like it. WE LOVED IT!! It was new and clean and had a lot more to offer than the other three, including Rutgers. Rutgers is a good school, but it’s a pain in the neck to get around campus and the city of New Brunswick leaves a lot to be desired. The only plus was that it has a train station to NYC and Philly, but so does Montclair and I hear the bus to the City from Montclair’s campus is even easier, not to mention being very close to Willowbrook Mall, etc. It is very easy to get to, less than 10 minutes off the Garden State Parkway in Northern NJ. Rowan, Stockton and TCNJ and in western/Southern NJ far deep in the woods (Glassboro / Ewing / Galloway).

My D is going in undecided and Montclair had many, MANY majors to choose from. A co-worker’s son went to TCNJ and because freshman are not allowed to have cars, he said the campus was dead on the weekends and if you weren’t in a fraternity, there were no parties or anything going on there.

I believe a lot of people who talk down about Montclair have not seen what it has to offer now, as opposed to a few years ago (or even in 2008 when I last visited there).

We did not consider Seton Hall (the campus is surrounded by a fence - enough said), or Monmouth (too expensive, and very little social life on campus).

Hello @newjerseygirl98 ! I am a representative from Monmouth University and saw that you signed up for a tour this month. If you have any questions at all regarding the campus or application process, feel free to message me here or call our admissions office with any questions. I look forward to talking with you in the future!