Winning numbers: Montclair feels largest incoming freshman class speaks to growing reputation

4,065 members of Class of 2026 push school’s overall enrollment to 21,671

No matter how you break down the numbers, the incoming class at Montclair State University is the biggest in school history, officials said.

Consider these numbers:

  • 4,065: It’s the number of students on campus for the Fall 2022 semester as part of the Class of 2026. It is by far the biggest in school history — topping last fall’s record of 3,619;
  • 21,671: It’s overall enrollment at the university, which is the largest in school history;
  • 39: it’s the number of different states represented in the Class of 2026, up from 32 a year ago;
  • 21: It’s the number of countries represented in the class of 2026, up from 11 a year ago;
  • 42: It’s the percentage of the Class of 2026 that are the first in their families to attend college;
  • 41: It’s the percentage of Hispanics in the Class of 2026, further bolstering Montclair’s status as New Jersey’s largest Hispanic-Serving Institution;
  • 3.3: It’s the GPA of the incoming students.

Montclair State President Jonathan Koppell, now in his second year, said these numbers — and this class — demonstrate his vision for the school.

Jonathan Koppell. (File photo)

“Students are becoming increasingly choosy about where they go to college,” he said. “They want to attend a school that is not only going to allow them to learn while doing through hands-on opportunities but is also going to give them the highest possible return on the investment they’re making in themselves.

“Montclair’s unique combination of affordability, high-quality education and research productivity is unparalleled in New Jersey. We are delivering for students, and they are taking notice.”

Koppell said Montclair’s mix of strong academic support and inclusive student programming, which includes new initiatives like the Office of Student Belonging, creates a holistic experience that is proving to be a model for ensuring students stay on track to earn their degrees.

Montclair officials said their students outperform their anticipated graduation rate at one of the highest clips in the nation, allowing students to depart not only with a degree, but with considerably less debt than the national average.

Montclair will administer 55% more institutional financial aid than last year, and the majority of the incoming class will receive assistance. Financial support will only continue to increase as the group progresses through their college careers, with new programs like the Garden State Guarantee offering free or reduced tuition and fees to qualifying juniors and seniors.

Wendy Lin-Cook, vice president for enrollment management, said all of these numbers are enhancing the school’s reputation.

“Now more than ever, people are recognizing that Montclair State University offers incredible value,” she said. “Students are drawn to us for our excellent academics, vibrant campus life, commitment to public service, dedication to student success and inclusive community.”