Andre Meadows, MHS Class of ’06
New Jersey Institute of Technology, Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Class of 2012
Wake Forest University, Masters of Arts in Management, Class of 2014,
Villanova University, Masters of Science Candidate in Chemical Engineering
Were you financially prepared (or did you think you were) for college?
Not in the slightest. I did not understand the real cost of attending university.
When you applied to MSF, did you already know what college you were planning to attend? What was the name of the school?
Yes, I was already accepted into New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).
How did the MSF scholarship help you prepare for college?
The MSF scholarship, more specifically the Gary F. Whitlock Memorial Scholarship, defrayed the total cost of my undergraduate degree. The Whitlock scholarship was particularly special to me because I lived across the street from Mrs. Whitlock (one of the beautiful things about a small town such as Montclair).
Why did you want a MSF scholarship (specifically)?
When I began looking into financial aid packages, I checked locally and found the Montclair Scholarship Fund.
My brother, Bryce Goodman, graduated from Montclair high school (MHS) in 2004 and went to the Air Force, and I would have probably followed suit if I did not get into college.
Did finances affect your choice of school or major?
No, actually NJIT was the only school to accept me. My grades were not stellar in high school (until my senior year), but my SAT scores gave NJIT enough confidence to take a chance on me. I chose my major on a whim.
In addition to the MSF scholarship, what other types of financial aid or support did you use?
I received several scholarships and grants, and also took out student loans. The majors of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) offer a wide variety of financial support if you look in the right places, and are passionate with your efforts (academically and professionally).
At NJIT, I matriculated into the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP). The program brought all of the EOP students to the campus for 8 weeks during the summer before the first semester. Monday through Friday we ate, attended classes, studied, and slept on campus—we weren’t allowed to leave campus or use a cellphone until the weekend. This program supported me throughout my years at NJIT, and continues to do so.
The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program also provided opportunities for financial support. I worked as a research assistant and competed in symposiums, which provided some source of steady income throughout my years in McNair Scholar.
What was your major?
My undergraduate major at NJIT was Chemical Engineering. I choose engineering because it sounded appealing, but I had no idea of the challenges ahead. I also have a Master of Arts in Management from Wake Forest University. I am currently in the first year of a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering at Villanova University. Right now I am attempting to decide if I want to pursue a Doctorate degree or go into industry.
To work in industry and work towards starting my own business.
What would you say to current MHS seniors who seek financial aid?
I would say talk to as many professionals as possible about your goals and objectives to gain insight about different opportunities. Volunteer for anything that may interest you, and lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What do you remember best about being at Montclair High School/Montclair?
Wow, so many memories of MHS and Montclair, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Schools are much more than academic institutions; they are also social institutions. Social Justice and CGI offer critical analysis of socio-economic factors. Montclair offers a wide variety of interest and activities within the town and the school which were pertinent in my personal development. Dr. Easton, Mr. Freeman, Coach Hines, Coach Hurt, Coach Garland, Coach K, Mrs. Golding, Coach Morgan, Dr. Fox, Sgt. Rivers, Mr. Smith — I’d just like to say thank you.