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Monday, July 27, 2015

Georgetown University

Overview - In late May, I visited Georgetown University in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., an area with colonial charm.   Georgetown University is a Jesuit university and is the oldest Catholic University in the United States.  The 102-acre university about 1.5 miles from the Washington Monument was established in 1789 with the principles of “care of the whole person” and “men and women for others.”  The school is home to four undergraduate schools and four graduate schools.  The four undergraduate colleges are Georgetown College, Nursing and Health Sciences, Foreign Service, and the Business School. There are approximately 6400 undergraduates and students apply to one college in the University.  Students in all 4 schools take the same core curriculum which includes 2 English classes, 2 theology courses and 2 philosophy courses.  Government, history and economics are among the most popular majors.  Students can major in one of nine foreign languages students.  Nursing students start their nursing rotation at Georgetown Hospital at the end of the fall of their Freshman year.  The average class size is 26 students.

Sixty percent of students have at least one internship and sixty percent study abroad.  Generally, students studying abroad take classes with students of the foreign college in their language.  An exception are the students taught by Georgetown faculty in the villas in Turkey and in Italy.

Housing - Students are required to live on campus for three years: the freshman year, the sophomore year, and either the junior or senior year.

What’s New - The university is building a new residence hall and athletic center.  The student center opened in 2014. 

Extracurricular activities - There are 300 student organizations or you can start your own.  .  There are lots of opportunities in sports (NCAA Division IA, club and intramural), arts (e.g., music, theatre), and speakers (i.e., political and non-political).  Basketball is the big spectator sport.  The Center for Social Justice matches students with volunteer activities.  DC Reads is the most popular of the volunteer activities.

Religion – Georgetown has the largest campus ministry in the US.  Campus ministry supports Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Orthodox Christian, Hindu and Buddhist worship services.

Applying – Georgetown is not a Common App school and not a score-choice school.  On 7/1, the first part of the application went live.  Early Action applications are due on 11/1, with a decision on 12/15.  Regular decision application are due in 1/10.  Three SAT subject tests are strongly recommended.  Students need to write a personal statement and an essay for the college to which they are applying.  Recent admission rate is 17%.  The mid 50% of SAT scores are 680 – 760 for Critical Reading and 680 – 770 for Math.

Financial Aid – Admissions is need blind and the college meets 100% of need, with no loans in the financial aid package.  Financial aid forms are due by 2/1.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

University of Scranton

The last of the four Catholic colleges that I visited this Spring in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area was the University of Scranton.  My tour guide was Sarah, from Basking Ridge, who writes for the college newspaper and runs the women’s weekend retreat.

General - The University of Scranton is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the United States.  The 58-acre campus is in downtown Scranton with 88% of freshmen and 86% of all students living on campus.  There are about 4000 undergraduates and an average class size of 20.  About 62% of students are from outside of Pennsylvania.  The most popular majors are business, biology and communications.  The university also has occupational therapy, physical therapy, and nursing.  About 200 students study abroad each year.  They may study abroad for a short as a break and as long as a year.  There are three honors programs.

Housing - Living on campus is required for freshman and sophomores.  Housing is guaranteed for all four years.  87% of the housing is new or renovated.  The bathrooms are in the hall for freshmen.  Upperclassmen can live in quads, houses or apartments.  I saw a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment with a kitchen and living room for 4 seniors.  Here is a photo of the living room in one of the apartments.

Extracurricular activities - The school has about 80 clubs and students can start a new club.  There are two theatre groups, performance music groups, an art gallery, a radio station, a TV station and 18 NCAA Division III sports; the school dos not have a football team.  The strongest NCAA teams are basketball, soccer and swimming.  There are also many club and intramural sports, including equestrian.  There is a 2.5 year old fitness center, and an indoor pool.  The students completed 180,000 hours of community service in one year.  The school has a retreat center on Chapman Lake; some of the weekend retreats are faith-based.  There is a campus shuttle and zip cars on campus. 

Nearby - The Martz buses take students to New York and Philly.  The surrounding area boasts skiing, a water park, minor league baseball, casinos, shopping, an IMAX theatre, and minor league hockey.

Religion – About 70% of the students are Catholic.  Mass is available daily.  There are Moslem services on campus.  There are three synagogues within walking distance.

Applying – The school has a free on-line Common App application.  The middle 50% high school GPA of accepted students is 3.2 – 3.8, with a middle 50% SAT score of 1050 – 1240 (two sections).  The school is test optional under certain circumstances.  Entrance for the nursing, occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) programs is more competitive, with a minimum GPA of 3.5 and  a minimum SAT score of 1150 (2 sections).  The school likes to see evidence of shadowing for nursing, OT and PT. 

What’s new – U Scranton is building a new facility for OT, PT and exercise science.

Financial aid – The cost of attendance (i.e., tuition, room and board, book, transportation and miscellaneous expenses) is around $55K per year.  Merit aid of $8,000 to full tuition is available and given to students in the top 30% of their class with a minimum GPA of 3.2 and a minimum SAT score of 1100 (2 sections).   To get a full tuition scholarship students need to meet certain criteria, including a GPA of 4.0 and a minimum SAT score of 1400. Students who apply test optional can get merit aid of $8,000 - $10,000.  The school is considering becoming a CSS PROFILE school.