Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 10 SMC Questions

So a while back we had one of our fabulous SMC Knightchats where people (this time parents of prospective students) got to ask us their questions and we got to talk about all that is awesome about SMC. Needless to say, the parents had A LOT of questions, and I realized that many of them were wondering similar things. So, for your convenience and pleasure, I present to you the top 10 questions asked at the SMC Parent Knightchat (and you can click some of the question titles for more information!)

[P.S. our next parent chat is THIS THURSDAY at 7pm and our next student chat is Thursday March 24 at 7:30 pm. Click here to get to the chat page!]

1. Application Deadlines:
Deadline for regular decision: February 1st
EA2 Decisions will be mailed January 26th
Regular Action Decisions will be mailed March 17th

2. What sets SMC apart from other colleges?

If you ask a handful of SMC students what makes our college unique, you’ll get a huge array of answers from the courses and professors to the location and clubs. However, one thing that almost all SMC students will tell you is special about being a student here is the sense of community on campus. It often sounds cliché or even fake, but spend a few hours on campus and you will realize that SMC is a very special place to be and it is filled with amazing people to live, work, and have fun with. Somehow, students have come from different parts of the country, bring different experiences, and have different interests, and yet we all come together to make SMC what it is.

3. Double majors

A lot of people ask about whether or not students can have a double major while studying at SMC. The answer is yes! Double majors are challenging, of course, but certainly possible. The most important thing for students wishing to double major to do is talk to their advisor(s) early on about setting up a 4 year plan that allows the student to complete all major requirements as well as the Liberal Studies Requirements (LSRs).

On a related note, a student is required to declare a major by the end of sophomore year and a large percentage of incoming first year students come in with an “exploratory” major. For the first two years, it is also fairly easy to change majors and paths of study. Once students complete sophomore year, it is more challenging to change majors but may still be possible.

4. Study abroad

One out of every three SMC students studies abroad during their time here. Almost every student who goes abroad does so during his/her junior year for one semester. Of course, there are exceptions and a handful of seniors may go abroad for their first semester or some juniors may pick year-long programs abroad.

SMC makes it extremely easy to study abroad. Our study abroad coordinator, Peggy Imai, knows everything there is to know about going abroad. She can provide students with information on almost any country and study abroad program that is out there. The steps to applying for study abroad are simply laid out and, provided students are organized and prepared, the process goes very smoothly.

Where can you go? EVERYWHERE! Students have studied all over Europe from Denmark to Greece, in South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, and even some programs in the USA.

Fun Fact: SMC still provides students 100% of their financial aid money when they study abroad

5. Internships

A typical SMC student receives at least 10 internship emails a week. We are encouraged to hold at least one internship during our 4 years, but many students hold a new internship each summer or earn college credit by participating in an internship during the semester. Internships are available locally or country-wide with alumni in just about every field of study, and getting your internship approved for credit (even if it is over the summer) is fairly easy as well. Joanne LaBrake Muehlberger is the intern coordinator for the college and works with each student to find internship opportunities and placements.

Extra: the career development office will help students with everything from resume building and cover letter writing to interview skills and professional etiquette.

6. When can you visit?

There are a handful of special dates for accepted students to visit SMC. We have 3 Accepted Student Academic Days this semester: 2/28, 3/7, and 3/28. We also have 2 Accepted Student Open House programs (this is a full day program) of 4/9 and 4/16.

Campus tours are also run weekly, every hour on Tues-Thurs and every half hour on Monday and Friday. There are also information sessions and a few Saturday tour options. Students may also sign up for an interview (hosted Monday-Friday) to meet an admissions counselor, ask questions, and help SMC get to know you better.

To get set up for any of our visit programs, visit our website or call 800-SMC-8000.

7. Financial aid (FAFSA, when does it come, loans, work study, etc)

We are always getting questions about financial aid. The first thing to know is that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be completed by February 15, if that is possible. This form can be filled out and submitted online. This will ensure that students are evaluated for loans, grants, and work-study offerings.

ALL students are considered AUTOMATICALLY for merit-based aid. These awards will be sent to students within a few weeks of an acceptance letter being sent out. Awards range from $1,000 to full scholarship. Book award students are eligible for additional scholarships ranging from $5,000 to full scholarship.

8. Athletics

SMC is a Division II school for all sports with the exception of the ski teams (Nordic and alpine). Our 21 varsity sports teams participate in the NE-10 conference (and many sports compete against teams in other conferences).

The best first step for a student interested in playing a varsity sport at SMC is to fill out the prospective student athlete form on the athletics website, and to get in contact with the team’s coach. Many students have the opportunity to meet with a coach during a visit to the college, and some teams host overnight recruiting visits with prospective student-athletes.

Fun Fact: SMC also has club and intramural sports for those students who don’t want the large commitment of a varsity team.

9. Saint Michael’s as a Catholic College

Many people ask whether a student who is not Catholic will feel uncomfortable at SMC. The unanimous answer to this is no. About 60% of our students are Catholic, but of the 40% who are not, many still attend regular services either at our chapel or in a nearby community. All SMC students are respectful of the religious affiliations of others, and Campus Ministry will help any student find a place to worship or additional resources regarding faith and spirituality.

Being a Catholic school is, of course, a large part of what makes SMC the great place that it is. The Edmundites, the French order that founded SMC, hold very strong values of community and service that truly show through all of the clubs, organizations, teams, and classes on campus. Whether a student is Catholic or not, their experience at SMC will somehow be influenced by Edmundite values.

10. Clubs/social activities/volunteering/weekends

There is NO shortage of things to do at SMC. Students can tap dance, fight fires, play with rescued greyhounds, have a child they mentor, ice climb, attend a Zumba class, become a class office, and EVERYTHING in between. Check out the Student Life section of our website for more information on all of the activities for students.

On the weekends, campus is always full of activity, as students here don’t go home. Every Thursday afternoon, campus receives an email with a listing of the social events for the coming weekend. These can be anything from pizza and a movie to tie-dye, ice cream sundae parties, or rock band tournaments. Socials happen in all areas of campus and are completely free!

Best part of the weekend? Every Friday and Saturday night the Residence Life staff grills FREE FOOD in the Quad for all students. That’s right, FREE.

Hope you enjoyed the top 10. As always, questions can be directed here, my VYou Account, or my formspring. I've been getting a lot of questions lately and I'm trying to keep up/space them out, so check back if you haven't had yours answered yet.

Stay warm!



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