Alvernia Admissions


Transferring to Alvernia

Hey everyone! I’m Shanna the Transfer Coordinator, and I’m here to help you see if Alvernia is the right fit for you. You may be out of college for a while or still taking courses at a community college. Whatever your situation is, Alvernia is a transfer friendly campus, and I will be your contact in Admissions. The most common question I receive is – What credits will transfer? The easy answer is that your classes will transfer as long as you got a C or better and they are 100 level classes and higher. For example, MAT 090 does not transfer but MAT 100 does.  Some programs (like Nursing) require C+ and higher grades in the sciences. We can talk more specifically about those as you progress through the application flow. 


The application process is easy to complete. You have done this before and ours is simple. Just apply online and have your high school and college transcripts sent to my attention (Shanna Bossler, Office of Undergraduate Admissions). If you have taken classes at more than one school, please be sure to have each one issue an official transcript so that we can give you credit. We do require a final high school transcript showing your graduation or a copy of your GED, regardless of how many college credits you have. As a transfer, you do not need to send SAT or ACT scores or submit an essay. Please also feel free to check the box at the end that says you have a fee waiver card. It’s our small way of saying thank you for your interest in Alvernia. If you are looking at majoring in Nursing, please have two reference letters sent also. 

Credit Evaluations

Once your file is ready, I will review your overall GPA. If you have a 2.0 or higher, you should be in good shape. Some majors require higher  GPA’s such as Education (3.0 needed for state of PA). Again, if you have specific questions please let me know! Included in your acceptance packet will be a credit evaluation showing you exactly which courses transferred and how they fit in with Alvernia’s curriculum. If there is a “T” next to the course, it has transferred. If it is blank, you will need to complete it here to earn your bachelor’s degree.


Transfer Tuesday are events just for you! Visit campus and bring copies of your transcripts, even if you just print them online. Our Registrar’s Office will be available to review your credits on the spot and discuss your options over lunch. We will also talk about financial aid and assist you with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if needed. We offer Transfer scholarships and you will be notified if you receive one after you have been accepted. Otherwise, all financial aid comes from the FAFSA form. Please make sure you file by May 1st if you are interested in transferring for Fall 2014 (August) or Spring 2015 (January). 


In addition to transfers, I also work with our military and veteran students and families. We are so thankful for your service and are proud to be a SOC (Servicemembers Opportunity College) and Yellow Ribbon participating school. We issue college credits for your service and have a Veterans Club on campus. Our Military Certifying Official is Jason Deitz, and we work very closely together to be sure our military and veteran students are receiving the benefits you need. We have great connections with the VA and our Health and Wellness Office also has a number of services to offer. 

Thank you so much for reading my first blog and please let me know if I can help!

-Shanna Bossler, Senior Associate Director of Admissions and Transfer Coordinator

About Alvernia University
Alvernia University is one of the leading Catholic colleges in PA. Receive a classic, liberal arts education in over 50 different subject areas, combining all the best features of an outstanding university, delivered in the personal setting of a college environment. Alvernia provides an affordable, private education in Reading and the surrounding communities in Pottsville, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lancaster, Kutztown and Philadelphia. For more information visit:

Apr 9

Accepted Students Day Recap and Senior Decision Day!

A big THANK YOU! to all the students and familes who came out for Accepted Students Day on Saturday March 29th! Because of you, it was our BIGGEST Accepted Students Day EVER! It was an incredibly fun day and I hope you all enjoyed yourselves. What was your favorite part of the day?! I always enjoy the mock classes students can attend. Being the science admissions counselor, I always peek my head in to observe the classes. The science classes are usually held in our labs, so students have a chance to do some hands-on lab work with the professors. What class did you attend?! How about my Undecided students…you got to choose your class! Did you enjoy it? Do you think you might choose that as your major?

How about the tours of campus and residence halls?! I know many of you who attended Accepted Students Day had previously visited campus before. This was a good way to see all the residence halls on campus…from freshman year to senior year. Some pretty amazing housing, right? The new apartments and pods are just beautiful.

Accepted Students Day is always very long and action-packed, but always a good time! I think the admissions staff will agree when I say it’s one of our favorite programs. Didn’t make it to Accepted Students Day? We have a solution for you! On Friday, April 25th, we will have Senior Decision Day. This program is a little smaller than Accepted Students Day, but it’s a great way to see the campus one last time before making your decision for the fall. There will be tours of the entire campus, as well as all our residence halls. We will be sending students to actual classes on Friday morning so you will get to see first hand what it’s like to be a student at Alvernia. Lunch will also be served with our current students, faculty and admissions. The Admissions and Student Financial Planning staff will also be available throughout the day for any last minute questions you and your family might have. So if you’re looking to see Alvernia one last time to make sure it’s the right place for you, then be sure to register today!

We can’t wait to see you on campus for the fall! It’s gearing up to be a great class this year. Enjoy the rest of your senior year and we’ll see you soon!

-Megan Jaid Schroeder, Admissions Counselor

About Alvernia University
Alvernia University is one of the leading Catholic colleges in PA. Receive a classic, liberal arts education in over 50 different subject areas, combining all the best features of an outstanding university, delivered in the personal setting of a college environment. Alvernia provides an affordable, private education in Reading and the surrounding communities in Pottsville, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lancaster, Kutztown and Philadelphia. For more information visit:

Apr 2

Getting to Know the Financial Aid Process

Every institution has a unique financial aid packaging methodology to determine how much assistance will be awarded to each student who applies.  Most private colleges and universities use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine institutional grant and scholarship eligibility.  Institutions that offer need-based aid use the EFC calculation to determine financial need as part of the overall packaging philosophy.  Need is generally defined as the institution’s cost of attendance minus the calculated EFC.  An institution’s cost of attendance includes direct costs (or billable charges) and indirect costs (or out of pocket charges).  Direct costs include tuition, fees, room and board if the student lives on campus.  Indirect costs may vary by institution but often include books, supplies, personal and transportation costs, and living expenses for students not living on campus.

If the EFC is lower than the cost of attendance, a student has financial need. Once the need level is calculated, institutions can award any available or eligible state grants, federal grants and loans, as well as institutional need-based support. 

In addition to institutional grants and scholarships, there are several main sources of funding available to students under the parameters of state and federal aid: state grant programs and scholarships, the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study, and Federal Student Loans.  Important considerations during this process are deadlines for application submission, criteria for selection, and availability of funds. For example, the FAFSA is used by many states to assist in the determination of state grant funding, so it is important to be aware of FAFSA filing deadlines. Pennsylvania has different filing deadlines for the FAFSA depending on whether the student is a first-time applicant, renewal or summer applicant.  Another example is FSEOG, a grant reserved for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need.  Each participating school receives a certain amount of FSEOG funds every year from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid. Once the full amount of the school’s FSEOG funds has been awarded to students, no additional FSEOG awards can be made for that year. The FSEOG system works differently from the Federal Pell Grant Program, which provides funds to every eligible student.  Navigating through the various financial support programs can be challenging.  One constant piece of advice from professionals in higher education is the need to file the FASFA and to do this as early as possible to give the student the best chance to receive the most funding available.

The FAFSA can be completed beginning January 1 of each calendar year at and all students and families are encouraged to apply.  The FAFSA requires student, parent and/or spouse’s prior year’s federal tax information, as well as other asset information; for instance, it is recommended to have federal tax returns, W2s, checking, savings, and other income information on hand when completing the FAFSA.  Students and parents use a four digit PIN number to sign the application prior to submission.  The PIN number can be requested at and can be used each year the FAFSA is filed. 

Establishing and maintaining a relationship with the financial aid office is important in managing the application and aid eligibility process. A financial aid office can also provide additional resources such as outside scholarship options, or help when there are financial changes or extenuating circumstances that impact a student’s or family’s ability to afford an education.  At the same time, other campus offices, in particular the admissions office, can often serve as the starting point in discussing this process with staff well informed on financial aid issues. 

- Christine Saadi, Director of Student Financial Planning

Junior Open House

Hello future Crusaders!

Our annual Junior Open House is coming up on Saturday, April 12th! This is the perfect event for juniors currently in high school who are just beginning the college search process.

Alvernia Open Houses are the largest visit event we offer for prospective students. The Junior Open House is no different! During the event, you will have the opportunity to explore the campus, tour the residence halls and academic buildings, meet with faculty, staff and some coaches, have lunch in our dining hall and learn more about the application process and scholarships. We know that this can be an exciting yet overwhelming time of your life so our admissions staff will be available throughout the day to guide you, help you get your questions answered, and make the most out of your first visit to campus!

The great thing about our Open Houses is that you can pick and choose what you would like to do in whatever order fits your schedule. There will be a Faculty Fair, Student Life Fair, Coaches Corner, full campus tours, Nursing and Occupational Therapy specific tours and an admissions and financial aid overview. Our dining hall and bookstore will also be open (both are located in the Student Center).

Join us for the day on Saturday, April 12th and see what Crusader life is like! To register for this event, you can sign-up right online. If you can’t wait and want to start learning more about Alvernia right away, check out our website and social media channels (Facebook & Twitter)! Don’t forget to use #AUOpenHouse at any of our Open House events!

Hope to see you on campus!

-Victoria Kirk, Admissions Counselor

About Alvernia University
Alvernia University is one of the leading Catholic colleges in PA. Receive a classic, liberal arts education in over 50 different subject areas, combining all the best features of an outstanding university, delivered in the personal setting of a college environment. Alvernia provides an affordable, private education in Reading and the surrounding communities in Pottsville, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lancaster, Kutztown and Philadelphia. For more information visit:

Enjoy the Day

In the midst of all the activities and demands that we have on our day let’s take a moment to enjoy the day!

Seniors enjoy the rest of your last year in high school as college will be here before you know it. Juniors enjoy your college search.. you never know where it might take you!

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” –H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Enjoy the day!

-Christopher Fake, Admissions Counselor

Tips for Attending College Fairs

Hey everyone! Megan here again…and it’s time to get back on the road! Spring travel is upon us, and counselors are headed out to meet YOU! During the spring months, we will be meeting a lot of students who are in their junior year of high school. So head on out to a college fair near you and say hi!
Now, for a lot of you, this will be the beginning of your college search. Whether you’re a junior, sophomore, or freshman, it’s never too early to start your research! Below are some helpful tips when speaking to representatives at college fairs.

1. Do some research.
Before attending the college fair, review the list of colleges and universities that will be attending. Make yourself a list and be sure to visit those in which you are interested. Be sure to remember important details, such as distance to home, size of the university, class size, private or state university. It also might be a good idea to research schools that have your major. Make a list of schools you would like to see and visit those tables first.

2. Ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to approach a college representative and ask all your questions. Talking is our job, and we especially love talking about our institutions. Be sure to review the website before the college fair as many questions can be answered right there. Here are good examples of questions to bring with you:
-Can I have a car on campus as a freshman?
-How many students live on campus?
-What qualities does a typical student have?
-What is the teacher/student ratio?
-Do you guarantee housing for all 4 years?

3. Bring address labels.
When attending a college…especially large ones…you may want information on multiple colleges and universities. Many times, there are inquiry cards for students to complete to get on the mailing list. Instead of writing your information 25 times, you can save time and print your name, address, phone number, e-mail, high school, intended major, and graduation year on labels and just peel and stick! (It will also save your hand from cramps!)

4. Don’t stress!
Searching for a college or university can be an overwhelming process. We as counselors are here to help you through the process as smoothly as possible. I always tell my students to ask me ANYTHING. Even if you think your question is silly, I can guarantee 50 other students have the same question. I was in your shoes once and can speak from experience. My job is to help you choose the best college for YOU. So please stop by the Alvernia table. I can’t wait to meet you!

We will be all over the Mid-Atlantic region this spring; traveling as far north as Connecticut, and as far south as Maryland. There are a lot of big National fairs scheduled in the spring, so give yourself plenty of time to make your rounds!

Now is also the perfect time to start visiting campuses! We will have our Spring Open House on Saturday, April 12th. This is a great opportunity to see Alvernia’s campus for the first time. We will have tours of the entire campus, including freshmen residence halls, a faculty fair so you can speak with different faculty in your major(s), meet athletic coaches, eat lunch with our students and meet your admissions counselor.

I look forward to working with you through your senior year and the college admissions process. Make the best of your last year in high school! It’s going to fly! So have fun…and hopefully we’ll see you on campus soon.

Megan Jaid Schroeder, Admissions Counselor

About Alvernia University
Alvernia University is one of the leading Catholic colleges in PA. Receive a classic, liberal arts education in over 50 different subject areas, combining all the best features of an outstanding university, delivered in the personal setting of a college environment. Alvernia provides an affordable, private education in Reading and the surrounding communities in Pottsville, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lancaster, Kutztown and Philadelphia. For more information visit:

Mar 5

Accepted Students Day 2014!

As one event in our office comes to a close, there is always another right around the corner for our students to look forward to. The next big event that we will be holding is our 2014 Accepted Students Day. This is a day where all accepted students for the fall of 2014 can come on campus and experience Alvernia at its fullest!

Students (and their families) can experience the dining, the entertainment, the lifestyle and the classes Alvernia has to offer. Students and parents will go their separate ways for part of the day. The parents will be able to attend Academic and University Life Overviews. This will give parents the opportunity to ask all of the important “parent” questions that they can think of without embarrassing their son or daughter. In the Academic Overview, parents will have the opportunity to hear from the University Provost and Deans. In the University Life Overview, parents will learn how the Alvernia Advantage comes to life in our students’ extracurricular and co-curricular experiences.

The students will have the opportunity to attend a mock class session taught by our Alvernia faculty. This will give them a glimpse to what it’s going to be like attending classes at Alvernia.

Once the classroom fun is over, students and parents can reunite to attend various sessions together. These session topics include information on the Educational Planning Center, Student Life, Athletics, Wellness & Recreation, Financial Aid, the Honors Program and much more! To finish off your exciting day you can go on a full campus tour (to refresh your memory of our beautiful campus or see it for the first time) or you can go on a residence hall tour and be able to see all the living options you could reside in over your four (or five, OTs) years with us. Don’t forget to stop in the campus bookstore to pick up your Alvernia gear or visit the Student Activities Fair to check out the various clubs and organizations you can get involved in as a student.

After grabbing lunch and before leaving for the day, be sure to stop up in the admissions office to pick up your Accepted Students Day t-shirt! We hope to see all of our accepted students here on Saturday, March 29th. This is a fun and exciting event and as a future Crusader, you do not want to miss it!  You can register for the event online or by calling our office at (610) 796-8269 or 1-888-ALVERNIA.

-Victoria Opdyke, Admissions Counselor

***Starting meeting other accepted students before the event!  Get connected with the Alvernia University Class of 2018 on Facebook!

***Check out pictures from last year’s Accepted Students Day!

Explore Reading, Pa!

You’ve walked around Alvernia’s campus, checked out the living arrangements, and assessed the classrooms, but you’re still curious what there is to do off campus! This is an important factor in many students’ college search process. I know it was in mine!

So what is there to do in Reading, PA? Having grown up in Reading myself, I think that there is plenty to explore and check out around town! From delicious dining in West Reading, to the arts and entertainment in downtown Reading, there is always something for everyone.

Foodies (my favorite!):

If you are anything like staff in our Admissions Office, then you appreciate good food. There are numerous places to grab a bite to eat whether it’s a couple blocks off campus, or a short drive away. Within long walking distance is Mimmo’s Restaurant and Pizzeria (perfect for a slice of pizza with a new roommate) or Trooper Thorns for some yummy Irish Pub food (mom and dad will like this option). California Bar & Grill is also right around the corner if you are craving some wings. One of my favorite spots in Berks County to grab specialty food from independently owned restaurants is in West Reading. There are many places along the avenue that I can’t pick just one. There is something for everyone! Italian cuisine at GNA, filling sandwiches at 3rd & Spruce Cafe, cheese and more cheese at Say Cheese!, delicious tapas and appetizers at Viva Bistro & Lounge, delicious sea food at Go Fish and exceptionally prepared French style food at Papillion and of course 4 or 5 cupcake shops (you can’t go wrong at any of them)! If you can’t break away from your favorite chain restaurants, then you’re in luck. Red Lobster, Panera Bread, Olive Garden, and On the Border are a short drive away.

Shop ‘til you drop:

Reading, PA is historically known for its outlets. The Vanity Fair outlets still reside in West Reading with little shops and boutiques on Penn Avenue anchoring its sides. Not too far from the Outlets will you find the Berkshire Mall, Target, Barnes & Noble, Dick’s Sporting Goods and many more! Our Student Activities office will plan occasional trips to some of the shopping plazas throughout the school year.

Arts and Entertainment:

A short drive across the bridge, you can experience Reading, PA’s arts and entertainment. Grab a friend and head to the IMAX Theater or sign-up for an art class with Student Activities at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts. Looking for a little more action? Catch a Reading Royals hockey game, cheer on the Pennsylvania Roar, or attend a concert at the Santander Arena. There is always something happening in and around Reading, PA… you just have to do a little searching.


For those of us who need some thrill and adventure in our lives, Reading can offer that too. Let’s start with the indoor excitement at The Works (games), Slick Willy’s Carts & Eats (go-cart racing) and Laser Quest (the name says it all). All three of these establishments are in the same complex! If you like spending your days outdoors, check out Grings Mill, Blue Marsh, or the Thun Trail – all great running/hiking spots. The First Energy Stadium is also a great place to catch a Fightin Phils ballgame on a nice spring day!

I hope some of my suggestions help you find things to do off campus, and remember, if you ever need any dining suggestions, just stop up in the Admissions Office (we have plenty)!

**Please note that this blog and the reference to various establishments are just a few suggestions. There are MANY other great places to check out around the Reading, PA area. Please feel free to share some of your favorites!

Some websites to checkout:

-Amelia Guydish, Admissions Counselor

Alvernia University: Putting the FUN in Financial Aid

Preparing for college can be both exhilarating and financially challenging. The Office of Student Financial Planning at Alvernia is dedicated to helping you navigate the steps in the financial aid process.

Please remember: Many scholarships require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well!

Some families are under the impression that they shouldn’t bother filing the FAFSA form because their income is too high and they won’t receive any financial aid. This is a common misconception. When the federal government calculates your ability to pay (EFC), it considers factors other than just your income. For example, considerations include how many children are in your family, how many people in your household are in college and how close your parents are to retirement. Keep in mind that all students can be eligible for financial aid, but some forms, like loans, are paid back. Low interest student loans, work study jobs, and college awards are all tied to the completion of the FAFSA. It is extremely important to file the FAFSA form as early as possible.

To apply for financial aid from federal and state sources, including student employment, there are several steps that need to be followed. Here are some helpful steps to guide you through the process:

Step 1: Apply for a Department of Education PIN
Students and parents of dependent students must request a Federal Personal Identification Number (PIN). Your PIN will be used as your electronic signature and identifier to apply for financial aid and to allow you access to personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems.

Step 2: Complete the FAFSA
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online annually (between January 1 and May 1 of the following calendar year). The earlier you apply the better chance you have of being considered for maximum available funds. Please note: The Pennsylvania State Grant deadline is May 1 (PA state residents only)! Alvernia University’s Federal School Code is 003233.

Don’t forget about the IRS Data Retrieval System. FAFSA on the Web allows you (and your parents) to access your IRS tax information and have it automatically imported to the FAFSA. We advise that you (and your parents, if you are a dependent student) file your tax returns as early as possible each year as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool usually becomes available for use shortly after the tax season begins.

If you have already completed your FAFSA without using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you can update your FAFSA and import your federal tax information directly from the IRS. Simply access your FAFSA on the Web and make corrections to update your FAFSA with the current tax information.

Step 3: Complete Pennsylvania State Grant Application (Pennsylvania Residents only)
You only need to complete the PA State Grant Application if you qualify as a Pennsylvania resident and are seeking a first undergraduate bachelor’s degree. To apply for a State Grant when you complete the FAFSA, complete the Pennsylvania State Grant Form online directly from your FAFSA confirmation page. Look for the link that reads “Optional Feature—Start your state application—Click here if you want to apply for Pennsylvania state-based financial aid.”

Step 4: Review your Student Aid Report (SAR)
If you provided a valid email address at the time you completed the FAFSA and your application has been processed successfully, you will receive an email notification with instructions on how to retrieve your Student Aid Report (SAR). You must have your PIN to retrieve your SAR.
The SAR summarizes the information you included on your FAFSA. It contains your official Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is used in determining your federal student aid eligibility. It also shows if the information you have provided on your FAFSA is in conflict with any information held at the federal government (e.g., mismatch of social security number and name; discrepancies in citizenship information). If there is an asterisk next to the EFC on your SAR, your application has been selected for verification. A copy of the SAR will be sent to all schools you indicated on the FAFSA. If necessary, you can make corrections to your FAFSA. Your corrected SAR will be sent to the institutions you indicate.

Step 5: Submit Additional Documentation (if required)
Some students may be required to submit additional documents to the Student Financial Planning office to complete the financial aid process prior to being awarded. You should check your financial aid status with your admissions counselor or our office regularly to view any outstanding required documents.

Step 6: Financial Aid Package
Alvernia University will take the results of your processed FAFSA and put together a financial aid package for you. Financial aid packages are sent to students starting in March. Please note that notification of many merit-based scholarships may occur prior to this time; usually these notifications are sent out a few days after notification of admission.

Financial aid exists to fill the gap between what the federal government has determined your family can pay (EFC) and what it costs to attend a College. We look at your total costs and subtract your merit aid, federal aid, state aid, and any other aid you will receive and work with you to close the gap.

FAFSA and FUN Event!
Does the thought of filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) overwhelm you? Take control of your federal aid potential by attending Alvernia’s FAFSA and FUN event on Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 1:30-3:30 PM at Alvernia University’s Bernardine Hall, 400 St. Bernardine Street, Reading, PA 19607. Financial aid administrators will guide participants through the process of completing and filing a FAFSA application form online. Spanish translators will be available. To register for this event, please call (610) 796-8356 or email

- Jason Deitz, Assistant Director of Student Financial Planning

Decision Time is Coming, Decision Time is Coming

Making your decision on where to attend in the fall? Haven’t even applied yet? Already decided that you will be attending Alvernia University? No matter where you are in your college search process, this blog post will cover it all! It’s January so you still have plenty of time to make your decision, just keep in mind that college decision time is coming, and keep your college search process at the forefront of your mind.

I can remember really enjoying these next few months when I was a senior in high school. I enjoyed the process of making my college decision (ultimately ending up at Alvernia!), and I enjoyed coming back to campus for the spring visit days that were offered. If you are interested in visiting campus once or twice more before you make a decision, take a look at last week’s blog post for specifics on our spring visit days.

If you are a student who has not yet applied to Alvernia, there is still time, but it’s going fast! I encourage you to apply using our online format. The application process does not take long and you we can receive your application the very next day. We as counselors are reviewing applications on a daily basis, so once we receive your application, test scores, and transcripts we can get you an admissions decision in a few quick weeks.

The New Year has also begun, so it is important to start working on the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If attending Alvernia is even a possibility for you, make sure to include us on your FAFSA so we can build you a financial aid award letter. More information about the FAFSA and financial aid will follow in another blog post by one of our financial aid counselors.

Spring is an extremely exciting season in the Alvernia admissions office, and I encourage you to visit campus soon, and make that college decision when you feel comfortable. After you make that decision, scream, get excited, breathe a sigh of relief, and really enjoy the end of high school and summer months before your college responsibilities begin!

As always if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at

-Christopher Fake, Admissions Counselor-