Alvernia Admissions

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Preparing for the College Search

Have you already visited quite a few colleges? Have you started to narrow down your choice? Or are you just starting your college search process? Two weeks ago one of my colleagues blogged about visiting campus and ten different questions to ask while on campus, but what else can you do to prepare for college other than visiting campuses? In this blog post I am going to take a look at a few other things that a prospective college student can do this summer to be better prepared for the college search process. What better time to concentrate on the college search than now so your last year of high school can be enjoyed!

Do Your Research
What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Tough question isn’t it? Your college major could dictate what job opportunities you have as you graduate college. Take some time now to think about your future and explore different majors. Research all the different types of majors available, ask questions and don’t be afraid to change your mind as you discover new opportunities. Many college students will change their major while in college, but if some time is taken now to explore different options you will be ahead of the game. You can utilize the internet, high school guidance counselors, library, admissions counselors, family and friends. Summer is also a good time to do a job shadow, so if you think you might be interested in a specific field, find someone in that profession and shadow them for a few days to see if it’s what you expected.

Take the Test
Now is the time to register for your first or next set of standardized tests. Most colleges require you to take the SAT or ACT for acceptance and/or to receive scholarships. Here at Alvernia, we require test scores as part of the application and scholarship process. Visit the 
SAT or ACT websites to register and find a testing site near you. Now would also be a good time to look over some of the material that you might find on the test. College Board also offers online practice tests on their website.  Don’t stress or worry too much; just do your best!

Write
The dreaded college essay season will soon be upon you. Many schools, like Alvernia, will have a specific essay question that they would like you to answer. You might want to start working on these essays now; I know, I know, it’s summer, and who wants to write over the summer? But it will considerably lighten your load during the school year. I know you can do it; hey, I wrote this blog post! You can find most college essay requirements on school websites or application sites. If you aren’t sure what to write, just contact your admissions counselor at each school, and they will be able to help you out! 

Find Free Money
Last but not least, take some time now to search for scholarships. Every college will probably offer specific scholarships, so ask about them and what it takes to receive one. You can find ours on our website

We also always encourage our students to look in their local community, Lions Club, Kiwanis club, parent’s employer, and through your high school just to name a few. There are also many national websites where you can find scholarships including www.fastweb.comwww.collegeboard.comwww.collegeanswer.com. These three are reputable websites where our students have had success in the past. All three websites have scholarships sections that you can browse or create a profile for yourself. 

Take some time this summer to prepare yourself for the college search process. There are many different things that you can do and most of them can be completed from the comfort of your own home, so pull up your computer and get to work!

As always if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at the university!

- Christopher Fake, 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: http://www.alvernia.edu/


Jul 9

Advice for Communicating with your Future Coach

In addition to serving as the Assistant Director of Admissions, I am also the Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach here at Alvernia. I hope the following advice will help you effectively communicate with your future coach resulting in a positive college search process on and off the field (court, track, etc). There are many institutions that offer a great education, but finding the best fit, both academically and athletically takes extra time, commitment, and research. 

The athletic recruitment process begins simple enough; either the coach contacts you or you contact the coach. Each coach has a different recruiting philosophy, so I will offer some assistance on what you should do to encourage their interest in you as a prospective student-athlete. 

Do your research first. Before you contact a coach, be sure the school offers the major, size, and location that meet your standards. Additionally, be realistic about the level of play you wish to participate in. NCAA Division I, II, and III offer a wide range of competitiveness with different levels of commitment. Not only will this ultimately make for a better experience, your increased knowledge about the school will impress the coach. 

Be proactive! After you research schools based on criteria that is important to you, contact the coach(es) directly. Most successful athletic programs offer a specialized webpage on their school’s athletic website that lists the coach(es) desired contact information. The best form of initial communication is email. Begin with a brief introductory email to the head coach and copy all of the assistant coaches. Introduce yourself, tell them why you are interested in playing at their school, include an academic profile (GPA, SAT or ACT), list a schedule of upcoming games and give contact information with a best time to contact you. Follow up with a phone call in a week if you do not hear back. Keep in mind that coaches work camps and are out of the office recruiting during most summer months. 

If you have a positive rapport throughout emails and phone calls, ask to meet with the coach during a future visit. A face to face interaction will give you a real feel for the coach and program you wish to be a part of. This on campus visit should be set up through admissions as they will be able to best tailor the visit to your needs. This could include a student-led tour of campus and meeting with an admissions counselor. 

If a coach contacts you, have the courtesy of returning the phone call or email thanking them for their interest. Coaching circles around the country can be very small. After researching the school that contacts you, be honest about what you are looking for in a student-athlete experience in your reply. The coach will appreciate your honesty which will help the program be more efficient in their recruiting efforts. 

After you narrow down the schools that you are interested in and that are interested in you as a student-athlete, combine an overnight visit with a team member and watching a game. This will give you a true day-in-the-life of being a student-athlete at that school. You will have a different experience at each school which should help confirm your enrollment decision. Again, this should be coordinated with the head coach and admissions office. 

The aforementioned process will take time, but should help for a better collegiate experience. Remember to have fun throughout your journey and ask a lot of questions. There are many willing professionals and coaches that will help guide you throughout your college search! 

-Bret Krotee, Assistant Director of Admissions & Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach

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: http://www.alvernia.edu/


Jul 1

10 Questions to Ask on Your Campus Tour!

Hello everyone! I have given and shadowed many campus tours in my day. This is your sneak peek into college campus life, make the most of your visit at each campus so that you can make an informed decision about where to spend the next few years of your life. Feel free to make a list of questions to ask before your visit. 

Listed below are top 10 questions that students should ask on campus tours: 

10. What are ways that students get involved on campus and off campus?

9. What health and wellness services are offered on campus? What are the local medical facilities available (Drs. offices, hospitals, etc.)?

8. For student athletes, what is the relationship like between the athletics department and the faculty? Are reasonable accommodations made for athletes?

7. How should students approach securing an internship? What is the process? Should students talk to their advisor, their department, career services?

6. What is there to do on and off campus for fun? What event venues, coffee shops, stores, museum, movie theatres, bowling alleys, parks, are nearby?

5. What study abroad opportunities are available? Is there a difference in tuition/fees between the home institution and the institution abroad? Are there scholarships available (at the institution, locally, nationally, and internationally)?

4. What is the food like on campus? Are their options available for special dietary needs/food allergies, etc.?

3. Is there university or public transportation available on and off campus for students? Are there discounts for students?

2. What are the extra fees that students face (ex. Printing costs, books, laundry, etc.)?

1. What financial aid is available for students (based on merit, need, outside scholarships, etc.)?

Happy touring this summer!

-Melissa Manny, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions


My Favorite Place…

Alvernia University has a ton of great spots on campus. Whether you are looking to take in the view, sit down for a study session or hang out with friends, you’ll find some great spots, some well-known and some more secret.

My favorite place on campus is the glass staircase along the side of the library. The staircase is not often given the attention it deserves (it’s obviously one of the more secret spots), but I think that it is fabulous. It is not a commonly frequented area of campus, and has a spectacular view of the quad, Student Center and residence halls.
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The staircase also embodies some of the core values of our school if you use your imagination. The staircase represents contemplation because it transitions from the bottom floor to the top “quiet” floor of the library. It is a silent area and gives you time to reflect amidst a busy day. The staircase also represents collegiality because it is in the University library. Humility can also be found on the staircase because when a person stands there looking out you feel a sense of wonder and your small place on campus. Looking through the windows you see such a beautiful scene which helps embody the history and the values of the school.

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Everyone should get a chance to walk on this staircase and enjoy this amazing place on campus. Next time you are using the library take a turtle moment to really enjoy it. Don’t race around like a cheetah and miss out on all it has to offer.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

-Shanna Bossler, Senior Associate Director of Admissions & 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:http://www.alvernia.edu/


Jun 9
With Maya Angelou’s recent passing, I was reminded of her many memorable quotes. This is one of my favorites.  
I hope that as you turn to the summer months, this can inspire you to continue to grow and “do better” in the world.  
Have a great summer, make it count!

-Rebecca Finn Kenney, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Financial Planning

With Maya Angelou’s recent passing, I was reminded of her many memorable quotes. This is one of my favorites. 

I hope that as you turn to the summer months, this can inspire you to continue to grow and “do better” in the world. 

Have a great summer, make it count!

-Rebecca Finn Kenney, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Financial Planning


Preparing for Freshman Year

Welcome to our entire incoming freshman class! I am sure that you can hardly believe that in a few short months you will be here on campus. I know that for most of you graduation hasn’t even occurred yet, but it is already time to start preparing for your freshman year of college.
Right now you are receiving a lot of information from us in the mail. This is a great time to become friends with your mailman (or mailwoman) as they are bringing you a lot of important information. Make sure that you are keeping track of all the information that you are being sent and returning all necessary forms. Don’t worry too much, but try and keep on top of all of these requests. You will continue to receive calls from your admissions counselor reminding you of what you have left to complete.

Hopefully you have received your information about taking your placement tests, picking your Connection Day and information on housing. If you haven’t, then check with your mailman (or mailwoman) or your admissions counselor so we can get that information to you.

Connection Day is a very important transition day for you and this year our Connection Days are all being held in June, which is only a week away. This day is extremely important and will give you your first opportunity as a future Crusader to get connected with your new classmates, current students, faculty and staff. The complete schedule for this year’s Connection Day isn’t out yet, but if last year is any indication, it is sure to be a blast. Be prepared to complete paperwork, meet your new classmates, participate in some goofy games and learn more about the University you will call home for the next four years. We are looking forward to seeing you all on campus in the very near future; with most of our students gone for the summer, it has become too quiet around here.

The next big item that you should be preparing for is housing or where you are going to live next year. If you are commuting to Alvernia then you have it easy. All you need to do is fill out the blue off-campus housing application and return it to our residence life staff. Also make sure to keep your parents happy by picking up the clothing on your floor!

If you are living on campus, you will need to complete the online housing application and pay your housing deposit. You can refer to my last blog post entitled "10 housing tips for incoming freshman" to help you with this process. Students will not be housed until much later in the summer, but you can start preparing by thinking about what you want to bring for your dorm room (check out our Pinterest board for good ideas). This is a great time to make a list and start picking up a couple of items each week as you go to the store. You can find a list of suggested items to bring by going to our residence life page on our website.

The biggest thing to do right now to prepare for freshman year is to make sure to enjoy the remaining weeks of senior year and to make sure you enjoy this summer. It will go fast, and it is an experience you will never have again. See you all in June!

As always if you have any questions, contact your admissions counselor at 610-796-8269.

Christopher Fake, 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: http://www.alvernia.edu/


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With summer just a month away (June 21st to be exact), prom excitement settling down and the anticipation of being a senior in the fall, the time has come for juniors (to-be seniors) to start considering which colleges they would like to visit this summer! 

Here is a simple but helpful list to help you plan your Summer College Tour: 

  1. Make a List – By now you should have started to consider what you would like and wouldn’t like in a college. How far away would you like to go, what would you like to study, do I want to live in a big city or the country? You may already have a good idea, but here are some starters if you need some guidance: distance, major, location, athletics, extracurricular activities, faith-based, size, residence/student life, etc.
  2. Go Online – Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s time to start doing your research. Websites like collegeboard.org have tools to help you search for colleges based on your preferences. Sometimes typing what you’re looking for in a search engine can be just as effective (ex: small catholic colleges in Reading, PA). Compile a list of about 5-10 schools that match your criteria and check out their websites and social media accounts.
  3. Register for Visit Days – It’s probably a good idea to talk to mom or dad first to see what their availability is for the summer, but start looking at what type of visits your potential colleges offer over the summer and when they are held. For example, Alvernia offers Summer Information Sessions on six Fridays over the summer. We also offer individual visits M-F at various times throughout the day. It also may be a good idea to coordinate several visits in one day if colleges are in the same area. Check out your options and register for the visits that work best!
  4. Attend the Campus Visit – This is obviously the most important item on the list. Go to the campus visit you registered for and enjoy the day. Take notes, take pictures, talk to students, talk to admissions counselors, ask questions, eat the food, take a tour… do anything that will help you determine if the college is a good fit (remember, you can go back and visit a college a second time in the fall when students are on campus). After leaving, talk to your parents, friends or siblings about how the visit went. They may have some great insight that you didn’t consider (just keep in mind, the final decision is yours). As you’re heading away from the campus, it might be a good idea to check out the city or town the college is in or near.
  5. Enjoy your summer – Last but not least, enjoy your summer and your college tour. Make a vacation out of the colleges your visiting if they are in a city you’ve never been to or close to a beach. Remember to spend time with family and friends. This summer will go fast, your senior year will go faster and college will be here before you know it, so have fun and enjoy each and every day!

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: http://www.alvernia.edu/


WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU THIS SUMMER!

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The spring showers have finally given way to a fresh green campus, beautiful blue skies and sunshine for days! With high schools wrapping up for the year, summer will be here before you know it…and you’ll have plenty of time to come visit us!

For all those underclassmen looking to get a jump start on the college admissions process, we have many visit opportunities for you this summer. What better way to start a summer vacation than a road trip to Alvernia! We have various Summer Information Session dates that will give you a great first glance at the university. You will get a presentation on Alvernia, a tour of our beautiful campus in historic Berks County, and lunch with some students, faculty, staff and coaches who are available. If you can’t make it to an Information Session, you can simply register for a personal visit Monday through Friday. A visit to campus is a great way to see if Alvernia is the right fit for you, and now is the perfect time to come see us!

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And for those of you who are incoming freshmen of the class of 2018, don’t forget to complete your placement testing and register for your Connection Day! We are looking forward to welcoming you to campus again to plan your fall schedule and make those first connections at Alvernia!

So what are you waiting for? Come see Alvernia today! We can’t wait to meet you and show you around our favorite place!

-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: http://www.alvernia.edu/


May 7
Congratulations to all students graduating this Saturday, May 10th! Especially our own work studies and student tour guides… Dave Sloan, Alyssa Evans, Nick DiProfio, Jen Barone and Shelby Hickox. We wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors!
- Melissa Vrable, Assistant Director of Admissions

Congratulations to all students graduating this Saturday, May 10th! Especially our own work studies and student tour guides… Dave Sloan, Alyssa Evans, Nick DiProfio, Jen Barone and Shelby Hickox. We wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors!

- Melissa Vrable, Assistant Director of Admissions


The Final Countdown

While it may not receive as much attention as other unofficial holidays in the Spring (Opening Day for baseball, The Masters, first day of trout season) May 1st, or National Enrollment Day, is truly one of the great days of the season. It’s one of the most exciting days of the year for high school seniors and admissions offices across the country. For the students, it means that you most likely know what college or university you will be attending in the Fall, and are beginning to learn about Housing, Orientation and building your first semester schedule. For admissions offices, the students and families that we have been working with for as much as two years, have decided that they want to be a part of our campus family and confirmed their choice. I’d like to take just a little time to address all the students, those who have decided and those who are still in the process.

For the students who have made your decision- Congratulations! It must feel great to know where you will be spending the next four years of your life. A few pieces of advice:

  • Continue to pay attention to your phone, mail and email. Your new college will continue to send you important information about upcoming events and paperwork that you need to complete to get ready for classes in the Fall. Answering these requests in a timely fashion can guarantee that you are put in your 1st choice for housing or get classes in your preferred timeslot, be it early in the morning, or later in the day- everyone is a little different when it comes to their schedule.
  • Let the other schools that you have been working with know what your plans are. I promise they won’t be mad, they just want to know. Admissions folks are truly interested in helping students find that perfect fit. If it happens to be another school, that’s OK; we just want to be able to cancel your application and wish you luck. Otherwise we will have to continue to call and email you once in a while to find out what you are planning. So, please…pick up the phone or type up an email and just let them know. They will appreciate the news and be happy that you have found your new home.

For the students that have not made a decision, here is some advice on what to do now:

  • Reach out to your admissions counselor. Explain to them what you are waiting for, and what they can do to help you with the process. They can talk to you about an enrollment extension or visiting campus again. Maybe you need a meeting with Financial Aid or would like one more chance to speak with a Criminal Justice professor or the Track & Field coach. Or maybe you just want to see the Residence Halls again. Whatever you need, your admissions counselor should be able to help you set it up- you just have to ask.
  • Once you have all of the information you need, and you are comfortable with your financial aid and where you might be living, it’s actually pretty simple. Just follow your heart. Somewhere inside of you, there should be memories and feelings from the campuses that you visited. I’m sure that one of them just felt like home and made you feel like you were meant to be there. That’s where you should go- it felt comfortable for a reason.

Once you make that decision and enroll, it is up to you to take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that you were shown during your campus visits.

Best of luck!

-Dan Hartzman, Director of Undergraduate Admissions


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