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High school seniors visit SMC

Anna Boarini | Monday, November 7, 2011

In an attempt to make the college application and selection process easier, Saint Mary’s welcomed 42 prospective Belles and their parents to campus for Senior Preview Day Monday.

“What makes this day different than a traditional college visit is the girls actually get to spend the whole day with a student,” Director of Admissions Kristin McAndrew said. “They get to spend four or five hours on a one-on-one basis with a current student and attend classes within their interests.”

During Senior Preview Day, the prospective students shadow a current Saint Mary’s student. The parents of prospective students also have a unique day, filled with events to help them prepare their daughters for college.

“The parents actually participate in a mock admissions committee,” McAndrew said. “We break them up into groups and they review three mock applications. It allows them to see the other side of the table and see what it’s like to be in our shoes.”

According to Vice President of Enrollment Management Mona Bowe, Saint Mary’s has received about 500 applications so far this year. They will begin the process of application review right after Thanksgiving.

“Right now, most of our admissions counselors are still out on the road, going to high schools and college fairs,” Bowe said. “After Thanksgiving, the admissions committee begins to review applications and we will start sending out early acceptance notifications around Dec. 1.”

Anna Berglund, a prospective student from Mattawan, Mich., said Saint Mary’s is currently one of her top choices for college.

“I like Saint Mary’s. I like the old buildings,” Berglund said. “I came today because I wanted to go to classes and see what it’s like to spend the day on campus.”

Senior Preview Day also gives prospective parents the ability to check out campus, as well as learn more about financial aid, academic programs and study abroad options.

“Our daughter is considering Saint Mary’s because it is a smaller school and she wants to go into music education,” prospective parent Camille Higdon said. “She’ll get more individual attention and be closer to the faculty.”

The religious aspect of Saint Mary’s is another draw for both parents and students alike.

“In this day in age, we as a family believe a religious-based education is important,” prospective parent John Tentrick said.

Some students will return to campus this coming Sunday for the Fall Day on Campus.

“It is a more traditional open house, with sessions on financial aid, study abroad,” Bowe said. “Some professors also teach classes, so students can attend a mock class.”