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Navigating college in a pandemic world


Join a Registered Student Organization. Design a “Battle-Bot” Robot. Ace your Robotics class.

WHAT SIU CAN DO FOR YOU. “Engineering at SIU is fantastic – there are so many opportunities for hands-on learning in and out of class. Definitely join an RSO – you’ll gain practical experience, meet people with similar interests... and it’s fun!” Timothy Bailey – Mechanical Engineering major from St. Louis • SIU ATMAE/Robotics Club, Secretary — championship-winning team • Member of the Marching Salukis

IT’S A SALUKI NATION! We’ve eliminated out-of-state tuition for most undergraduates!

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ACT/SAT NOT REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION. Because you are more than a standardized test score.

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Southern Illinois University Carbondale students are known for their friendliness, individuality and willingness to try new things. SIU students may take courses in multiple areas—such as business and foreign language or science and communications. They may connect their own paths and build an educational foundation that is both traditional and uniquely their own. Or they may follow an approved course of study that puts them on a satisfying career path in engineering, technology, health care or other areas. Perhaps the most important reason students come to SIU is because we deliver the advantages of a nationally ranked research university and the personal attention and hands-on learning options of a small college. It adds up to career-enhancing experiences, research and publication opportunities and mentored creative project—as early as your very first year as a Saluki! Your SIU experience is more than just an education; it will change your life. Photo provided by Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

We encourage you to personalize your education by engaging in your own research and creative projects. You can get your hands dirty at the student-run organic farms. You can help manage $1+ million of the SIU Foundation’s portfolio. You can compete against other collegiate teams in the air, on the water, with robotics, cyber security, interior design, marketing or an array of sports clubs. You can star on stage or in the orchestra, you can contribute to clean energy research, learn to fight forest fires or travel to post-hurricane disaster sites to understand and improve recovery efforts. You can even earn an Emmy for television news coverage.

IT’S A SALUKI NATION – WE’VE ELIMINATED OUT-OF-STATE TUITION! SIU has a long history of opening doors for students, welcoming many who are the first in their families to go to college as well as those who are third- and fourth-generation college students or “Legacy Salukis.” Our students come from big cities and small towns, from nearly every state and more than 100 countries. We pride ourselves on BRAND AVE. STUDIOS

the diversity of our student body. That’s why we’ve done away with out-of-state tuition — we don’t want a little thing like location to come between you and your SIU adventure! Our full-ride scholarships — the Chancellor’s Scholarship for incoming freshman and the Provost’s Scholarship for transfer students — bring top students to the university, along with our University Excellence Scholarships. You’ll want to find out what is available in your specific area. Our General Scholarship Application ensures that you automatically apply for every scholarship for which you are eligible. Find information about all of them at

FIND YOUR PACK Maybe you’ve heard of Living Learning Communities? At SIU, we have 16 of them! LLCs are areas of on-campus residence halls reserved for students in similar majors or with similar interests. For example, we have a Business LLC, an Engineering LLC and an Architecture, Art & Design LLC as well as an LLC for Campus Pride. We also have more than 250 student organizations STLTODAY.COM/COLLEGECONNECTION

on campus. Some are the national honors societies and student PROFESSION chapters of professional organizations that a research university such as SIU might be expected to have. Some are affiliated with particular majors or career paths, others are Greek fraternities and sororities. Some are sports-oriented. And some are for special interests. From sustainability groups to a Quidditch team, the Southern Illinois Metalsmiths, Movie Camera Movement film makers or the Saluki Racing — Formula One SAE team, Saluki students have myriad opportunities to find their pack.

READY FOR ANYTHING Our students are ready to hit the ground running, committed to community service, learning-by-doing and participating in a supportive academic environment. Our alumni remain connected to their alma mater. They seek ways to help current students, foster interns and externs, and offer professional expertise. Our faculty members bring creative and research experience into the classroom, mentor students one on one, and encourage the best from their students. That’s Southern Illinois University Carbondale; that’s what it means to be a Saluki. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2020 I

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The Pandemic Edition: Doing virtually everything differently SARAH GERREIN | Brand Ave. Studios contributing writer


his fall looks different for every student in every stage of learning, and the 2020 College Connection section is no exception. High school juniors and seniors should be preparing to attend the first big college fair of the year, where students mix and mingle with college admissions counselors and gather great information (and swag). Not this year. Instead, ‘virtual’ continues to be the word of the year, and we are following suit by including content that helps you navigate this atypical educational journey. In this issue of College Connection we aim to help you through your junior and senior years of high school with the article, “Navigating college selections in a pandemic world.” You’ll learn about how to stay connected to colleges and how you keep your skills sharp for your college applications. In “Even post-pandemic, virtual learning may become a bigger part of college life,” you will hear how the pandemic has permanently altered the landscape of higher education. Remember, different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. The real-life lessons of adaptability and flexibility that you are currently mastering will be invaluable to your future. And that’s a good thing.

This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios. The news and editorial departments of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had no role in its creation or display. For more information about Brand Ave. Studios, contact

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Regional Sales Manager Charles Mems 314-340-8033

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Even post-pandemic, virtual learning may become a bigger part of college life LORI ROSE

Brand Ave. Studios contributing writer


he unparalleled challenges of a global pandemic have brought big changes to college campuses. But one adjustment schools have had to make — moving to more virtual learning — may be here to stay. “I think it’s the present of college and I think it’s the future,” said Kristin Sobolik, chancellor of the University of MissouriSt. Louis. Education in general was moving in that direction before COVID-19, but the pandemic forced institutions to pivot much more quickly, Sobolik said. And in a lot of cases, educators are finding that flexible online learning works as well or better than face-to-face instruction, she said. “I’m not sure that it’s going to go back


to the way it was,” she said. “I think that frankly, COVID has changed the landscape of our nation and particularly higher ed.” As universities make plans for the future, many will likely keep a bigger portion of academic life online, said Jennifer McCluskey, vice president for student success at Maryville University. “We’ve always known that some academic experiences don’t require being in person,” she said. Tutoring, counseling and career fairs, for example, are moving online, giving students greater access to these services. For prospective and incoming students particularly, the virtual options that were added last spring and summer allowed Maryville to reach more students than ever and helped level the playing field for some. “Those things will certainly stay moving forward,” she said.


Ghost towns After the abrupt end to in-person learning that turned so many campuses into ghost towns last spring, college administrators scrambled to nail down fall 2020 reopening plans that focused on the health and safety of students and faculty while following guidelines released by health experts and regulations issued by surrounding communities. Those plans led to a new normal of quieter campuses this fall, as more students attend class from their dorm room or home. In-person classes are smaller, campus visitors are restricted, gatherings are limited, and events — such as homecoming parades and parent weekends — have been canceled. At the University of Missouri-Columbia, officials limited the size of university-sponsored events to 20 people, banned parties in fraternities and sororities, and worked with the city and county to institute curfews in bars. Greek life looked different as sororities and fraternities went online to recruit new members and modified long-held traditions to achieve social distancing.

Face masks and health checks In addition to requiring facial masks, many colleges assigned students to complete safety training before arriving on campus and then monitor their health by taking their temperature daily. At Mizzou, students were asked to log in daily to a self-screening app. At Saint Louis University, residential students were tested for COVID-19 at move-in. Washington University planned to screen all of its undergraduates using a new saliva test created by its own faculty, and test them again every two weeks through the end of the semester. “Students have adjusted very well,” said Dr. Chris Bahr, provost of McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill. “Although it may be a bit uncomfortable to wear a mask, all appear to be doing what is required to minimize risk to others during class.”

Where students live and eat Deciding how to house students this fall was a big issue. Double rooms became singles, quads became doubles. Maryville University even turned to its neighbors, Drury Plaza Hotel and Marriott, to help reduce density. Move-in times for residence halls were staggered over multiple days to relieve congestion, and students were asked to limit the number of helpers they brought. Schools set aside dorm or hotel rooms for students who test positive and need to self-isolate. Common areas in campus housing were reconfigured to reduce seating, and visitors were limited or banned. Cleaning and sanitizing measures were increased. All across campus, directional signs and floor markers appeared, and doors were designated for entering and exiting.


The pandemic also forced new social distancing measures in dining halls and on-campus restaurants. Self-service stations such as salad bars and beverage machines were eliminated while takeout and pre-packaged graband-go options were increased. Seating was limited and plexiglass dividers were set up.

Tweaking the calendar Some universities tweaked their academic calendars in hopes of discouraging students

from traveling. Many planned to send students home before the Thanksgiving holiday, moving to all virtual classes for the remainder of the semester and administering final exams online. SLU decided to hold classes on the Labor Day holiday, and William Woods started a week early and canceled fall break to get classes in before Thanksgiving to decrease the risk of students going home and then returning to campus and potentially spreading the virus.


The future Campus life in the age of COVID may be tougher for students who crave more face-toface connections, but officials say students are learning valuable real-life lessons in adaptability and flexibility. “Those are very key words and key attributes to have,” UMSL’s Sobolik said. “These are the skills that are going to serve them well in the future.”


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Remote classes could stick around for awhile. FRANCESCORIDOLFI.COM

Make sure you are prepared

Take advantage of these tips from Xceed Preparatory Academy to make the most of your semester.



s the fall semester continues, the country is still facing uncertainty regarding how to conduct classes. Prepare yourself for starting your collegiate career without the benefits of in-person education. Fortunately, with proper preparation, you can set yourself up for success by planning for the possibility of online learning.

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Find a Designated Study Space While learning from home has its benefits, it also has distractions that can inhibit your growth. Set up a desk or table in a room that remains relatively quiet, away from the television or common areas. Look for a comfortable chair to avoid becoming uncomfortable during lengthy classes. You may also need to invest in quality lighting to

ensure you can take notes during video lessons.

Limit Distractions Keep your phone out of arms reach while you are attending online courses. Take an extra step and leave it in silent mode or turn it off, so you are not tempted to check a notification. Since most of the schoolwork will be conducted on a computer, you must avoid browsing the web during the time dedicated to learning. It’s essential to remain diligent when setting boundaries for breaks during lessons. Make sure to set and


achieve worktime goals before using your time to check social media or respond to messages.

Create a Routine It is far too easy to brush aside online learning for other activities, then rush to complete assignments before their deadlines. Unfortunately, when hurrying through remote classes, students may find it challenging to retain and understand the information. Use discipline to set a schedule and stick to it to establish a routine.




Central Methodist University in mid-Missouri is celebrating record enrollment for the third consecutive year. University officials say that preliminary reports show that four CMU enrollment records have been shattered this fall – total enrollment, freshman class size, residential population and new students.

He was quick to add that the institution’s commitment to safety during the pandemic – investing in COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff, as well as ionization air cleaners for buildings, facial recognition software, expanded cleaning and expanded staffing.

There are 1,170 traditional undergraduate students enrolled this fall – up two percent; 361 freshmen, up seven percent; 821 students living on campus, up five percent; and a new record of 469 new students.

“Adaptability is key right now,” Parisi said. “Not only have we had to adapt over and over again to engineer this class, but our students, faculty and staff are having to adapt constantly. It’s the society we are in now.”

“The bottom line is we have a great product,” said Dr. Roger Drake, CMU president. “Students love the quality of our education, the faculty engagement and the beautiful campus.”

Parisi said many of the practices applied during the pandemic could carry forward into the future after COVID-19 has subsided.

Other improvements that are likely to remain post-pandemic include the virtual campus tour. Although campus tours are proceeding, virtually connecting prospective students with faculty members and other campus amenities are appealing for those who live far away.

Besides overall student satisfaction with the product at CMU, Dr. Joe Parisi, vice president for enrollment management, said other big factors in Central’s growth include an influx of students from the St. Louis area and the Digital U initiative that provides iPads to all Fayette campus students.

He said Central’s synchronous delivery of coursework in person and online might be the top instance, allowing students to remotely connect live to their classroom via Zoom. In addition, students who are ill or not able to connect may watch their class after the fact with a program called Panopto.

“Our facultyPROFESSION are super about taking time out of their day to visit with students, whether it is in person or on Zoom,” he said. “They’re always engaged with their students, and they take a real interest in helping prospective students with their college choices.”



CMU students on their way to class. Photo provided by Central Methodist University


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Columbia College students have it all — a small, personalized campus right in the middle of a major college town. We have professors with real-world experience who care about student success. Our advisors are here to help you every step of the way. And we offer more than 40 degree programs that are relevant to today’s workplace. During these rapidly changing times, we’ve made attending courses safer and easier with both in-seat and virtual options. Virtual classes are synchronous, which means they’re not prerecorded — they’re streamed live! So whether you choose to attend in person or virtually, you get the same information and the same experience. And you can decide at class time. It’s your college, your way! We believe in being upfront and truthful about the cost of college. With Truition®, we provide your education at one low price, while receiving the same great benefits. There are no fees. No book costs. No surprises. You get fixed-rate tuition — from

Year One to graduation. And we offer budget-based room and board charges. Plus, great news! Tuition is frozen for Fall 2021; we have made a commitment to not increase tuition from Fall ’20 to Fall ’21. At Columbia College, scholarship amounts are based on a holistic review of your accomplishments. This includes the types of classes you’ve taken and grades you’ve earned, your test scores and your involvement in clubs, organizations, volunteer work and other activities. We even consider how serious you are about coming to Columbia College when we determine your final award amounts. Since 1851, Columbia College has been helping students advance their lives through higher education. A private, nonprofit liberal arts and sciences college, Columbia College takes pride in small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. Come experience it for yourself! Schedule a visit today.


The Columbia College campus. Photo provided by Columbia College

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Your Drury Fusion allows freshmen to forge unique path SPONSORED CONTENT BY DRURY UNIVERSITY

“Music isn’t a serious path.” That’s what Paige Meyer thought when looking for a college. Though she was brought up in a musical home and sung in the choir throughout her elementary and secondary education, she kept telling herself she couldn’t pursue music, she needed to be serious. Then the Denver, Colorado native found Drury University’s innovative “Your Drury Fusion” program and everything clicked. “Through Fusion, I get to explore the music I love, but also study a profession I find so interesting,” says the Drury sophomore, who is part of the exclusive Drury Singers and majoring in criminology and psychology. Your Drury Fusion is a departure from traditional college curriculum — combining student’s passion and profession to create their unique fusion. Every student graduates with one or more majors, transcripted credentials in both profession and life and three real-world experiences that put their education into action. Your Drury Fusion is the result of nearly two years of work by

more than 100 Drury faculty members, and challenges students to become flexible and creative problem-solvers in a highly supportive, yet intellectually rigorous environment. Drury is no stranger to innovation and disruption in education. In her near 150 years, the university has continuously been at the forefront of purposeful change and effective pivots in the face of challenges. Your Drury Fusion is a new educational paradigm, continuing Drury’s legacy of equipping students to live a life of meaning and purpose. Whateverthecombination:ArchitectureandSpanish,theaterand big data or pre-med and history, Drury has a pathway and a plan. “Faculty recognize students who come to Drury aren’t empty vessels,” says associate professor of communication, Rick Maxson. “They come to us with knowledge, experience, values, beliefs; things that become passions. Those passions are like kindling. Fusion, which implies an explosion, allows us to connect passion to an idea, a theory, a major or career path. When that happens, a fire ignites and we become less like teachers and more like fans.”


Paige Meyer ’22 found her Drury Fusion: Criminology + Psychology + Drury Singers. The unique curriculum lets students find a path that fits both their passion and professional interests. Photo provided by Drury University

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The Charlotte Observer

he to-do list for high school seniors seems to be growing longer each day. When they’re not doing homework, participating in their extracurricular activities, hanging with friends, sleeping, eating or texting, they’re probably thinking about their college list, testing, upcoming campus visits, college applications, the Common Application essay, the Coalition essay, supplemental essays, transcripts, an activity list, letters of recommendation, final test prep, sending test scores and scholarships. Are you tired or stressed? Think about how they must feel. Let’s try to de-stress the situation by creating a fall timeline and breaking each of these bigger tasks into more manageable pieces. Check them off as you complete them:


o Finalize the college list by making sure it is a balanced list with reach/ target/safety schools. Be sure to include an in-state safety school for financial reasons. o Review the standardized testing calendar and register for the SAT in October, November or December, or the ACT in October or December, if needed.*

A fall

*If applicable, due to COVID-19 cancellations

timeline for high school seniors

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o Find out if any of the colleges on your list recommend or require SAT subject tests and register for those tests. o Check your school’s calendar. Take advantage of any teacher work days and schedule campus visits. o See if any of the colleges you’re considering offer open house dates or discovery days for seniors. o Determine which schools offer Early Action. o Decide if a binding Early Decision option at one college makes sense.


† Figure out which of the colleges on your final list are on the Common Application or the Coalition, and which are not on either, and you’ll need to apply directly to the college. † Research the number of essays required or recommended by each college and create a document for each one, listing their essay prompts and their deadlines † Set up accounts on each college’s website. † Create a document that keeps track of your user names and passwords for each college. † Prepare a timeline of assignments based on each college’s deadline (i.e., don’t work on the Coalition or the Common Application if none of your Early Action colleges accept either). † Brainstorm essay ideas for colleges with the earliest deadlines first. † See where you can multipurpose the same essay for multiple schools, but be careful to tweak the essays appropriately. † Write a first draft of essays. † Edit essays and, yes, edit again. † Ask a trusted source to review your essays. † Meet with college representatives when they visit your school.

† Research which colleges accept letters of recommendation, and find out how many they require and how many they will allow as “optional.”

† Review and then order high school transcripts. Find out how your high school is sending transcripts to each college. (Most high schools are now transmitting transcripts electronically through Naviance.)

† Check to see if any colleges on your list will allow you to attach your resume/brag sheet to their application.

† Prepare your resume/brag sheet/activity list and give it to your recommenders.

† Complete the data input into each application.


† Ask teachers, coaches, advisors and employers for letters of recommendation. † Begin researching scholarship opportunities. † Check your high school guidance office and


the high school website for scholarship opportunities. After reading this, I hope all of you parents are now a little more sympathetic to the angst of being a high school senior. Lee Shulman Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte, N.C. Visit her website College Admissions Strategies. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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Navigating college selections in a

pandemic world NATALIE MACIAS

Brand Ave. Studios contributing writer


he college selection process is often met with joy and excitement as high school students begin dreaming about where they are going to spend the next four years of their lives. They look forward to bustling campus tours, traveling and combing through brochures to find a school that’s just right for them. In a year filled with new — new processes, new mask mandates and new unknowns — the college selection process is no exception. Travel restrictions, social distancing and admission requirements are constantly changing. So, what’s a high school student on-the-hunt to do? How does one select a college in such a fluid time? What about standardized testing? How does one build a resume without clubs and extracurriculars in the current virtual school world? These are difficult times for all of us, and the college selection process was already stressful in “normal” times. However amid the pandemic, what’s most important is to not stress,” said Shani Lenore-Jenkins, vice president of enrollment at Maryville University. Rest assured you don’t have to halt your college selection process amid COVID-19. Colleges and universities are coming up with fresh ways to streamline the college selection process and ensure you land in the right place for your next educational journey.

Connecting with universities at a time of disconnect Colleges won’t leave you hanging if you don’t opt for the traditional campus visits. Most universities are adapting just as you are and want to ensure students still have the best possible experience when selecting their school. Luckily, there are many ways to get a feel for a school without ever stepping on the campus. 1. Connect with an admissions counselor. Start here because admissions counselors are the experts of their respective college. They are able to answer some of your top questions and guide you through the selection process. They will set you up with everything you need and will even connect you with a current student or alumni so you can gain even more insight on the school. They are your go-to resource throughout the entire process. 2. Schedule a virtual campus tour. Campus tours are one of the main ways that high school students and parents make the decision of which college they are going to attend. While

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students may not be able — or feel comfortable — visiting college campuses during this time, conducting a virtual visit is an option. A virtual tour, if nothing else, can help you narrow down the schools you are interested in. Many sites, such as YouVisit, are offering 360 degree experience tours with a virtual reality headset. By simply checking the admissions page of an institution’s website, you can easily sign up for a virtual tour. You’ll even have a student tour guide like you would if you were walking around campus. 3. Attend a virtual college fair. Just as you can schedule a virtual campus tour for a specific college, you can always search for virtual college fairs. Many websites and apps allow students to choose a personal, tailor-made fair experience and explore the colleges that they are most interested in. “There are a ton of resources to attend virtual college fairs! Organizations like NACAC (National Association for College Admission, MOACAC (Missouri Association for College Admission, Coalition for College ( are all offering local, regional and national virtual college fairs,” said Lenore-Jenkins. “They are all free to prospective students. Students just have to go to their websites to register.” 4. Connect with a current student who attends that college. One of the best ways to get a lay of the land is to connect with someone who already attends that school. They will be able to give you firsthand advice and information about campus life and more. This type of networking will allow you to gain personal insight of what it’s like to attend that school, and you just may make your first friend on campus if you choose to go there. Most colleges are now accepting campus visits if you feel comfortable. They guarantee a safe, socially distanced visit.

Continuing to build your college resume High school upperclassmen are eager to build their college resumes through sports, internships and extracurriculars. Unfortunately, it’s especially difficult to accomplish this for those high schoolers who are attending virtual school. However, there are still many nontraditional ways to ramp up your resume. “While I think there has been a pause in the regular activity, I have seen that most high schools are being very innovative and creative in still providing many options to students to

stay engaged in these extracurricular activities,” said Dixie L. Williams, director of admissions at University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). Think outside the box and consider these off-campus ways to stay involved: 1. Learn new skills from home by taking free online courses. Explore something you’ve always wanted to learn such as sign language or even a foreign language. You could also get an online certificate in something such as coding or IT services. 2. Volunteer in your community through local organizations. Many organizations are allowing the community to stay involved without even leaving their homes. Check your local volunteer opportunities and jump in. 3. If you are comfortable, try a new sport that is still being offered this season by your school. Some non-contact sports, such as golf, tennis and cross country, are still being offered at certain high schools. Although it may be new to you, participating in sports shows potential colleges that you are capable of being part of a team. “Students should still list the involvement they have had prior to the pandemic and what they are doing now,” said Williams. “Maybe it is still community service but it’s virtual. Clubs and groups are still meeting it is just a different modality. Students should continue to highlight those engagements and maybe take the time to seek out new opportunities if they can manage it with all of the other things that they are juggling.”

The future of standardized testing Standardized testing may be a thing of the past — or at least on hold — for many high


schoolers. According to, incoming seniors have the ability to forgo the SAT and ACT as of now. Because of test date cancellations across the country, many colleges are accommodating students by having test-optional admission policies. For instance, UMSL is piloting a test-optional admission policy for the fall 2021 class of students. “When [students] fill out the application for admission they can answer the question to be reviewed without standardized test scores,” said Williams. Although many students use their ACT and SAT scores as a showcase for college applications, there are other options for students who are not able to take the test. Studying for standardized tests often require hours of studying, so use that time to polish your grades and enroll in honors courses that also require additional hours of studying and boost your resume. Another great way that you can ramp up your GPA and get ahead is by taking dual-credit courses. Colleges such as Missouri Baptist University, Maryville University and UMSL offer St. Louis area high school students to take courses that will transfer for credit upon entering their freshman year of college. Overall, if you’re feeling torn about the college selection process, staying local and opting for community college or a university that offers in-state tuition is always an option — and could benefit you financially. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t attend the school of your dreams your freshman year or if your selection process is different than you expected. Many students are in the same boat — you’re all in this together.


SPRING Parents, students need to


plan together GREEN SHOOT MEDIA


arents play a significant role when assisting children with planning for continuing their education. While one of the primary concerns is coming up with the money to attend, there are other factors to consider. Learn to show your child support while cheering them on throughout the new experience. Open and honest communication is key when preparing for college. It is likely that your child will have questions regarding what to expect and they may be nervous. When you’re there for them emotionally, you can give them the confidence to pursue excellence during their collegiate career. Here are some other tips to make the transition easier for both you and the new college student.

Prepare for financial independence If your child will be traveling away from home for school, it’s crucial to instill financial responsibility. You can start by showing them how to balance a checkbook to avoid expensive overdraft fees and teach the difference between wants and needs. Be firm about sending a specific amount of money during a period, so they understand the importance of

saving and spending wisely. Consider signing them up for their own bank account. It’s a good idea to open both a checking and savings account so they can responsibly save any surplus. Some colleges may also offer a debit account that coincides with a student ID. The card can be used around campus to pay for laundry services, campus stores and food.

Keep tabs on orientation


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When an orientation date is approaching, make sure your child is signed up long before the deadline. Understanding the times and location of the event is crucial to ensure they are punctual. You should also make certain that they have completed all necessary tests before advancing in the admission process. While you may not be asked to attend the orientation, it’s essential that your child is prepared.

Communication Before a student attends college, it’s imperative to have some serious heartto-heart talks. They should be prepared to face situations involving drinking or drugs, and you must express your concerns and expectations for their behavior. Try to give your best advice rather than preaching during these conversations, children will appreciate a compassionate parent during these difficult discussions.

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A senior slump could have


The Charlotte Observer


any seniors feel as if the entire college admissions process is behind them. They’ve been accepted and made their final decision. Some have “checked out” of high school early. They may be attending class most of the time, but they’re rarely doing any homework and are just idling until graduation. Here is a letter from a mom of a senior: “I’ve threatened punishment and offered rewards and still I can’t get my son to stay focused on school. He tells me I don’t know what I’m talking about when I say that colleges can change their minds. He also says that the teachers have relaxed. They’re watching movies in class and kids are heading out to lunch for a few hours. It’s just a different school environment once first semester ends. How realistic is it that an offer of admission will be rescinded?” Colleges vary tremendously in how they handle a senior slump. Some give warnings, some place students on academic probation, and some actually reverse their decisions. Every summer, a number of surprised students are forced to scramble and make alternative plans for next fall. Acceptance letters usually state that the acceptance is contingent on consistent performance. “Contingent with consistent performance” is purposefully open-ended. Most colleges aren’t likely to revoke acceptance unless there is a dramatic decline; floating from a B to a C in a single course will not turn heads. But a former A honor roll student getting C’s and D’s is a major red flag. Something else that is considered is the college’s relationship with the high school. What sort of backlash might accompany the decision? Some high schools don’t actively

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discourage these reversal decisions because they feel it will teach the next class a good lesson. The most important but least predictable indicator is whether the college is over- or under-subscribed. While we may know the total number on the wait list, we don’t know the true strength and depth of the wait list or the past yield history. These decisions can sometimes be softened to an academic probation or summer school, but the truth is that nobody knows, and this could be the year that more schools stick to their guns and send a message loud and clear.

What should seniors be doing? Like seasonal allergies, “senioritis” goes into attack mode around this time each year. Merriam-Webster defines senioritis as “an ebbing of motivation and effort by high school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences and lower grades.” While the first known use of the term “senioritis” was in 1957, the condition hasn’t changed much since then. Here’s how BuzzFeed describes it: “A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants and sweatshirts. Lack of studying, repeated absences and a dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as graduation.” Every year there are hundreds of cocky kids who mistakenly believe their college acceptances are ironclad. Some students have adopted a dangerous sense of teenage invulnerability. It usually starts out innocently enough with a missed assignment and then can devilishly detour into a full-blown case of senioritis. Many senior slackers are walking around with a sense of entitlement: “I worked really hard, I did my job, I got accepted to college, and now it’s my time to take it easy.” Not so fast. Roughly one-third of colleges revoke admissions each year, but most colleges are not likely to unless there is a dramatic decline. Senioritis can

be expensive, too. Underperformers can lose scholarships and financial aid packages. It’s a cautionary tale, and parents, high school administrators and even college admissions officers wish students would take it more seriously. With so many applicants and long waiting lists, colleges may be less willing to gamble on a student who has faltered. Here are some helpful tips for seniors: „ Notify colleges of any schedule changes. If you’ve dropped or added a class, colleges need to know. „ Let colleges know if there are any disciplinary issues. You are better off being transparent than assuming they won’t find out. Your high school guidance counselor may be required to inform colleges. „ If you’ve been accepted, review your admissions materials to see what you need to do as far as deposits, deadlines and future timelines. „ Check your email, and especially your junk email, because that is how colleges will be communicating with you. „ Reconfirm you have all the required courses to graduate. „ Complete the FAFSA if you haven’t already done so and inquire about need-based aid. Parents shouldn’t ignore any slide in grades or a lack of motivation. Start out by explaining the serious consequences that could occur and encourage them to follow through with the same dedication they had when they started their senior year. Thankfully this condition doesn’t affect most students. “It seems to me that the students who worry most about senioritis are, ironically, the students who can afford to let up a little to enjoy their many accomplishments and hard work,” said Seth Allen, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Lee Shulman Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte, N.C. Visit her website College Admissions Strategies. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




Aiming to attract top scholars through new scholarship program SPONSORED CONTENT BY HARRIS-STOWE STATE UNIVERSITY

Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) is strengthening its commitment to young people in Missouri and Illinois with its new HSSU Top 100 Scholars Program. The new program will ease the financial burdens of obtaining a high-quality college education for local high school graduates. “At Harris-Stowe State University, we are building a group of top scholars eager to pursue knowledge and achievement. The HSSU Top 100 Scholars program is a merit-based scholarship for high school students in Missouri and the St. Louis Metro East region,” said Dr. Corey S. Bradford, Sr., president of Harris-Stowe State University. “The program is designed to attract talented, motivated, driven and high-achieving high school seniors who have demonstrated academic success and significant accomplishments in their community.” The HSSU Top 100 Scholars program is a premier scholar program


The main entrance of Harris-Stowe State University. Photo provided by Harris-Stowe State University

for academically talented students. Selected Top Scholars will be considered for two levels of merit scholarships, which include funding for full-tuition and fees, room and board and textbooks. One hundred scholarships will be awarded annually without regard to families’ financial circumstances. Scholarship recipients will also be eligible for participation in HSSU’s Honors Program. “The Top 100 Scholars Program offers a unique opportunity that allows high-performing students a chance to become campus leaders,” said Dr. Manicia Finch, dean of enrollment management. “The program will provide superior academic courses, an opportunity to engage in research experiences and placement in the HSSU Honors Programs.” HSSU has partnered with 20 local school districts. Administrators at these partnering schools will have the opportunity to nominate scholars from their respective school district based


on their academic achievements, school and civic involvement. They must be incoming freshmen who score a 23 or greater on the ACT (or the SAT score of 1130) and have a high school grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Harris-Stowe State University, located in midtown St. Louis, offers the most affordable bachelor’s degree in Missouri. The University is a fully accredited four-year institution with more than 50 majors, minors and certificate programs in education, business and arts and sciences. The University is one of the state’s largest producers of African American graduates in biological science and mathematics.

PROFESSION To be considered for the HSSU Top 100 Scholars Program, students must apply to Harris-Stowe State University by the Nov. 1 priority deadline. For more information about this unique opportunity visit and apply today.


PG 15










Rooted in tradition, driven by innovation, educating for the future SPONSORED CONTENT BY LINDENWOOD UNIVERSITY

In the heart of St. Charles sits the campus of Lindenwood University. Rooted in tradition and lined with linden trees, the historic campus was founded as a women’s college in 1827. From its foundation, Lindenwood has always sought to advance education and to be progressive in educating citizens for the future. Through the years, Lindenwood has grown into a vibrant institution welcoming over 7,000 students in undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programs. Lindenwood’s rich history laid a foundation for the forward-thinking happenings at the institution which incorporates cutting-edge technology, strategic partnerships and impactful health research. Strategy and innovation are imperative to the successful growth of the institution, under the direction of Dr. John Porter, president of Lindenwood University. In his early tenure at the institution, Dr. Porter has tactfully navigated the institution through unprecedented times and continues to focus his vision on the future of Lindenwood. His experience blends business expertise in the tech sector and provides a refreshingly different perspective on higher education. Porter’s credentials include serving as a member of the Midwest BankCentre St. Charles Advisory Board and former vice president of services for a premier IBM Business Partner – Gulf Business Machines in Dubai. His decades of senior management experience inform decisions about Lindenwood’s future and he is a proven leader. His goal is preparing students who can fuel the greater St. Louis economy, by personalizing educational outcomes to the companies hiring

Lindenwood graduates. Dr. Porter’s charge to the team is disruptive innovation, directed by an aggressive five-year strategic plan.

INNOVATION IN TECHNOLOGY Guiding the goals of the institution’s future planning is Rob Westervelt, vice president for strategy and innovation. With over 22 years of higher education experience, he is confident in the school’s trajectory. “I believe that Lindenwood is poised to become the most innovative university in the country,” he shared. Vice President Westervelt is eager to embed innovation in the Lindenwood culture and recognizes the value of differentiation. One of the many ways Lindenwood is differentiating itself is by establishing unique partnerships in the community to broaden the student experience and enrich the development of scholars. Announced in August, Lindenwood has partnered with the IT Entrepreneur Network (ITEN) and will engage the university community with the thriving tech ecosystem of the greater St. Louis area. Founded in 2008, ITEN has been a catalyst for technology innovation, supporting entrepreneurs in the successful launch of new companies and delivering educational programming. ITEN is strengthened by collaborative corporate and community partnerships and involves a robust network of experienced mentors to foster and promote the development of emerging entrepreneurs. Programming also focuses on women-owned and minority-owned businesses, empowering underserved entrepreneurs in the St. Louis metro. To date, ITEN has supported over 1,200 startups with more than 140 startups currently engaged in programming. As a new division of Lindenwood University, ITEN will expand its programming and provide opportunities for Lindenwood students to gain real experiences in the tech industry and engage with leaders in the field.

INNOVATION IN HEALTH SCIENCES Lindenwood students are active participants in health sciences research. Photo provided by Lindenwood University


Leading the health science research interests of Lindenwood University is Dr. Chad Kerksick, associate professor of exercise science and director STLTODAY.COM/COLLEGECONNECTION

Lindenwood University has partnered with IT Entrepreneur Network (ITEN) to provide opportunities for students interested in the tech industry. Photo provided by Lindenwood University

of the Exercise Performance and Nutrition Laboratory. An accomplished researcher in the field of exercise and nutrition, Dr. Kerksick’s work has garnered national attention as he achieved a career milestone of 100 published manuscripts. His latest publication comes as a result of collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, PROFESSION in a study which incorporated Lindenwood students into the research process. A native of the St. Louis metro, Dr. Kerksick sees a bright future for research at Lindenwood. “We are well-positioned to continue our productivity and expand our capabilities in the future. This will continue to provide opportunities for our Lindenwood students to learn, appreciate and value the process of conducting high-caliber research in the health sciences.” His research contributions have garnered significant outside funding for Lindenwood University, further enabling the engagement of undergraduate and graduate students in real experiences. Fueled by a desire to educate for the future, Lindenwood University’s commitment to tradition and innovative approach is attracting students globally to the programs offered. Graduates leave empowered to serve as trailblazers in their field, with leadership agility and an innovative mindset. Lindenwood University serves more than 7,000 students in on-ground, hybrid and online education programs. To learn more about Lindenwood University, visit SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2020 I

PG 17

Essential information on


The Charlotte Observer

College education in the U.S. comes at a high cost, with annual fees ranging from $20,770 for public schools up to $46,950 for private schools. On average, students graduate with over $37,000 of student loan debt. The topic of student loan debt is an increasingly contentious issue and has left many parents and students contemplating whether a four-year college education is even worth it. The good news is that college expenses can be drastically reduced — and in some cases, eliminated altogether — through scholarships. While identifying and applying for scholarships can be tedious and time-consuming, they can help students overcome the financial obstacles that stand in the way of their future careers. While the best college scholarships are highly competitive, there are strategies that can be used to improve your chances of getting one. Before going any further, it’s important that you understand the difference between grants and scholarships. While both are financial vehicles that can help defray the cost of higher education, they differ in many ways. Grants are awarded by federal and state governments based on financial need and, in some cases, academic achievements. One of the best examples is the federal Pell Grant. College scholarships, on the other hand, are awarded based on merit. This could be in the form of academic achievement, a particular talent or athletic ability. Most scholarships

PG 18



are funded by private foundations and nonprofit organizations. Some are funded by state governments. Award amounts can vary from a few hundred dollars to essentially a full ride, where tuition and associated expenses are completely covered. A common misconception about scholarships is that students need to be at the top of their class to be considered for one. Many scholarships are based on ethnicity, religion, hobbies or area of study.

Where to find scholarships

base websites such as Fastweb. Be wary of sites that charge fees for access to databases of scholarships, since most of the information is available for free if you know where to look. Once you’ve started researching potential scholarships, it’s important to narrow things down and get yourself organized. Otherwise, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed. After all, applying for 20 different scholarships in a single week will require considerable time and effort, which will likely result in mental fatigue. A good rule of thumb is to apply to 3-7 new scholarships every week. That may sound ambitious, but you have to keep in mind that it’s all about the law of numbers: The more scholarships you apply to, the more likely you’ll be awarded some scholarship money. Be consistent in your efforts and try to get your applications in as early as possible.

The best place to start is locally, since there will typically be less competition, which increases the odds of being awarded a scholarship. This is not to say that you shouldn’t explore national scholarships, too. It’s important to explore all available options. Here are a few places where you can begin your scholarship search: n The free scholarship search tool spon- Applying for scholarships sored by the United States Department of While motivation, dedication and ambition are all required when applying for Labor website. college scholarships, there is n The financial aid offices at colleges and universities. n Your high school counselor. n Ethnicity-based organizations. n Foundations, nonprofits and other organizations related to your field of interest. You can also check out scholarship data-


also quite a bit of documentation that you’ll need to submit along with your application: You’ll need a copy of your driver’s license, state-issued photo ID or passport to verify you are a U.S. citizen. You’ll need to submit a copy of your green card and/or visa if you are not. You’ll need certified copies of transcripts, certificates and/or diplomas (if available); two or three letters of recommendation from teachers, supervisors and/or guidance counselors; test results for SATs and/ or ACTs for undergrad scholarships, and GREs, LSATs, GMATs and/or MCATs for graduate scholarships; a resume, if available; and a letter and/or essay that provides the scholarship committee with additional information about why you are a worthy recipient. Lee Shulman Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte, N.C. Visit her website College Admissions Strategies. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




Maryville University is proud to announce the next phase of our plan to expand affordability and access to a world-class education: a tuition reduction of 5% for our traditional undergraduate oncampus student population beginning this school year, Fall 2020. This tuition reduction is the next step in our phased approach to bend the cost curve back for families, which began with keeping undergraduate on-campus tuition flat for the past four years. After 15 years of double-digit enrollment growth and a robust financial profile, we are committed to lowering the cost of undergraduate tuition for students and families throughout this decade, and this is the next step. “Maryville University’s strategic plan has positioned the institution to expand access and opportunity to thousands of additional students,” said President Mark Lombardi, PhD. “Lowering the cost by 5% now will make our top-quality education more accessible and it demonstrates a new, revolutionary model of higher education. Tuition reduction allows students and families to plan out a more affordable path to their Maryville education,

which has some of the best outcomes in the nation, including a 97% career outcome rate and an 84% retention rate.” This strategy, when combined with university financial aid, privately funded scholarships and corporate and foundation support, makes a Maryville education more accessible for years to come. Maryville’s tuition and fees cover all course materials, a new iPad with over 200 learning apps and one of the most connected campuses in the United States, making Maryville a national leader in providing access and opportunity for students of every background. “Most private universities use enrollment growth as a basis for increasing tuition and making it more difficult for students to get in,” Lombardi said. “That approach is exclusionary. In contrast, Maryville is leveraging its enrollment growth and technological investments to pass along savings to the student.” Schedule a virtual or on-campus tour at to learn more.




A Maryville graduate. Photo provided by Maryville University








EVENTS ANNUALLY 650 Maryville University Drive St. Louis, MO 63141 314.529.9350 or 800.627.9855









PG 19


More survival secrets

The Charlotte Observer

Here are some of the things first-years are thinking about: joining clubs, deciding whether or not to get involved in Greek life, setting up the dorm room, adjusting to dining hall food, picking courses, carving out time to study, waking up on time, learning the layout of the campus, purchasing books, sharing a bathroom and, most importantly to most freshmen, making first impressions on a moment-to-moment basis. Here are some suggestions to smooth the transition: n Take some healthy risks. Part of the fascination with being a freshman is the opportunity for a clean slate. If you considered yourself or feel you were perceived as a nerd or unpopular in high school, take the opportunity to create the new you, the “real you.” You can do that by striking out on your own and casting aside the negativity of high school. n This could mean joining a fraternity or sorority, getting involved in the outdoor adventure club or volunteering for an important community service project. When you attend the student activities open house extravaganza where every club is recruiting new members, commit to joining at least one totally new activity. n Stay in and go out. I know that sounds contradictory. Yes, you need to be serious about your academics, but the most important thing is to strike a balance that works for you. Don’t hibernate in your room or in the library. Remember that college is much more than academics. At the same time, you need to remember that your “job” is to learn new things and perform well in all of your classes so that you will be prepared for a career and/ or graduate school in four years. n Forget FOMO. For parents not yet indoctrinated, FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. FOMO is a common lament shared by all college students, as in, “Do I go out with my friends on Wednesday night to celebrate my roommate’s birthday when I have a test on Thursday?” Weighing social opportunities against academic responsibilities is the most delicate balancing act of all. Ask any college student and they will tell you that time management is the most sought-after skill. n Explore the campus. Get familiar with your new surroundings, including the town or city where your college is located. Find the fun restaurants and shops, and read the local newspaper to research festivals, music happenings and special events that will make your life richer. Be the tour guide for your friends and introduce them to your new finds.


here’s a lot of anticipation and pressure as 18-year-olds head off to college for the first time. How many times have almost-freshmen heard, “These are the best four years of your life?” For many it’s their first time away from the nest, and the questions and doubts seem allconsuming. There are lots of things freshmen can start doing now to improve their chances of having a successful year. Most college students compartmentalize their college experiences into two distinct areas: the academic and the social. Here are some tips and suggested strategies for both.

Keys to surviving your

freshman year

Social Learn what drives your roommate crazy and don’t do it. This often means having a conversation if things aren’t progressing as you had hoped. Don’t respond childishly with the silent treatment. Air your hurt feelings, your misgivings and your wishes, and ask an RA (resident assistant) to get involved if you believe it is necessary. Live within a budget. Don’t splurge on silly stuff. Ask yourself the basic question of whether the purchase is a want or a need. Use coupons and take advantage of student discounts. Don’t believe that these will always be the best four years of your life. Some days will be, but there will be days when you feel overwhelmed, left out and stressed. It’s normal for college students, but it’s also normal for everyone. College is not a magic bullet. It’s a blank canvas where you can create your own experiences. Don’t believe that your college or the local police don’t really enforce the underage drinking laws. They do, and the consequences (particularly if it happens more than once) can be severe and expensive.

Academic Go to class. It’s so obvious, but when there’s little accountability, you need to be the one who is responsible. It’s all too easy to skip a class, especially those 8 a.m. classes. When you do skip, you fall behind, and catching up seems almost impossible. Make a commitment to attend every class, no excuses. Don’t just assume the work will get done. Since most of your work will be done independently, you’ll need to come up with own system that will likely include: carving out specific times to study, finding the right study space, outlining chapters before class, taking good notes in class, reviewing your notes weekly, planning your study schedule so long-term assignments get completed on time, and seeking help when needed. Don’t buy fully priced textbooks. Buy used or rent them from or www.

PG 20



ADOBE STOCK VIA GREEN SHOOT MEDIA You’ll be amazed at how much you can save, and if you rent them, you don’t have to deal with trying to sell them afterwards or packing them up and storing them in your parents’ attic. Shop online because you’ll pay a premium for the convenience of shopping in your college bookstore. The best tip I can offer is to strike a healthy

balance in every area of your life. That means eating well during the day and laying off the late-night pizza runs, and maintaining as normal a sleep schedule as possible. Your first “job” at college is to get a solid education. This is a time for you to grow, learn, meet new people, share different experiences and become the person you want to be.


Lee Shulman Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte, N.C. Visit her website College Admissions Strategies. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




The path to a career in the medical field may feel daunting, but you don’t have to walk it alone. At McKendree University, you’ll find everything you need to prepare you for graduate school and beyond, from expertly designed coursework and outside-the-classroom research opportunities to personalized guidance from faculty. When you choose to minor in our Pre-Professional Studies program, you’ll gain the skills and support to land your ideal job as a medical professional. Students find careers in optometry, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, podiatry, chiropractic and veterinary medicine. As medical technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, professionals in these fields are consistently in high demand. Although further education through medical/dental school or other graduate programs are required, medical professionals earn much higher-than-average salaries and enjoy a fulfilling career helping others live to their full potential. Strong job security, along with these added benefits, make the medical field an excellent choice for a career path.


At McKendree, you’ll start building your resume early through exciting research projects and one-on-one work with your professors. “Typically students working on a research project will develop their own research question and then work with their faculty mentor to design and implement methods, collect and analyze data and put together a paper or presentation,” said Dr. Angie LaMora, associate professor of biology. A couple examples of research our students are working on include an investigation of bee diversity in the forests of Tati-Yupi at a restoration site in Paraguay, as well as an analysis of historical data from local streams to determine the health of fish communities. McKendree alum Alexandra Nash credits the faculty in the Pre-Professional Studies program for setting her up for success in her graduate work and future as a dentist. “The professors dedicate themselves to their students and student learning, and they were always supportive of my goal to enter dental school.” No matter which area of medicine you’d like to pursue,


Lexi Nash, Pre-Professional Studies graduate. Photo provided by McKendree University

McKendree professors are here to assist you every step of the PROFESSION way. Not only are they accomplished in their own areas of study, but they’re also experienced in helping students through the process of finding internships, applying to graduate school and studying for professional exams.


PG 21

Choose UMSL for affordable quality | online excellence | flexible degrees gradaute programs | career advancement PG 22






Choose UMSL and join a vibrant, diverse community SPONSORED CONTENT BY UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI–ST. LOUIS

As the only public research university located in Missouri’s most populous and economically important region, the University of Missouri–St. Louis proudly brings affordable, high-quality education to one of the most diverse student bodies in the state. No university is better connected to the surrounding region than UMSL, where 73 percent of graduates stay to live and work.

JOIN A VIBRANT COMMUNITY The UMSL community is not only vibrant, but it’s also diverse. Students come from many backgrounds and include first-time college and transfer students, non-traditional adult students and graduate students. Students at all levels have the support needed to effectively balance their education, work and family lives. “It was so easy to find people from all different walks of life,” psychology alumnus Andrew Stoker said. “Everyone was so open, so eager to get their education. I could just talk to anyone and know that we were all there for each other. There’s a really strong sense of community that I think is so beautifully diverse.”

TRANSFER STUDENTS WELCOME UMSL is the top choice for transfer students from community colleges throughout the St. Louis region, providing opportunities to easily transition to the next phase of their education. Dedicated advisors guide students through the admissions process and provide unique programming designed specifically for transfer students to best prepare them for academic success. Partnerships with local community colleges allow for the seamless transfer of credits toward a bachelor’s degree. Students also

have the option to complete UMSL classes and degree programs on-site at select community colleges.

NO. 1 FOR ONLINE EXCELLENCE U.S. News & World Report ranks UMSL No. 1 in Missouri and among the top 15 percent nationally for the best online bachelor’s programs. Students can cater their class schedules to fit other commitments, such as work and family obligations. All students — including those completing courses online — have access to the resources, tools and support services necessary to achieve their academic goals. “I finished my degree while working full time, which is something I think could only have been done at UMSL,” information systems alumnus Michael McKeever said. This semester, UMSL continued to waive all supplemental online course fees to allow students to choose the course formats that work best for them without the additional cost. In addition, standardized test requirements for first-year college students applying for 2021-2022 were removed.



St. Louis Graduates featured UMSL as one of five universities in its 2020 Degrees with Less Debt report, highlighting the university’s practices that support the enrollment and successful graduation of Black and Pell-eligible students. “In order for our society to thrive, it’s imperative that we provide education for all people, especially those from economiPROFESSION cally disadvantaged areas,” Chancellor Kristin Sobolik said. “Education is the game changer in the lives of our students, their families, the region and our nation.”

For those who plan to continue their education past a bachelor’s, UMSL’s graduate school boasts more than 50 certificate and degree programs designed to offer flexibility and fit any schedule. Many degrees are available entirely online and can be completed from virtually anywhere.


“I wanted to find a school that would fit my schedule, be costeffective and provide value,” professional MBA student Mayank Jain said. “UMSL fit my needs. They have the right curriculum. They have amazing professors and so many resources.”

Throughout the pandemic, UMSL has taken a wide range of steps to protect the health, safety and well-being of the campus community. Classrooms and laboratories were reconfigured to ensure adequate social distancing and face coverings are required in all indoor spaces as well as outdoors when it’s not possible to maintain social distancing.


UMSL’s Egret Pond with Wayne Goode Statue. Photo provided by University of Missouri–St. Louis

Student sports her custom UMSL mask. Photo provided by University of Missouri–St. Louis

Times Higher Education recently ranked UMSL 52nd in the world and sixth in the United States for reducing inequalities through education. U.S. News & World Report included UMSL in its inaugural list of the Top 100 Performers on Social Mobility last year. STLTODAY.COM/COLLEGECONNECTION

Occupancy numbers for classrooms, in-person events and student housing were reduced and instruction shifted to 60 percent fully online courses. Students, faculty and staff are required to self-monitor their health daily through a screening app and report symptoms or diagnosis to the campus health officer to discuss appropriate steps such as quarantine or isolation to limit the spread of the coronavirus. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2020 I

PG 23

Dealing with stress

While stress is a normal part of life, anxiety for a college student can become more difficult to manage.



he experience can be heightened for young adults because of academic demands and sometimes living away from home. If you’re feeling like the experience is becoming too overwhelming, there are lifestyle changes you can make. • Get more sleep. • Try to think positively. • Have an outlet for stress, such as a social gathering or participate in sports. • Learn to meditate or practice other relaxation methods. • Talk to a close friend or family member about your emotions. When these techniques still won’t lessen the feeling of anxiety, you should reach out to an expert. Your campus will likely offer programs with available counselors.

What is stress? Stress is the body’s reaction to a challenge. While most look at the experience as a bad thing, it can be a positive emotion. In some cases, our bodies can perform better or improve the sharpness of our minds. According to the American Psychological Association, there are three different types of stresses. • Acute stress: The most common form of stress is the result of recent or anticipated stressors. • Episodic acute: Often accompanied by worry or angst, this type of stress occurs frequently and sometimes arrives in patterns. • Chronic acute stress: This dangerous form is thought to be never-ending and can lead to health issues like heart problems, strokes and some cancers. It’s crucial to manage stress before it becomes an issue that can lead to unhealthy ways to alleviate the feelings.

College Students: By the numbers To get a better sense of how stress affects college students, check out these statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and the Associated Press. • 34% report feeling depressed at least at one point within the last 90 days. • 13% have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions. • 80% say they experience stress sometimes or often. • About half of surveyed college students felt overwhelmed with anxiety at least once within the last twelve months. • 20% say they feel stressed most of the time.

PG 24






UCM to celebrate 150 years of academic excellence SPONSORED CONTENT BY UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL MISSOURI

Originally established as a training school for teachers, the University of Central Missouri will soon celebrate 150 years of academic excellence. UCM opened its doors in 1871 with only 30 students in a rented building and is now home to approximately 11,000 students who represent nearly every state and 50 countries. With a motto of “Education for Service,” the university

has remained consistent in its mission – transforming students into lifelong learners dedicated to serving their communities. This consistency has been the key not only to institutional success, but the continued success of every individual who graduates with a valuable UCM degree.

WORLD-CLASS FACULTY UNMATCHED STUDENT SUPPORT Many reasons can be attributed to UCM’s sesquicentennial success, but none more important than its dedication to student support. Students benefit from advantages including: • Locations in Warrensburg, Lee’s Summit and online • The only accredited counseling center at a Missouri public institution • An innovative Success Advising Center • Expert tutoring for 100+ courses • State-of-the-art learning environments

COMMITMENT TO AFFORDABILITY Photo provided by University of Central Missouri

education. It has also been recognized by the student finance bureau LendEDU for having one of the lowest national student debt numbers for 2019 graduates. An impressive 92% of UCM undergraduates receive financial aid.

With costs lower than the Missouri and national average, UCM believes everyone deserves affordable access to a high-quality

With a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio and average class size of 21, UCM’s expert faculty genuinely care about the success of their students and see them as individuals, not just a number. From aviation to cybersecurity, UCM professors work hard throughout 150+academicprogramstoprovideexperiencesthatwillenhance students’ skills and help them discover their career potential. UCM is consistently ranked as a top university by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review, and 95% of UCM graduates launch PROFESSION their career or continue their education within six months of graduation. By pairing ambitions with meaningful opportunities and superior support, UCM approaches its 150th year of service unrivaled in its pursuit of providing students with valuable degrees and the experience needed for long-term success.

JOIN FELLOW ST. LOUIS STUDENTS AT UCM Did you know that UCM has more than 9,000 alumni living in St. Louis and nearly 1,500 St. Louis students currently enrolled in classes? Join them on campus and see for yourself! • • • •

Affordable, high-quality education 150+ programs 200+ student organizations Dedicated faculty and staff committed to student success

“I chose UCM because it’s not that far from home … I had a lot of people from my high school in St. Louis telling me about UCM, and I just loved everything about it. So I thought, ‘I have to go to this school!’”

Schedule your visit today at Students who apply during their campus visit receive an application fee waiver.

– Armonya Harris, nursing McCluer North High School





PG 25


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College is challenging – SEMO offers support for success SPONSORED CONTENT BY SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

Southeast Missouri State University understands how much support a new college student needs, from finances to academic support to personal well-being. These are things we do well.

a student’s entire support team or academic and career advisors, whatever path our students take and whatever challenges they face, they won’t be going it alone.

We believe in your access to education so much, we’ve: • Expanded our test optional admissions as well as the number of scholarships available • Redesigned our scholarship program to offer more students aid and created scholarships that increase in value year after year • Created an office of college planning to give you one-onone help in navigating the college admissions process

We see the value of this support in a community of diverse, thriving students. This year, SEMO had an increase of 24.2% of its freshmen class from a diverse race or ethnicity. And, our graduating students had a 97% success rate in finding a job or furthering their education within one year.

Our students are also fully supported on campus. Whether that’s through a peer advisor program, a connected network of

It’s tough enough to find the school you want to attend, finance it and then excel in your academics. At Southeast, our will to do is the commitment to help you find success. Students need personal support to exceed their potential and, regardless of access to resources, to achieve their college dreams. We do that here.


SEMO student. Photo provided by Southeast Missouri State University

Making the dean’s list is academic goal with major benefits GREEN SHOOT MEDIA

On campuses across the country, the dean’s list highlights a select roster of students who achieved academic success during a semester. Finding your way into this group takes considerable discipline throughout your academic career but provides unique benefits that last a lifetime. Since the requirements for earning the prestigious award can vary between colleges, it’s essential to discover the details before you begin your educational journey. A few standard conditions include: „ Maintain a specific GPA. „ Accumulate a certain amount of credit hours. „ Avoiding any incompletions in the academic term. Find out the specifics for your campus by checking their website or speaking with an academic advisor. Then you can set goals to achieve as you progress through academics.

Stay on course When making the dean’s list is a primary goal, follow these tips. „ Get organized: Create a master schedule


based on your courses to avoid falling behind in lessons and assignments. „ Find a quiet place to study: Set your studying routine up for success by committing to learning without distractions. „ Attend and participate in classes. „ Limit the social scene: While college is a time to meet new people and share experiences, try to limit social activity while you have assignments due.

Benefits of the dean’s list One of the main reasons to land on the dean’s list is for a sense of self-pride. The accomplishment can also open doors in the future. You may receive a level of recognition both by school leaders and your peers. This is an excellent achievement that can boost your confidence. Your college may also hold special events only open to students to celebrate their academic achievement. After graduation, the success can also be highlighted on your resume and professional social media profiles. Making the dean’s list can give you an edge during a job search if you’re being considered with someone else with similar qualifications.




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ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION: that’s what we do. AT SOUTHEAST YOUR INVESTMENT GOES FURTHER. You have a lot on your plate. We get that! That’s why we’re removing obstacles to make the application process easy. / Test optional admissions / $0 application fee / $0 tuition for eligible Pell students / Stackable scholarships / Tuition lower than the national average







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