NEW FPO RESOURCES FOR PARENTS / 1
Helping Your Child Choose
You want the best for your son or daughter— a solid education, lasting friendships, valuable experiences, and a rewarding career. You want him or her to have a successful life with many options. Choosing the right college is an important step—as is finding a way to pay for it. In these pages, we’ll try to help you think through the questions that lie ahead.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS This is the first brochure in a five-part series intended to help parents learn about the college search, application, and financial aid processes—and get to know a bit about Lebanon Valley. I Helping Your Child Choose 2 What We Believe 3 How We Help with Costs 4 Our Graduates 5 How Our Students Live
As a parent, you should know . . . ...w hat your child should be doing to PREPARE FOR COLLEGE
. . . F ACTORS TO CONSIDER when choosing a college
. . . T HE TERMINOLOGY of the college application process
. . . a few facts about LEBANON VALLEY COLLEGE
PREPARING FOR COLLEGE
Although this isn’t a complete list, the following is a brief overview of things you and your child might want to consider as the time for applying to college approaches.
College may not be on your child’s radar at this point, but you can support the development of skills and interests that will pay dividends later. Course work: Most colleges look at all four years of high school when making admission decisions. Good grades mean better options and scholarships. Reading: Reading is a great way to sharpen the mind, expand knowledge, and discover areas of interest—all things that help your child succeed in college. Volunteering: Giving to others builds character and perspective;
colleges are always looking for communityminded citizens. Other activities: Colleges want to fill their communities with active people who have talents and interests. Encourage your child to pursue the things that he or she enjoys. Part-time job: Working helps your child earn money for college, as well as develop selfdiscipline, a sense of responsibility, and timemanagement skills.
Suggested reading for parents of collegebound kids: • Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid into College by Andrew Ferguson • The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up by Barbara K. Hofer and Abigail Sullivan Moore • Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn
j u n i o r YEAR year JUNIOR
Suggested reading continued: • Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting into College by Sally P. Springer, Jon Reider, and Marion R. Franck • Empty Nest, Full Heart: The Journey from Home to College by Andrea Van Steenhouse and Johanna Parker
It’s time to start learning about specific colleges and building a list of favorites, but it’s just as important that your child continues doing well in school. Testing: Make sure your child is signed up to take the PSAT in the fall and the SAT or ACT in the spring. College research: You can help your child research college websites, publications, and guidebooks. Make a list of requirements and deadlines for each college your child is considering. College visits: The spring or summer of junior year is a good time to visit campuses and talk with college admission counselors. Take a notebook and a camera—and ask plenty of questions.
Finishing strong: Colleges want to see a high school record with challenging courses and good grades—particularly in the junior and senior years. Help your child select a rigorous but manageable course load. Financial aid: Learn the terms and options of the world of financial aid. It may seem complex, but there is a lot of money out there to help families pay for college—and many resources to help you navigate the process.
As graduation approaches, you can help your child keep on top of the paperwork—and deal with the stress—of applying to college. Timelines: Help your child make a calendar of admission and financial aid deadlines and lists of other things that must be done. Time management: The stress of college applications can be a chance to develop skills.
Help your child divide the demands of senior year into a series of smaller tasks. The resulting time management and planning skills will help your child in college. Financial aid: You can help your child—and yourself— by keeping on top of the
financial aid paperwork. The third brochure in this series will focus entirely on the financial aid process. Testing: Encourage your child to take the SAT or ACT again in the fall; most students do better the second time. 3
FACTORS TO CONSIDER
There are more than 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States, institutions of every possible size, type, affiliation, and educational philosophy. Choosing the right one starts with knowing what is best for your child. How does he or she learn? What are his or her goals? What type of community will help him or her learn a profession, grow as a person, and enjoy college life? Itâ€™s a lot to think about. The following pages offer a few things to consider as you and your child begin the search.
A college’s setting— whether in a major city, small town, or somewhere in between—has a big impact on the education it provides. Urban colleges tend to be less campusfocused. Students often have to find their own housing and are thrust more quickly into independent living. Small-town campuses tend to foster stronger relationships between students and professors, warmer residential communities, and an easier transition from high school to college.
Located in small-town Annville, Pennsylvania, LVC is a comfortable, safe, family-oriented community. Students really know their classmates and professors. They get involved in service work with local schools and organizations. And since many of our students come from within a few hours drive, it is not uncommon for them to host their parents on campus—especially during the first year as they make the transition to college life.
From as many as 60,000 students to as few as 1,200, the options for college size can vary dramatically. Large universities operate on a large scale—famous faculty, lectures with hundreds of students, and a variety of highly specialized majors and courses. Students may seem to have many options but can’t always get access to the things they want to pursue. Small colleges offer less specialization but also smaller classes, closer interaction between students and professors, and opportunities for mentoring, guidance, and collaborative research.
With 1,630 students, a 13:1 studentfaculty ratio, and an average class size of 20, LVC offers a student-focused college experience. Students quickly find their place in our intimate community. With more than 90 student clubs and organizations, getting involved—or assuming a leadership role— is easy.
College rankings exist to sell magazines. They are not a science and should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism. Rankings can be a helpful way of learning about how colleges stack up against their competitors in specific categories (graduation rate, class size, etc.), but the idea that an objective formula can single out the best colleges has been widely debunked. After all, what is the meaning of “best”? The most important thing is finding the college that is the best fit for your child. Let rankings be a small part of your overall college research.
LVC fares well in a number of categories tracked by U.S. News & World Report. Among all 371 institutions listed nationally in the regional colleges category, LVC was ranked in the top two percent for Freshman in Top 25 Percent of High School Class, top three percent for Average Freshman Retention Rate, and top two percent for Average Graduation Rate. But take all this with a grain of salt. Choose LVC if you and your child think that it is the right place—not because the people who produce magazines have nice things to say about us.
Regardless of the degrees they confer, colleges vary dramatically in the breadth of knowledge and skills they offer to students. Some schools are pre-professional, asking students to focus almost exclusively on learning a specific vocation. Other schools have almost no curricular structure and allow students to graduate without much grounding in a particular profession. Most others fall somewhere in the middle.
LVC offers a balance between professional preparation and broad intellectual growth. Each student completes a major course of study that provides a solid preprofessional foundation in his or her chosen field. But distribution requirements ensure that students sample course work from across the wide curriculum—in the process gaining critical thinking and communication skills that will make them more versatile, interesting, capable people.
Colleges place varying degrees of priority on offering students opportunities for experiential learning— things like undergraduate research, study abroad, and internships. Helping students find opportunities to learn outside the classroom takes a great deal of personal attention and resources that many institutions aren’t able to devote to individual students. At larger institutions in particular, students have to find internships on their own, and certain other opportunities simply aren’t available.
Believing that hands-on experience is an essential part of a college education, LVC devotes considerable time and energy to helping students find ways to learn and prepare for the real world. More than half of all students in the sciences will spend time conducting research with professors; nearly 20 percent of all students graduate having studied off campus; and more than 60 percent complete a professional internship, student teaching, or field/clinical experience.
“S ince her first semester freshman year, Sara has been able to observe and work in different classrooms. She’s there once a week for approximately fifteen weeks, gaining knowledge of what it will be like when she has her own classroom.” Jud Stauffer ’82, father of Sara Stauffer ’14
Facilities and Resources
When it comes to facilities and resources—and student access to them—all campuses are not created equal. Big universities may boast impressive scientific equipment, famous faculty, and extensive library holdings. But the question is, will your child be able to take advantage of these things, or will he or she be waiting in line behind graduate students to use the equipment and get the professor’s attention? P/U
Everything at LVC is available to your child. We guarantee housing for all four years, with options that cater to a variety of preferences—from apartment-style dorms to service-themed houses. The College offers sophisticated, cutting-edge equipment and facilities for scientific research, physical therapy training, music recording, and many other specialized teaching technologies—all of which are available for undergraduates.
“Given LVC’s low student-tofaculty ratio, Michael has many opportunities for individualized and personal instruction and mentoring. His professors go beyond factual knowledge and encourage understanding of deeper concepts.”
Stephen and Deb Nelson, parents of Michael Nelson ’12
College communities vary widely depending on the size, location, and residential system. At some urban colleges, there is virtually no campus life, and students find their own things to do off campus. Certain colleges with a strong religious or cultural focus offer little diversity, limiting student exposure to a wider spectrum of backgrounds and perspectives.
At LVC, students are members of a closeknit, family-oriented community. They find room to live and grow on a beautiful, 340-acre campus. They benefit from the diverse collection of backgrounds, opinions, and interests represented in our student body. They participate freely in more than 90 student clubs and organizations and enjoy full use of our award-winning athletic and fitness complex. They take advantage of free, collegesponsored activities and excursions designed to promote an engaging, fun college life.
The Company Your Child Will Keep
To a considerable extent, the people of a college define the education it offers. When you send your child to college, you are purchasing the time and attention of his or her professors. How big will the classes be? Will your child be learning from professors or from graduate students? Will he or she get the personal attention that differentiates a degree from an actual education? You are also choosing the peers with whom your child will spend the next four years. The company students keep has a major impact on how and what they learn, how they spend their time, and what they value. When you and your child are conducting your research, take time to meet the people who will define your childâ€™s experience.
LVC professors are scholars, businesspeople, artists, and scientists deeply engaged with their professional fields, but they are first and foremost people who love to teach and closely interact with young people. Because of the small scale and intimate approach, our professors are able to go beyond merely teaching subject matter to helping individual students develop specific skillsâ€” including critical thinking, writing, and communicationâ€”that will help them succeed, whatever they do in life. Our students made a conscious choice to attend a college where community is emphasized. And because we attract such capable, multitalented people, our students have a lot to learn from one another.
When researching colleges, it’s important to find out (feel free to ask) how many students who enter as freshmen end up graduating— and how many of those who graduate finish in four years. College represents an enormous transition from high school, and unless schools put a lot of energy into guidance and support, many students drop out along the way. For the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the average graduation rate is only 34 percent in four years.
Because of LVC’s enormous investment in student guidance and support, 69 percent of our students graduate in four years, which exceeds the 66 percent four-year average for all Pennsylvania independent colleges and universities. From the first days on campus, professors work closely with students to build an academic program that includes a major, plenty of electives, and valuable experiential learning opportunities, including study abroad, if the student is interested. In fact, we guarantee that if a student is not able to earn the LVC bachelor’s degree in four years because of a course scheduling problem, the College will cover the costs of any additional course work the student needs.
“M ichael is eager to get a job in business and feels well prepared to enter the work world. Contact with alumni through his business class projects has been very helpful.” C hristine and Rick Attanasio, 10
parents of Michael Attanasio ’12 and Steven Attanasio ’15
Because college is expensive, scholarships and financial aid options can be critical in making a college choice. State institutions may seem to cost less than private colleges, but they often offer far less financial support. Many private colleges depend on students who are able to pay the full tuition and don’t offer much in the way of aid or scholarships.
LVC is well known for its generous guaranteed scholarships. Any student graduating in the top 30 percent of his or her high school class receives an automatic scholarship, worth one-quarter to one-half tuition. All students are also encouraged to apply for need-based financial assistance or other scholarships. It’s important to us to make an LVC education affordable to students from many financial backgrounds. Overall, 98 percent of LVC students receive some form of financial assistance.
One of the most important questions to ask of any college is how their graduates fare in the job market and in graduate school acceptance rates. To a large extent, this success will be determined by the resources a school invests in career preparation and guidance. Is there individualized career counseling? Does the college have an internship program to give students a running start into the workplace? How involved are its alumni in offering career advice and helping young graduates get jobs?
Approximately 76 percent of LVC graduates who respond to our annual survey are employed—and some 30 percent are in graduate or professional school—within six months following graduation. LVC faculty and counseling staff help students think about their futures from day one and provide a wealth of support in finding internships, writing résumés, making professional connections, and preparing for the job search and application processes. Our alumni feel a strong loyalty to LVC and help current students get their start in the world.
THE TERMINOLOGY Advanced Placement scores of 4 or 5 translate into credit and fulfill LVC graduation requirements.
LVC does not require the ACT, but strong scores can help in the admission process.
Go to www. collegeboard. com/parents for helpful information.
Distribution requirements ensure that LVC students take courses in each area of the liberal arts.
Strong scores on the PSAT can translate into scholarships.
LVC offers 3+2 programs in engineering (with Penn State and Case Western Reserve).
LVC majors in the humanities include art and art history, English, French, German, Spanish, and music.
LVC operates on a rolling admission basis; seniors may apply as early as September. Students seeking scholarships should apply by March 1.
LVC does not require the SAT, but strong scores can help in the admission and scholarship determination processes.
• ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) PROGRAM : allows students to take college-level courses in high school. • AMERICAN COLLEGE TEST (ACT): a college entrance exam that measures educational development in English, mathematics, social studies, and the natural sciences. • COLLEGE BOARD: a national nonprofit organization with resources and information about preparing for and applying to college, standardized testing, and the financial aid process. • HUMANITIES: courses that focus on human culture, including literature, foreign languages, religion, and philosophy. • LIBERAL ARTS: a course of study that includes humanities, social sciences, sciences, mathematics, and the fine arts. • PSAT/NMSQT: The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a standardized test that provides practice for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests. • ROLLING ADMISSION: a system of admission without a specific application deadline; students can apply and receive an admission decision a few weeks later. • SAT: a college entrance exam that measures critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills. • 3+2 PROGRAM: a program offering students three years of study in the liberal arts typically followed by two years of professional or specialized study. The student is awarded two degrees on completion of the program.
LEBANON VALLEY COLLEGE FACTS Hartford
Lebanon Valley College is a private, coeducational college founded in 1866 and dedicated to the liberal arts. CAMPUS/LOCATION
57 buildings on more than 340 acres in Annville, Pennsylvania, a town of 5,000 near the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside. STUDENTS
1,630 full-time undergraduates. The ratio of women to men is 55:45. FRESHMAN CLASS PROFILE
468 students, primarily from Pennsylvania and the midAtlantic region. 77 percent were in the top 30 percent of their high school class, and the average SAT score is 1088. FACULTY
102 full-time faculty members, 89 percent of whom hold Ph.D.s or terminal degrees in their field; student-faculty ratio of 13:1 and average class size of 20. ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
34 undergraduate majors plus self-designed majors and a range of minors, concentrations, and preprofessional options; graduate degree programs in physical therapy, business administration, music education, and science education. STUDY ABROAD
Programs in 11 countries, including Argentina, Australia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Ireland, and Spain,
as well as several shortterm programs. OFF-CAMPUS PROGRAMS
Semesters in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. CAREER SERVICES
A full range of guidance and support, including Career Connections, an online network of hundreds of LVC alumni. INTERNSHIPS
Available in every majorâ€” in Annville, Hershey, Harrisburg, and beyond. STUDENT LIFE
More than 90 student organizations focused on the arts, sports, media, service, culture, politics, pre-professional interests, faith, and Greek life. ATHLETICS
A member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), and Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), LVC offers 24 sports. RESIDENCE LIFE
27 residence halls of various styles; housing guaranteed all four undergraduate years. AFTER LVC
In an average year, approximately 76 percent of graduates responding to our annual survey are employed, and approximately 30 percent are in graduate or professional school, within six months of graduation.
New York City (150 mi.)
Lebanon Valley College Harrisburg (28 mi.)
Philadelphia (89 mi.)
Washington, D.C. (150 mi.)
Rolling admission. We encourage completed applications by March 1 for fall admission and December 1 for spring admission. FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS
Approximately 98 percent of students receive some form of financial assistance. LVC scholarships are guaranteed to all students in the top 30 percent of their high school class; additionally, generous need-based financial aid is available. Total financial aid awarded in the form of LVC grants and academic scholarships for 2011-2012 was $24,052,581. The average grant and scholarship package totaled $14,455. COSTS 2012-2013
Tuition and Fees: $34,470 Room and Board: $9,180 Total Expenses: $43,650 CONTACT LVC
101 North College Avenue Annville, Pennsylvania 17003-1400 1-866-582-4236 email@example.com
NCSDO L12099 6.12
1-866-LVC-4ADM (1-866-582-4236) | firstname.lastname@example.org www.lvc.edu
101 North College Avenue Annville, Pennsylvania 17003-1400
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At Lebanon Valley College, admission decisions are made without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion/creed, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression, age, disability, genetic information, or MySpace SlideShareveteran Slash Dot StumbleUpon Digg Google Talk Skype state, status,Google or any traitMixx protected by applicable federal, or local laws and/or College policy. The College does not discriminate on any of the foregoing bases in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, or its scholarship and loan programs.
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It’s difficult to choose the right college—but we can help make it easier.