Conquering Senioritis

by Jason Rowe, Admissions Counselor
Three hard years of homework, test taking, and waking up at the crack of dawn are finally about to pay off, as students plan their return to school for their fourth and final year. While the senior year should be seen as an opportunity to improve a college resume, it can easily be overtaken by a term most of us have come to know as “senioritis.” Senioritis can be described as taking a mental vacation during one’s senior year of high school, and is characterized by brushing off due dates, racking up absences, and watching a hard earned GPA slowly decline. So rising seniors, avoid the temptation to coast through your final year and instead take advantage of it by challenging yourself with tougher courses, staying involved with school organizations, and making sure you get those college applications in on time!
Continuing to challenge yourself academically during your senior year is important. The more challenging classes can include honors and AP courses, the latter of the two earning you actual college credits in some cases (check out how this works at VCU http://ugrad.vcu.edu/academics/baccalaureate.html). AP, or advanced placement courses also give an admissions staff a better indication of how you will do in a university setting, as they are equivalent to college courses. They also show that you are serious about studying. Another benefit of challenging yourself versus coasting through your senior year is that you may be better prepared to take on placement tests, which could land you in remedial courses during your first year of college if minimal scores are not met.
In addition to challenging yourself academically, it’s also important to stay involved by participating in clubs and activities during your senior year. Most colleges include a spot on the application to list extracurricular activities. These activities help the admissions staff by providing insight to the applicant’s character. Other activities include volunteering or interning, both of which provide excellent experience that will help you when deciding on your college major and future career choice.
Lastly, procrastinating on filling out your college applications can lead to missed deadlines. Get your application materials in as soon as possible, and be sure to frequently check the email inbox that you provided the college with, as this is the main line of communication with most admission offices!
At VCU, our admission deadlines can be found at http://ugrad.vcu.edu. As always, if you have any questions about the admissions process or want more information on how to be a competitive applicant, you can reach our office at (804) 828-1222 or email me at rowejt@vcu.edu. Good luck!

Summer in Admissions

by Christal Holmes, Campus Visit and Communications Manager
While the summer is a time for amusement parks, lounging by the pool, and trips to the beach, the Office of Admissions has been hard at work gearing up for the new semester and travel season. We’ve added some new faces to our team and bid farewell to some others. We have also been sensing the excitement of our new freshmen and transfer students as they’ve made their way to campus over the past several months to attend New Student Orientation and look forward to seeing everyone here again soon!
This year on the road you can look forward to meeting two of our new admissions counselors, Jason Rowe and Samantha Burtch. Hailing from Middle Tennessee State University as our associate director for processing is Lisa Dougherty. While we gained some great new additions, we congratulate our former director of out-of-state recruitment, Carol Sesnowitz, on her retirement after 12 years of service at VCU. Although she’s gone from our office, we have a feeling that she’ll continue to be a presence on campus and throughout the Richmond area with her volunteer work.
As students prepare for their return to campus this fall, approximately 450 of them will be the first residents in the new West Grace South residence hall. The five-story apartment facility features 24-hour security, two outdoor courtyards with seating, study lounges, several classroom spaces, spacious community rooms (one includes a fireplace), and game rooms throughout the building. Green roofs and solar panels can also be found on top of the LEED-certified building and will help with energy and water conservation. Currently the first two floors of the West Grace South are home to VCU ASPiRE, a new living-learning program for sophomores.
Our admissions staff recently had an opportunity to get a sneak peak of the facility before all of the students move in – this facility definitely got our stamp of approval! Here is a photo West Grace South – in the foreground you can see that contractors are hard at work on the next addition to our residence halls, West Grace North, which is scheduled to be open by fall 2013.
WG South.JPG