the weekly online newsletter, The Chronicler,
and are answered by Admissions Director Tom McFadden.
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My daughter is taking classes at a community college. Which classes should she take so that they will transfer to Christendom?
I want to make sure I apply early enough so that I can avoid getting placed on a waiting list, and was wondering what timeline I should follow when applying. Thank you!
This year (2012-13), we had our best recruiting year and brought in the largest freshman class in our 35 year history. We did not end up having a waiting list, but there certainly could be one next year! But don't worry too much about that. Simply focus on getting everything together for your application and everything will be just fine, I think. As you are probably aware, Christendom has a little over 400 students this year, and our hope for next year is to have a little over 400 students. So, we are not growing, which means that sometimes there are more people interested in what we have to offer than we have room to handle. As long as applicants follow the timeline laid out below, there should be nothing to worry about.
For those applying for the Spring semester, it's best to have your completed application into us by November 15 at the latest. Then, we normally can let you know whether we can accept you or not by mid-December. At that point, you send in your $500 deposit and arrive on campus mid-January, ready to begin your academic career at Christendom! By the way, we do take first-time freshmen in the Spring, so if any of you are real eager to get on with life and come to college in January, you are welcome to apply for the Spring semester.
For those applying for the Fall semester, the schedule is as follows. You can apply now, if you want, and then, have your letters of recommendation, your SAT scores, and your transcripts sent in later. There is no need to wait to have it all submitted at the same time. You can apply online for free. If applying online, it is best to write and save your essays in Microsoft Word or some other type of format on your computer, and then copy and paste them into the space on our application. That way, if something bad happens to your computer while filling in the form or if it doesn't go through, then you will not have lost your essays.
If you choose to wait a little to apply, that's fine too. Our Early Action Deadline is December 1. What this means is that if you get all the parts of your application in to us on or before December 1, then we notify you of the Admissions Committee's decision on or before December 15th. At that point, you do not need to do anything about your acceptance, or make a decision as to whether you wish to attend Christendom, until March 15th, when you will have to send in a $500 deposit if you wish to attend.
Financial Aid applications will be available on our website (remember, we do not take Federal funds –but we do offer loans, grants, scholarships, and work study jobs - therefore we use our own form, not the FAFSA) around February 1, and that is also the time that we set our tuition, room, board, and scholarship amounts for the next Fall semester. You can download the form at that time and send it in, but you must have filed your taxes in order to apply for financial aid.
If you do not apply by December 1, and instead, choose to apply leading up to the March 1 Regular Application Deadline, then, if accepted, you will be notified by April 1 and you will have until May 1 to make your $500 deposit. But sometimes, if someone submits a very good application, the applicant could hear back from the Admissions Committee prior to April 1, so it is still a good idea to apply as early as possible, and not wait for the March 1 deadline to roll around.
If someone wishes to re-take the SAT or ACT, even if they have applied, been accepted, and even sent in a deposit, they are welcome to do so. The reason someone may wish to do this is because if their scores reach a certain level, they automatically receive a Presidential Academic Scholarship, and we use the best score that a student has submitted prior to entrance into Christendom (not prior to acceptance or deposit).
And finally, you have up until May 1 to ask for your deposit back if you end up choosing a different college - not that we want that to happen - but we understand that sometimes there are other issues affecting students' choices that require them to attend a different school, rather than their first-choice, Christendom.
If I want to transfer to Christendom, how do I go about doing it? I know that Christendom has a very solid and involved core curriculum, so I was wondering what kinds of courses might transfer? Thanks!
Each semester, we have around 10-20 students join us who have previously attended other colleges or universities. But also, we have lots of students who have taken some college courses at community colleges who are interested in having their credits transfer. We refer to the first set of students as transfer students, and the second set as students with transfer credits. Many homeschooled students who take a class here or there at a community college fall into the second category. I will do my best to try and explain how this all works.
As you mentioned in your question, Christendom does, indeed, have a very solid core curriculum and as a result, most of the time, classes taken at another college (unless it is very similar to Christendom) will not transfer as part of our core curriculum, but, rather, as electives. But, classes in math, science, or a language will normally transfer to Christendom and fulfill our requirements for those subjects. But if someone has taken classes in English, history, philosophy or the like, our academic affairs department will have to read over the course description, talk with the student, and review the type of subject matter taught in order to evaluate whether those courses would transfer as core requirements or elective classes.
If all of this doesn't make that much sense to you, it may have something to do with the fact that we deal with each transfer student individually, and as a result, we do not have a blanket statement about transfer credits or students. If you are interested in transferring from another college or university, you would fill in the application as normal, marking that you are a transfer student. You would submit your letters of recommendation, your SAT or ACT scores, and your college transcripts. As a transfer student, you are able to receive all the same scholarships or financial aid offers that you would have received if you were applying as a freshman.
Once you have been accepted to Christendom, our academic department will review your transcripts to determine if /how they will transfer.
Here is the page on our website, which may be helpful to you.
What are the deadlines for admission? Do you offer alternatives to regular admission such as early decision, early action, rolling admission? How many applications did you receive last year? What % were admitted?
Good question. Our admissions deadlines are December 1 for Early Action, and March 1 for Regular Admission. Early Action means that those students who complete their applications and send them to us by December 1 will be notified of our Admissions Committee's decision by December 15. At that point, any students who are accepted do not have to notify us of their intent to enroll at Christendom until March 15, although plenty of students tell us earlier than that. Even after a student deposits their $500 to reserve their place in the incoming class, that deposit is fully refundable up until May 1, as long as we are notified in writing on or before that date.
Regular admission means that students send in their complete application to us before March 1 and are then notified on April 1 of the Admissions Committee's decision. Those students would then have until May 1 to make a non-refundable deposit of $500 to hold their spot.
My advice to anyone truly interested in attending Christendom is to apply early! In that way, you can know whether you have been accepted to Christendom early and that would give you plenty of time to discern whether you want to join Christendom's family in the fall.
Even though I have been accepted, can I still retake the SAT or ACT to see if I can get a higher score so that I can get a better academic scholarship? Do you superscore SATs?
Students who have been accepted can continue taking the SATs as many times as they want to try and improve their scores to get better academic scholarships.
On a personal side note, although my children are ineligible to receive academic scholarship (due to the fact that they get free tuition), I have them take the SAT a number of times to try and get academic scholarship level scores. I have them take it for the first time when they are about 14 (or just about to turn 15) since I know that I am going to have them take it again and again until they do the best that they can do. I never want anyone to tell me that since my kids are, well, children of the Admissions Director, that they are getting a pass on doing well on the SATs. So far, my two eldest have done quite well, but only after taking it a second time. They both used a book called, Cracking the SAT, and they raised their score by a couple hundred points each. If you are going for scholarship, this is the book to get!
Whatever the final score is the day that the student arrives on campus in the fall is the final scholarship score we go with. I hope this helps!
I am only a Junior right now, but I am very interested in possibly attending Christendom after my graduation from high school next year. What are some things I should be doing to prepare for my senior year that would better my chances of being accepted to Christendom, and better my chances of doing well there if I enroll? Thanks!
My biggest recommendation for anyone who is seriously considering attending Christendom and is finishing Junior year is to attend one of our “Experience Christendom” Summer Programs (ECSP). I can’t tell you how important these programs are in helping interested students determine if Christendom is the place for them.
During the week-long ECSP program, students are taught by Christendom’s finest professors in Theology, Philosophy, History, and English Literature. You get the opportunity to experience real Christendom College classes and to see what this whole liberal arts business is about. You get to meet some of our current students who will be serving as Program Counselors and see if they are the type of students you want to be around or become. You get to spend time in our residence halls, eat our food, enjoy our surrounding areas, spend time with faculty and staff at their homes, and just have a lot of fun with about 40 other high school students from across the country who are, normally, quite similar to you in beliefs, family background, experiences, and outlook.
Secondly, take your SATs or ACTs as soon as possible, if you haven’t already. We will be having a competition for two full-tuition scholarships this year, and in order to be eligible to compete, students must have a 2060 or higher on the SAT (all three sections) or an ACT score of 31 or above.
Third, start looking around at college websites and reviewing college-guides, such as The Newman Guide, if going to a Catholic college/university is important to you. You should also come up with a list of things you “need” at college (location, major, price, etc), a list of things you “want” at college (certain extra-curricular activities, free laundry, wi-fi, etc), and a list of things you “don’t want” at college (intervisitation, anti-Catholic clubs/groups/speakers, cement wall dorm rooms, etc). Then, once you come up with your lists, call around and talk with Admissions Directors/Counselors at different schools to see what they say about all of these things. At that point, you could probably cross off a couple of your top schools, based on the answers you received. Then, once you have it down to two or three colleges, plan to make a campus visit during the fall semester of senior year.
For Christendom, the admissions committee is looking for a number of things in order to accept you: They want to see good SAT or ACT scores; they want to see well-written and thought-out essays; high school transcripts are important to them and they hope to see a GPA of 3.0 or above; and lastly, they want to see two letters of recommendation – one personal, the other academic. The academic letter of recommendation should be written by someone other than a parent (even if the parent is the main homeschooling teacher), if at all possible.
I see you have an Early Action Deadline. Do I need to wait until December 1 to apply, or can I apply earlier than that? Also, when will I hear back from you about the Admissions Committee's decision?
We do have an Early Action Deadline of December 1, and what that means is that if someone gets all their application materials into our office on or before that date, we guarantee them an answer from our Admissions Committee on or before December 15th. That's what the whole Early Action business is about.
Christendom accepts both the SAT and ACT, and it doesn't matter at all to us which you take.
One of the benefits of taking the SAT, though, over the ACT is that we superscore the three sections of all of your SAT tests that you have taken, whereas, for the ACT, we simply take the best one time composite score, regardless of whether you improved in one section or another. The superscoring can help with you getting academic scholarship too.
The answer to this is not exactly simple, but it is not all that difficult either. First of all, there are probably differing views on this, but from my experience of reading all of the application essays of all the prospective students, and from spending much time talking with the current students about this, that, and the other thing, I have come to some pretty well-founded conclusions. But I would rather you read an application essay from a student to see why she is interested in Christendom. I think it is a very good summary of the main reasons people pick Christendom, and it comes from someone who has spent some time on our campus, and investigated thoroughly other colleges.
Christendom College is the right college for me; an answer to prayer. It is a place where I can live among and befriend like-minded people, study the liberal arts with the guidance of knowledgeable, faithful professors, and thrive by proudly practicing my Catholic faith for the next years of my life. The college decision is a big, sometimes stressful, sometimes scary decision, but the thought of attending Christendom gives me nothing but peace and joy.
My initial attraction to Christendom College was to its vibrant Catholicity which permeates the lives of the students and faculty, classes, and campus activities. For a long time I have been sure that I want to pursue a liberal arts education; Christendom emphasizes the higher thinking of the liberal arts with the faithfulness to the Catholic Church that I am seeking. Growing up in a small, homeschooling family, in a small town, involved in a close-knit parish, I am attracted to the family-like atmosphere of the students and faculty who are unified in the practice of their faith and pursuit of holiness, who share a community rooted in Christian charity, and enjoy themselves through wholesome, productive activities. The most attractive thing about Christendom College is that its benefits need not be advertised: the high regard for liberal arts education and the passionate Catholicity of the college and its students and faculty is obvious without any explanation. After visiting the campus in the spring of 2011, taking part in the Experience Christendom Summer Program in 2012, and visiting again in the fall of 2012, I am so impressed with the edifying, interesting classes I was able to sit in on taught by charismatic professors; the zeal the students have for their faith and education, and the embodiment of Catholic morals in everyday life.
By attending Christendom College, I am confident that I will obtain an excellent education; an education in liberal arts which will help me grow in reason and right-thinking, which will help me live the universal call to holiness so that my final end will be heaven; knowing, loving and serving God and my neighbor in the vocation to which I will be called. Through my education at Christendom, I hope to pursue Truth and wisdom within and outside the classroom. I am seeking a liberal arts education because I am hoping to learn more about my purpose and goal in life by going beyond the study of practical career training to study the things greater than the works of man. Furthermore, I am looking for a faithful Catholic college because I want to pursue my studies in the light of the interpretation and explanation of the Magisterium of the Church.
At the same time, I feel assured that the atmosphere of Christendom would support, safe-guard, and fortify my Catholic faith and principles at a time and in a world when and where so many other people are ignorant to the existence of objective Truth and therefore struggle in vain. I am attracted to the way that Christendom regards Catholicism as the heart and soul of the whole college: in the classroom, where each class begins with prayer, through the sacraments and communal prayer, as daily Mass is offered and the Angelus is said before lunch every day, and in daily life at the college, as students and faculty strive for holiness in all works and recreation. As became apparent by meeting some of the students and faculty, I believe attending Christendom is an experience which prepares one for real life: the small, subtle, sometimes unnoticed characteristics of the college, such as the professional dress code, the sophisticated dancing, and the communal mealtimes, help form virtues which prepare students for the responsibilities of a career, the duties of practicing their faith in the world, and responsibilities of family life or religious life. I would like to leave Christendom as a mature, Catholic young woman who seeks truth in education and daily life, who is stalwart and zealous in the Catholic Faith, and who is prepared to fulfill the duties of my vocation.
Christendom’s diverse extracurricular activities also are of interest to me; I very much look forward to becoming an active member of Christendom College’s community. I hope to take part in intramural sports, try out for a few plays, assist at Masses by singing in the choir, defend life as part of Shield of Roses, and perhaps surprise myself by branching out to some more unexpected activities. I am especially looking forward to participating at Mass, the sacraments, and religious events which celebrate our Catholic faith; an opportunity that is not readily available at many colleges. Christendom is obviously a place where strong friendships are fostered and I am excited to able to share my faith and interests with a diverse and well-rounded student body and faculty in the classroom, through clubs and special events, and in everyday campus life.
I am often asked, “Why Christendom?” It’s one of the easiest questions to answer: Christendom College provides the opportunity to pursue truth through a liberal arts education, the opportunity to practice and grow in the Catholic faith alongside student and faculty who share my faith and principles, and the opportunity take part in a wholesome, lively community on campus. Pope Benedict XVI states, “A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students become saints.” I believe that I will find such formation at Christendom: where the intellect is educated by studying Truth and the soul is prepared to assume the position of a mature, well-educated member of the Church and of society, in the light of Catholic understanding. I want to attend Christendom College because I am seeking a thorough liberal arts education, the graces that will come from “breathing Catholic,” and the opportunity to take part in a lively community of similarly-minded people.” – Grace M., Lake Wylie, SC.
Whenever I talk about my desire and interest in attending Christendom, the same question keeps coming up, over and over and over again. Besides the fact that people cannot seem to be able to pronounce the name of your school properly (they say something like Christiandom usually), this is the biggest question that comes up: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH A DEGREE FROM CHRISTIANDOM?
And here is my easiest and most frequent answer to that question: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH A DEGREE FROM CHRISTENDOM? Because the truth is, you can do anything you want. Sure, you say, that sounds good on paper, but what does it mean in reality. How can someone for example, with
- A theology degree become a restaurant manager?
- An English major become a partner with Pricewaterhouse Coopers?
- A philosophy major become a chief software architect for IBM?
- A political science major end up as the Vice President of Finance for Sirius XM Radio?
- A history major working as the CEO of his own construction company?
- A classics major begin working as an information assurance engineer at SRA International?
The short answer is, our graduates do this type of thing all of the time. Our graduates get jobs outside of the field of their study very easily because they are seen as very adaptable people, eager to learn, easy to train, and once on the job, they move ahead very quickly. There are many that say they do not believe that this is possible and that, in order to get ahead in life, one has to get a specific degree in a very specific field.
Christendom grads are employed in just about every field possible. We have alumni who have degrees in philosophy who are financial analysts and teachers. We have alumni with history degrees who are marketing professionals and officers in the military. Theology majors are now electrical engineers and computer software programmers. We have alumni who are doctors, lawyers, physical therapists, accountants, managers, nurses, educators, salesmen, graphic artists, editors, entrepreneurs, project managers, tradesmen, builders, carpenters, priests, religious, music teachers, art directors, drama teachers, missionaries, real estate agents, insurance salesmen, architects, dentists, college professors, Montessori teachers, computer scientists, and everything in between.
Additionally, Christendom has a full-time Director of Career Development, Mr. Mike Mochel, and he is very helpful to our students as they discern their career choices throughout their years at Christendom. His focus is on helping students figure out what types of employment they might enjoy, which grad schools they might wish to attend, and helping them be prepared for their jobs by aiding them with interview skills and resume writing. His office is located in our Student Center and his door is always open.
The liberal arts education that Christendom offers is good and useful in and of itself, but it also makes our graduates very employable. Our graduates are easily able to adapt to an ever-changing work environment and they have all the most sought-after skills, as evidenced by the following information:
- Liberal arts students advance more quickly to middle and senior management positions than their colleagues who pursued other fields of study . . . these graduates become employees that are ready to learn (AT&T Management Study).
- The liberal arts are more effective in teaching communication skills, general knowledge and information, an understanding of people, an appreciation of ethical concerns, an ability to organize and prioritize, and vital leadership skills (Fortune 500 study).
- Business leaders value liberal arts grads for their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, strong writing and speaking skills, self-discipline, exposure to diverse ideas, and global perspective (Hobart & William Smith Colleges study).
- Strong communications skills are the single most important attribute a candidate can have – and also the one most lacking among job applicants (Poll of hiring managers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers).
- A broad liberal arts education is preferred for future CEOs – blending knowledge of history, culture, philosophy, and economic policy, with international experience and problem-solving skills (The Wall Street Journal).
- Employers focus on finding graduates with the right skills rather than the right major, as a new employee with the right skills can easily learn the specifics of an industry. Employers desire transferable skills, skills employees take with them to any job, such as written and verbal communication skills, the ability to solve complex problems, to work well with others, and to adapt in a changing workplace – and these are characteristic of a liberal arts education (Survey by National Association of Colleges and Employers).
So, as a result of all of this, the short answer to your question about whether we are going to add a whole bunch of majors or not is “no.” But, as you can see from some of the facts stated above, there is no real need to add all those majors in order to get a decent job after graduation. What is important is that you become educated while in college, not trained, so that you can be adaptable and more able to work in a wide variety of fields.
So, please do not stop thinking about us and definitely don’t write us off because of the majors we offer. Apply online today!