Inside College Admissions: The College of St. Rose

Thinking about applying to The College of Saint Rose? We've got some great tips from Mary Grondahl, the college's VP for Enrollment Management on the do's and don'ts of applying to Saint Rose.

Noodle Education: Can you give us one great insider tip for getting in to The College of St. Rose?

Mary Grondahl: The number-one thing that's important for students is to take out a notebook (or iPad or laptop) and spend some time writing down how the university of your dreams would look to you: program mix, how many students are there, what it feels like to walk around there. Then you can get a sense of what your ideal is so as you start to look, you've already done a personal inventory. [Ed note: The College Wizard can be a great way to help you come up with this inventory.]

I ask parents to do the same thing for their son or daughter as they embark upon their search. Parents and their children often find themselves in a communications gridlock: this allows them to have a conversation. Do it before you get to that first high-school college night. Take an hour or even half an hour and sit down--student in one room and parents in another--then go out to dinner and have a conversation about "my expectations and your expectations." Ultimately they find out that there's either some commonality or a great divide. Then there's the opportunity to talk it out in a respectful process.

NE: Something that would surprise our users about the students at St. Rose?

MG: I think what would surprise people about St. Rose students is how serious of purpose they are. Our tagline is "Passion. Knowledge. Purpose." They know why they've selected us; why they're here. Whether they end up in the major they started in, their goal is to have a life of purpose while they're here, get a great job, or go to a great graduate school, and also have a really good quality of life afterward.

NE: If I were coming to visit your campus, what's one thing I should be sure to see or do?

MG: Well, first of all you have to get out of your car! We're and urban residential campus that grew up and outward in a neighborhood, so there's no real entrance to the campus. You need to get out of the car to see our campus green, a hidden jewel in the capital region. Then see some of our brand-new state-of-the-art facilities for art, music, interactive media, communications, music industries, and the sciences.

You should also visit the Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary. Although we were founded as a Catholic College in 1920, today we're an independent private institution that houses a really diverse student body. To support and fuel that we built this sanctuary in the middle of campus. The symbolism of it is really important.

NE: One thing a student should NOT do when applying to your school?

MG: What turns us off is when students apply to our institution and write an essay with the name of another institution in it. If we take the time and personal interest in you, you should do the same on the other end.

NE: I just got waitlisted at your school: any advice?

MG: Our process is personal and human. It's really important to us that you get in touch and let us know why you think you should be taken off the waitlist. Demonstrate an interest.

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