Kyle Swartz is a senior at Gonzaga studying Political Science with a minor in Sociology. Kyle came to Gonzaga from Toledo, OH where he graduated from St. John's Jesuit High School. Kyle is our GEL Student Coordinator and would like to share with you a little more about what GEL Weekend is all about. To register for GEL or to learn more about it, please go to www.gonzaga.edu/GEL.
We know that getting to Spokane to visit Gonzaga isn't easy for some of our prospective students. Perhaps you live far away. Maybe the cost of a trip here is just too expensive for you and your family. Or possibly your schedule is just too busy for you to get away to visit us. Whatever the reason, we want to help you see and experience GU, even if you can't make the trip out here in person.
So to help you with that, we have a great virtual tour of campus for you. You can visit all the areas of campus that you'd see on Gonzaga's normal campus tour route, plus some extra spots that aren't even included on our usual tour. Check it out!
Happy New Year from the Office of Admission here at Gonzaga! And if you were admitted to Gonzaga in our Early Action pool, congratulations!* We read so many amazing applications in our Early Action pool. Many of you have been active in music, theater, dance, and athletics. A lot of you have held jobs throughout high school, and some have even started their own businesses. We're still awed by the sheer number of you who've used some of your remaining free time for volunteer service in your communities. On top of that, so many of you shared stories and future goals in your essays that inspired us. And, finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't say how impressed we were with the commitment to academics we saw among our Early Action applicants. Gonzaga offers exceptional academic programs that will allow you to continue in the next phase of your academic journey.
If you're an Early Action accept, here are some other bits of information to keep in mind going forward:
If you've been following news about the rollout of HealthCare.gov, you know that launching a new website for the masses can sometimes have its hiccups. Just like many who were eager to apply for health insurance have encountered problems with that site, we’ve heard from several students, counselors, and teachers who have faced some problems completing the Common App this fall. Since Gonzaga exclusively uses the Common App as our application for admission, we thought it might be helpful to update you about what's going on and to offer some tips if you’re having problems with it as you’re trying to apply for our Early Action deadline on Nov. 15.
First, let's start with the basic facts about what's going on. The Common App implemented a complete overhaul of its web infrastructure in August. Their goal was to make applying to colleges through the Common App more user-friendly and efficient. Unfortunately, they're still ironing out some of the kinks in their new system.
These are some of the problems we've heard about so far:
We're less than a month away from our non-binding Early Action deadline of November 15. My colleagues and I have chatted with a lot of you in person so far this fall about your applications and have offered tips about how to make them as strong as possible. However, we sadly can't have these conversations with every student who applies to Gonzaga. So, in an attempt to cast our net a bit wider in spreading the word, I thought I'd put some of these bits of advice up on our blog.
First things first. We're a Common App-exclusive school. That means our only application for admission is through the Common App. What's the Common App? Basically, it's a generic college application that many colleges and universities, particularly private ones, use. One of its main purposes is to save you, the student, time by reducing the number of different applications you need to complete. If you're planning to apply to multiple schools who are Common App members, essentially you can do one basic application to all those schools. Each school has some unique items (sometimes an additional essay or short answer question, for example) on its Member Page. However, most of the application is the same for all member schools. So, you can begin the process of applying by creating an account for yourself on Common App.
To avoid reinventing the proverbial wheel, though, please check out the previous posts that we've done on this topic here, here, and--the granddaddy of them all--here. Keep in mind, too, that we offer an optional admission interview, which is also considered when we review a student's application. There's some advice and info about that here.
Okay, if you've read through all that, but you're still desperate for even more pearls of application wisdom from us... well, how could we turn you away? Here are a few more quick nuggets for you:
Today I received an e-mail from a mom who had just visited Gonzaga with her son. Both of them had done some pretty extensive research about Gonzaga before coming up to visit. (The mom even mentioned reading this blog--yay!) In her e-mail, though, she made some perceptive comments about the unique value of visiting campus. During their visit, they were able to get a tour from a current Gonzaga student, discuss the admissions process during an admission interview, and meet with a professor. Reflecting on the visit, she wrote, "Most of all we loved the people."
We consistently hear our current students echo this point: the sense of community at Gonzaga just feels like nowhere else they've ever been. And that is a testament to the incredible students, faculty, and staff who are part of this community here.
However, this sense of community isn't easily transmitted through glossy brochures, videos, or blog posts. It's something you have to experience in person. We in Admissions try to capture it in flashes and glimmers here and there, bottle it up, and bring it to you in other ways. But all our efforts pale in comparison with the real thing. This is why visiting campus is such a vital part of the college search.
We especially encourage you to come on a Preview Day. These are kind of like "open house" days at Gonzaga. On a Preview Day, we offer most of the stuff you can get on a normal visit day (campus tour, meeting with an admission counselor), plus more:
Now that it's fall, we've resumed our usual gallivanting around the country looking to meet with prospective students at high schools and college fairs. Miraculously, earlier this week for a couple days, all of our staff was here in Spokane working in the Admissions office. But that didn't last long.
Here are the states we're visiting this fall:
Yesterday on campus, Gonzaga’s main pedestrian thoroughfare looked kind of like a college fair—and a pretty happening one at that. Tables lined the edge of the campus’s main pedestrian thoroughfare as student clubs and organizations recruited new members and promoted what they do on campus. And, thanks in part probably to the beautiful weather, GU students came out in droves to check it out.
Gonzaga student Dane and honorary Zag, Claire would like to take you on a tour of Gonzaga's campus as they perform their original song 'Chicken Scratch'.
Earlier this month, the Peace Corps ranked Gonzaga No. 1 nationally among small colleges and universities for the number of alumni who currently serve as volunteers. Gonzaga currently has 24 alumni serving across the world as Peace Corps volunteers. (It was actually a clean sweep for the state of Washington, as the University of Washington and Western Washington University claimed the No. 1 rankings for the large and medium size school categories, respectively.) In its history, Gonzaga has had 311 graduates volunteer in the Peace Corps.