We headed north of NYC for our last day of the Greater NYC college tour. Iona College and Marist College were on the schedule.
Iona College was on my must see list for a long time. I was thrilled to finally tour campus and hear more about the school from Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Brother Jason Ford. Iona is a faith-based, small liberal arts college founded by the Christian Brothers. Nearly 65-percent of its 3,000 undergraduates identify as Roman Catholic and 15-percent identify as Jewish. The Westchester, gated campus is compact and pristine. The students can choose from 45 majors. The most popular areas of study are mass communications and business. Accounting is especially strong and students often land jobs at one of the “big” accounting firms in NYC. Studying abroad is popular and offered on six continents. Many students choose to study in one of Iona’s abroad programs: Edinburgh, Dublin, Madrid, Paris, Rome and Barcelona. Currently, 65-percent of undergraduates reside on campus. However, the beautiful new dorm nearing completion promises to guarantee housing for three years and increase the percentage of residential students. There’s lots of school pride and spirit on campus and can be seen by students wearing Iona sportswear. Athletics are big! Iona consistently ranks nationally in both men’s and women’s basketball. We also learned that cross-country and water polo are highly competitive division I sports on campus as well. Service and community outreach is encouraged and popular, which is seen by the many service clubs on campus. The College Assistance Program (CAP) is a fee-based, comprehensive academic resource program for students with learning disabilities and/or ADHD. There are 12 learning specialists for the program’s 75-90 students. Each student is paired up with a personal academic advisor, and tutors meet with the student two times a week. CAP advisers recommend professors who may best teach to a student’s individual learning style. CAP students are given early class registration. The Rudin Center is open to all Iona students. It offers writing assistance and professional tutoring on a walk-in or by appointment basis. Admissions takes a holistic approach. Students interested in the honors college must write an additional essay. All students invited into the honors college are eligible for early registration, honors housing, and one free class each semester. One-hundred-percent of Iona students receive merit and/or need-based aid. Merit aid ranges from $7,500 to full tuition.
Marist College was our final stop of the tour. We were fortunate to visit campus on a gorgeous spring day, which only magnified the campus’s beauty. Marist overlooks the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, NY and is home to approximately 5,000 undergraduates. As we headed for the campus boathouse for lunch, we passed students sunbathing, playing Frisbee and lounging by the river’s edge with friends. Marist was founded as a seminary for Marist Brothers over a century ago. Today it is a non-denominational institution. More than three-quarters of the student body self identify as Roman Catholic. Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Luis Santiago, told us that business, communications, education and biology are the most popular majors. Fashion design and computer science are hidden gems. Students take advantage of accessibility to NYC by Metro North and participate in a variety of paid internships. The student panel told us that Marist students are uber involved on campus. Athletes compete in Division I athletics. There are plentiful opportunities for service as well. The fee-based Learning Disabilities Support Program is a comprehensive academic support program for students with a diagnosed learning difference and/or ADHD. Students must apply to both the college and the program. There are eight fulltime learning specialists who work with the program’s 170 students one-on-one. Freshmen admitted into the program meet with a learning specialist twice a week. Sophomores typically meet with the learning specialist once a week. When reviewing applications, admissions takes a holistic approach. Marist is a test optional school. Demonstrated interest is important. Each fall 50 freshmen students begin their college experience in Italy at Marist’s Florence campus. (To learn more about Marist, check out my blog July 8, 2014)
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