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If you’re a high school senior hoping to attend a college or university next fall, there’s a good chance it’s crunch time for you. Application deadlines or priority deadlines are looming, and you’re rushing (hopefully not too frantically…see No. 2) to get them all turned in. Here’s two handfuls of common mistakes to avoid in your haste…

10. Having mom and dad do it for you.  It’s OK to get some advice from your parents, but neither one of them should be filling out applications or writing essays for you. Colleges want to hear from YOU, not mom and dad. We know you’re busy, but you’re not that busy. (Just wait until you get to college—then you’ll realize how good you had it!)

9. Using your “clever” e-mail address and/or not checking it.  Listen up biebsbiggestfan@aim.com, we know you love the pop star, but that won’t win over most college admissions counselors. And whatever you put down as your e-mail, check it often. There may be pertinent information from your top choice waiting in your inbox.

8. Writing illegibly.  If your name, address, phone number and e-mail look more like hieroglyphics than standard English, the admissions office has no way of contacting you (whatever it guesses that your name might be).

7. Using the wrong college’s name in your essay.  Believe it or not, this happens more than you’d think. Admissions offices realize you may be re-using similar essays for similar prompts, but when you copy & paste, be sure to double check you’re using the correct college’s name.

6. Misspelling words and committing grammatical errors.  This is an easy one. Just proofread everything carefully before submitting or have someone do it for you, and you should be fine.

5. Forgetting your signature.  If an application calls for a signature, chances are the admissions office cannot process your application until they have that. Thus, if you forget your John Hancock, your application will most likely be put on hold.

4. Not sending your transcripts and test scores.  Again, in almost all cases, schools are going to need to see both your high school transcript and standardized test scores. Failure to submit these in support of your application will result in a lengthy wait for a decision.

3. Not answering optional questions.  Even though it may say optional, a university would not put a question or prompt on an application if they didn’t want students to complete that portion. Anything of the sort is an opportunity for you to separate yourself from the rest.

2. Waiting until last minute.  An admissions office is a whirlwind of a place—busy, busy, busy. Waiting until the absolute last second to turn in your application isn’t going to help your chances.

1. Lying!  If an admissions counselor discovers you’ve been untruthful in any way on your application, you can just about kiss your chances of acceptance goodbye.

Dave Floyd is an Admissions Counselor at Waynesburg University, whose travel territory includes Westmoreland County, Eastern Pennsylvania and the Northeast states. He is also a 2012 Waynesburg alumnus.

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Dear WU,

I recently registered for my last semester with you, and I can’t help but feel upset about this end to an important ritual of my college career. Somehow, I can’t picture myself anywhere but where I am now.

As you know, when I began looking at schools as a high school senior, you were on the list with two other Christian universities. I toured those other two schools, liking much of what I saw and even applied to them, thinking of how my future would be if I were to attend one of them.

I toured you last and there was an immediate change. Although I had my heart set on an equestrian school, I didn’t get the same feeling with those other schools because you were the one that made me feel as though I belonged.

There has been a lot of push and pull in our relationship throughout the years: classes I didn’t want to take, but ended up liking; class assignments that nearly pushed me over the edge, but I overcame; and exams that kept me up nights worrying over, but the end result always turned out better than I imagined.

I am now able to see that you only challenged me because you knew I could do it, no matter how many times I said I couldn’t, and I want to apologize for being so stubborn.

I have not always liked you, especially on the days where I received nothing but papers scribbled over in red ink—slashes and lines through my creative thoughts like a connect-the-dot activity sheet. I cried over those days more times than I feel comfortable confessing to you. What I couldn’t see at the time, however, was how much all of those scribbles would allow me to grow into a much better writer.

So much has happened over these past four years, some of which has been life-altering. It’s difficult to think of where my life would be if I would not have chosen you. You helped to peel back the layers of my insecurities as a person, writer and Christian, giving me chances to grow beyond the expectations I had originally placed for myself. My whole self-concept has changed, thanks to you.

Do you remember when I went for my interview with the Admissions Department as a freshman for a Student Ambassador position? I walked into that interview like a typical freshman: naïve and irrational. I remember adamantly saying the words “I will do anything you need, but I will never give a tour” to the admissions counselor, fully knowing that was in the job description. She and you had a good laugh, I’m sure.

The first time I gave a tour, I was so nervous I couldn’t remember anything I had rehearsed, but I made it through. To my surprise, families even began to tell me they couldn’t believe I had ever been shy. I give you the credit for those statements. Had it not been for you, I would have quit and crawled back into my comfortable shell of invisibility.

Through you, I went from being an insecure introvert to a confident, somewhat more sociable young woman who is no longer afraid of people looking at her because she knows she is important.

They say coming to college is part of a transitional phase of life which helps set the foundations for our future goals and careers, but to me it has been so much more than that. Finding my way to you has been a type of reawakening in my life.

During these past four years, I’ve repeatedly lost and regained confidence in my abilities; I’ve had my heart broken and restored again (like so many my age); I’ve lost high school friendships and gained stronger, less selfish ones; I’ve lost sight of my faith only to find a stronger, more cognizant version; and most importantly, I’ve learned who I am as a person and who I want to become as I continue to grow.

My final registration signifies this chapter in my life is about to end and as I sit here writing this letter to you, I hate to think this journey is almost over. Like a friend, you have become close to my heart and I know, even once I’m gone, that is where you will remain.

Thank you for all you have done for me, both good and bad, for they have made me who I am today.

Sincerely,
Kayla Longstreth

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kenya4194-handing-over-2.jpgSeveral hundred people in Kenya have access to clean water because of Alex Tenenbaum and his drive to positively affect those dying due to a lack of basic needs.

The junior information technology major at Waynesburg University led the EcoStewards Club in raising several thousand dollars for The Water Project in an effort to provide clean water to a primary school in Bukhaywa, located in western Kenya. With a population of 760 students, 18 teachers and three sub-ordinate staff, the school had previously gotten water from a stream.

Water collected from the stream was not clean, and it was two kilometers away.

The project involved the repair of a hand-dug well, which served the community and school from 1994 to 2006, when it was contaminated and later vandalized.

Co-sponsored by the EcoStewards Club, Tenenbaum and other members of the organization raised $5,050 within three months, and within three months from reaching their monetary goal, they had confirmation of project completion in pictures.

“The whole project was a challenge,” Tenenbaum said, “but I just kept in mind my goal. It was all about the kids there – not about me and the struggles I went through to make this happen. When I saw the pictures, the smiling faces of all those people over there, it really hit home.”

With one of those pictures now adorning the wall of his dorm room, Tenenbaum needs only to look at it for motivation for his new project – another well in another part of Africa. As he manages his busy schedule of classes, preparing to study abroad in Italy next semester, working ten hours a week and attending EcoStewards Club meetings, Tenebaum continues to reserve time for his passion, in hopes of funding the repair of another well by the end of this semester.

“When people ask me, ‘Who are you impacting?’ My first thought is the world.” Tenebaum said. “It might sound crazy, but we really did. We made a difference.”

Tenenbaum has hopes it will be easier for him this time around – he is enrolled in fundraising and environmental biology courses with the goal of learning more about how to reach his goal and of the effects his project could have.

“Plus, I can tell people, I did this before. I already raised $5,050 once. I can do it again,” he said.

One of Tenebaum’s life goals is to use his God given talents and the knowledge he gains at Waynesburg University through his information technology major and sociology minor to help the disadvantaged.

“I want to use technology to make a difference,” Tenebaum said. “I’m not sure how I’m going to do that yet, but I’m confident I’ll figure it out.”

Some would say he already has.

For more information, contact Tenebaum at ten6901@student.waynesburg.edu.

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As the college search continues for many high school students, the question of whether to attend a secular or Christian institution
may come to the forefront of the discussion. This can be a difficult topic, as students try to discern where God is leading them in the midst of such b2ap3_thumbnail_Waynesburg-University-Chapel.pngtransition and change. While individuals searching for their true calling and direction in life can certainly follow God’s will at secular schools, there are advantages to attending a Christian college or university. Here are the top three…

3. Academic instruction.  In many cases, choosing a Christian institution means choosing a smaller setting. According to collegestats.org, 817 of the country’s religiously affiliated schools have less than 5,000 students. And nearly 400 of those have less than 1,000. So what’s that mean for your academics? It means smaller class sizes, more hands-on learning opportunities and much more individualized attention from faculty. Also, often times, those professors will share the Christian perspective on the subject matters they teach (after laying out all of the facts, of course), allowing students to explore and discover in an informed manner.

2. Service opportunities.  Matthew 20:28 reads, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…”  Thus, it’s no surprise that the types of institutions that bear Christ’s name provide boundless opportunities for their students to serve the world around them. Whether it’s serving locally at Habitat for Humanity or traveling halfway across the globe to work with impoverished youth, these experiences prove life altering for so many. And the best schools will seek not only to provide these outlets at their respective institutions, but also to equip their students for a lifetime of servitude for the glory of God.

1. Students’ holistic development.  To many (including myself!), the No. 1 reason to consider a Christian college or university is the opportunity to develop holistically as a person. From top to bottom, the faculty and staff at these institutions care about so much more than just what letter goes down in the grade book. They pour their heart, soul and precious time into students to ensure that they’re not only better job prospects, but that they’re also better men and women of God. And at a time when fiscal responsibility is on the top of everyone’s priority list, that type of college experience is a value that’s worth every single penny. 

Dave Floyd is an Admissions Counselor at Waynesburg University, whose travel territory includes Westmoreland County, Eastern Pennsylvania and the Northeast states. He is also a 2012 Waynesburg alumnus.

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With so many colleges and universities out there to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where all to apply. After filling out a few, you may look at the next school on your list and think to yourself, “Why should I apply here?” Well, if you’re asking that about Waynesburg University, this list is your answer! Here’s the top five reasons to apply to Waynesburg:

5. It’s free! Not much to explain here. If you apply online, it won’t cost you a penny!

4. Fun. College isn’t all about books, and Waynesburg knows that. Whether you’re off to practice, enjoying Bingo night, taking a trip to Pittsburgh or just hanging with friends in the residence halls, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do. Oh, and traditions that students enjoy? We’ve got a bunch of those, too. The President’s Breakfast and Pumpkin Bowling are but a couple.

3. Achievement Awards. Depending on where you’re at with your cumulative high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores, you could be in line for anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000 (four-year totals) in Achievement Awards. If you apply and are accepted, you’ll find out right on your acceptance letter how much, if any, you may qualify for. This, along with other Financial Aid, could help defray the total cost of attending Waynesburg, which is already about $8,500 less than other private, four-year institutions!

2. Hands-on learning. Hands-on learning is a staple here, and in almost every major, that starts freshman year. Whether you’re assessing injuries on the football field, analyzing blood spatter in the Forensic Science Lab or broadcasting events from the University’s remote TV truck, you won’t just be sitting in a classroom. When you are, though, it’ll only be with about 24 others. As a result, your professors will know you and invest themselves in your learning.

1. People. Cliché? Maybe. But to so many here, the best part of Waynesburg truly is its people. Those faculty members we just mentioned, Residence Life, Campus Ministry Assistants, coaches, and the list could go on – all here committed to our mission of Christian faith, scholarship and service, and to your holistic development as a person.

As you can see, no matter what your criteria, Waynesburg has something for you. Don’t wait; apply today! (Remember, it’s free!)

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