31 Jan

Comments Off on Thursday Thoughts – Financialese 101: The Basics of Jargon

Thursday Thoughts – Financialese 101: The Basics of Jargon

by

By Dan Fenyo

So, you’ve gotten your financial aid package in the mail and tore it open only to find a sheet of paper so densely cluttered with verbiage that you nearly fainted. Sound familiar? If so, I thought today would be a good time to break down what some of the lingo you’ll encounter on a financial aid package means for you (and your wallet!) I’ll be referencing our financial aid letter specifically, but much of the language I discuss will be common to any school your child applies to.

Right off the bat, the first two big numbers you’ll see are Resident Cost and With Parent/Commuter Cost. These values represent the overall cost of tuition plus residency if applicable. Resident Cost, obviously, is a significantly higher sum as a result of Housing and Meals; these are what we call Direct Costs – that is, the costs directly associated with your student attending college. You might also see a series of Indirect Costs such as Books and Supplies, Transportation, and Personal Expenses. These values are estimates and based on what a student will likely spend in the course of a year. If a commuter student is eating filet mignon and oysters Rockefeller for lunch every day, you can bet their Indirect Cost is going to increase quite a bit! On the other hand, students who buy used textbooks and opt for more cost-effective supplies may see those expenses decrease. It’s generally safer to budget too much over too little, so estimates tend to err on the higher side. Direct and Indirect Costs combine to create a student’s Estimated Cost of Attendance which, as I mentioned, is probably slightly higher than the real cost. Continue Reading

Filed Under: Admissions

Tags:

28 Jan

Comments Off on English at the Mount: Not all that meets the eye

English at the Mount: Not all that meets the eye

by

Victoria Kuhr ’20 (bottom row, first from left) is also a part of the Dominican Scholars of Hope, a living and learning community at the Mount dedicated to discovering and participating in the Mount’s Dominican heritage.

Despite having a self-proclaimed Type A personality, junior Victoria Kuhr was attracted to becoming an English major because of the very diversity and unstructured nature of the study.

“I was drawn to being an English major because of how diverse the major is and how there is not one direction nor field you can go in,” she explains.

The best advantage Victoria sees to being an English major is the tight knit community  she found in the Division of Arts and Letters.

“My academic division is fairly small, but it is extraordinarily close knit,” she said. “I feel I practically live in the Arts and Letters departments during certain times of the year whether needing help in my work or just to chat to some of my professors.” Continue Reading

28 Jan

Comments Off on FAFSA is Your Friend

FAFSA is Your Friend

by

By Dan Fenyo

If you have a child applying to enter college in the fall semester and have already filled out the FAFSA form, congratulations! If you haven’t filled out the FAFSA form (or have never heard of it), then we need to have a serious chat.

FAFSA, also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, has gained a reputation among parents of college applicants as a sort of bureaucratic boogeyman. To the uninitiated filer, it might seem like incomprehensible gibberish designed to be deliberately baffling. To the experienced filer though, it may become a veritable nemesis in the most classical sense: impending, unavoidable, and fated doom.

I’m not here to sell anybody on the joys of paperwork. Far be it from me to defend a ten-page document which, at thirteen-thousand words, is almost exactly half of the length of The Old Man and the Sea. The question stands: why should I fill out an application on the same order of magnitude as a Hemingway novel?

The answer is of course, free money. By filing your FAFSA form, you become eligible to receive loans and grants for your student’s tuition, books, residency, or indirect college costs. These financial aid packages will be calculated and disbursed by each institution whose six-digit Federal School Code (FSC) appears on a filer’s FAFSA app. In the case of your student applying to Mount Saint Mary College, you’ll want to include our FSC, 002778, when you file. When your application is processed, our Office of Student Financial Services will send you a letter outlining the types of aid and their respective values. The earlier you file your FAFSA form, the faster you’ll receive a financial aid package, so aim to complete the form as soon after the October 1st start date as possible!

Every school will mail out financial aid packages at slightly different times, but if you’ve filed FAFSA and haven’t heard back from all the colleges your student has applied to by early February, it might be a good time to contact the school directly and get some more information. For Mount applicants, I always suggest that the admissions counselor for your region be your very first point of contact for anything. Even if we can’t answer your questions directly, we’ll be able to facilitate your contact with other offices on campus. If you aren’t sure who represents your region, check out this page for information about our entire team.

Understanding financial aid can be one of the most crucial (and more confusing) components of college admission; don’t feel like you have to tackle it alone. When in doubt, contact your admissions counselor!

Later this week, we’ll break down some of the specific pieces of aid that you might see in a financial aid package and delve into the nitty-gritty of loans vs. grants, interest rates, subsidization, and payment plans! Until then, make sure you share your questions about financial aid on Facebook and Instagram!



Daniel Fenyo
has been an admissions counselor at the Mount since September 2018. A lifelong Hudson Valley resident, he enjoys reading, writing, and all things nerdy in his free time.

Find out more about becoming part of the Knight Life at Mount Saint Mary College by visiting our Admissions site!

Filed Under: Admissions

Tags:

24 Jan

Comments Off on Thursday Thoughts: The Mount loves alumni!

Thursday Thoughts: The Mount loves alumni!

by

Mount alumnus Jeremy Smith ’06 (center) will be the keynote speaker at this Sunday’s Open House.

By Dan Fenyo

When I think of a typical college alumnus, I’m guilty of imagining a graduate from the distant past with a comical lack of bearing on the school’s current state of affairs: spirited, nostalgic, and completely disconnected from reality. For fans of The Office, you might be reminded of Andy Bernard and his beloved alma mater.

My prejudice is unfair though, isn’t it? While the world may be somewhat populated by the likes of Mr. Bernard, my time at the Mount has given me greater insight into the world of alumni. Compared to universities like Harvard and the College of William & Mary (both of which were established in the 17th century), the Mount (having been established in 1959) is practically brand new! In fact, several of our “alumni-at-large” are members of some of the earliest graduating classes. At the same time, many of our active alums are recent graduates who continue to participate in our campus community and share their stories.

Jeremy Smith, MSMC Class of ’06, has maintained his relationship with the Mount for over 10 years, and we are thrilled to have him back as our keynote alumni speaker for this Sunday’s Open House to hear about how his time in college prepared him for a lifetime of success. Mount Saint Mary College’s Career Center helped to place Jeremy in an internship at Travelers Insurance as a student. By the time he graduated, he had already been offered a full-time position in the firm. Since then, he’s become the director of Automation Engineering at Travelers and, with the help of his wife Lizette (MSMC Class of ’07), created his own mass electronic messaging company, SKYWIREme. Alumni like Jeremy and Lizette are only part of the incredible legacy that Mount graduates have forged in just a few years. You won’t see them reminiscing about the old days at school; they’re continuing to make memories every day at the Mount.

To hear more about their story and meet more of our superstar alumni, check out our last Open House of the season!


Daniel Fenyo has been an admissions counselor at the Mount since September 2018. A lifelong Hudson Valley resident, he enjoys reading, writing, and all things nerdy in his free time.

Find out more about becoming part of the Knight Life at Mount Saint Mary College by visiting our Admissions site!

Filed Under: Admissions

Tags:

21 Jan

Comments Off on Open House Opens Doors

Open House Opens Doors

by

By Dan Fenyo

Last week, I talked about taking advantage of College Fairs. This week, let’s look at one of the next big steps in the college search: Open House.

So, you and your student walked around a fair and spoke with some friendly, informative college representatives. Maybe you filled out some inquiry cards and took a few pamphlets to read at home. The next logical move is to consider visiting some campuses, of course! When it comes to visiting, what could be a better opportunity than Open House?

With the Mount’s last Open House of the season coming up on January 27th, it’s the perfect time to go over my top five reasons to attend!

There’s no substitute for personal experience!

A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of how being on campus makes you “feel”. You can do all the research in the world before choosing where to enroll, but no amount of data can replace the essential act of physically being on campus. Furthermore, your own experience is fundamentally incontestable; I’ll happily wax poetic about our stunning view of the Hudson River, but seeing is believing after all. On the other hand, I’ve spoken with countless students who had a “dream school” in mind . . . until they visited. Often, the confirmation (or refutation) of a student’s preconceived concept of a college is linked to their visit in an indescribable way. Some of the most common phrases I hear from visiting students have a certain transcendental vagueness to them: “I just knew it was the right place” or “the ‘vibes’ were good”. Nebulousness aside, these confirmatory evaluations are really shorthand for saying “the campus was clean and the students were friendly and the view was beautiful and the wallpaper in the restroom was tasteful and the professors were approachable and the institutional infrastructure was stable and accommodating.” Of course, we can’t necessarily expect most 17-year-olds to make such specific assessments, so we’re happy to hear about the “vibes”.

Get the inside scoop from the experts!

Before you attend Open House, you’ve already done plenty of homework. I bet you can already know about our NCLEX pass rate (over 80%) and what proportion of students are hired in a relevant position within six months of graduation (95%, of course!), but there’s so much more to a college than raw data. The opportunity to go on a campus tour with one of our Student Ambassadors offers visitors personalized insight into the Mount experience. I asked Emily Gilligan, one of our ambassadors, about her favorite insider scoop she shares on tours. Emily says:

“Student activities is one of the best places on campus. Besides organizing clubs they do a bunch of activities on and off campus. They get feedback from members of the Knight community and Student Activities does whatever they can to make it happen. This past semester alone they organized two rolling skating trips, a petting zoo, and a food truck fair on campus. Student Activities also plans trips to Broadway shows, sporting events, and shopping outlets. This semester they are taking a trip to see Mean Girls on broadways for only $30! That’s just unheard of!”

Every ambassador has their own wealth of knowledge waiting to be tapped. When you’re on a tour, make sure you ask about their favorite spots on campus, the professors they recommend, and all the other secret tips you won’t find in a pamphlet!

Meet the Mount Community: Past, present, and future!

By enrolling at a college, you’re joining a family of current student and Alumni to create a lasting Mount legacy. At Open House, you’ll meet some of the individuals who make Mount Saint Mary College such a special place. Our family isn’t just students either; from the first steps you and your child take on campus, you’re a part of an ever-growing population of students, parents, brothers, sisters, and friends who are all #LovinTheKnightLife! Take the time to meet our alumni and hear what being a Knight means to them.

Our current students and alumni may make up the foundation of our community, but you and your student are the future of the Mount. At Open House, the friendships you make could last for the next four years, or maybe a lifetime.

Try the food!

Ok, this one might seem a little silly, but hear me out! I’m not here to convince you that our campus dining hall is going to outdo your cherished family recipes. The point is, college is, for many students, the first appreciable period of time spent away from the comforts of home. In order to ameliorate that transition, be mindful of the creature comforts available to students on campus. Dining options are just one of several amenities you’ll have the opportunity to explore at Open House. During a campus tour, try to think of all the conveniences available to your child at home. Will they have access to those same conveniences at school? Living spaces, common areas, washer/dryer availability, on- and off-campus transportation options, health services, and security are all aspects of living on a college campus that one should keep in mind during a visit. For your child, school will be a home-away-from-home for four years; before they leave the nest, be certain they’ll be safe, happy, and well-fed!

Start building your network!

Is success really all about who you know? Well, probably not. Hard work and dedication are still the best way to get ahead in a collegiate environment, but having connections to your campus can be an additional advantage. By attending Open House, you and your student can meet their future professors and begin to open lines of communication for the future. By establishing early relationships with scholars around campus, your child may be setting themselves up for future opportunities like exclusive study abroad programs, research opportunities, and internships. For students who are still in the application process, Open House is also an excellent occasion to meet with their Admissions Counselor (hey, that might be me!), a Financial Aid Counselor, an Academic Advisor, Athletic Recruiter, or a HEOP Representative. Establishing a connection to staff members like me is an excellent way to help us better serve you through every step your child’s college journey.

Have you been to a college Open House yet? Why not check out the Mount on Sunday, January 27th?

Click here to RSVP for our last Open House of the season.

Make sure you say hello if you see me!



Daniel Fenyo
has been an admissions counselor at the Mount since September 2018. A lifelong Hudson Valley resident, he enjoys reading, writing, and all things nerdy in his free time.

Find out more about becoming part of the Knight Life at Mount Saint Mary College by visiting our Admissions site!

Filed Under: Admissions

Tags: