Febryary and March are big months for colleges and universities across the United States. Many prospective students will be choosing where to spend their next four years. College admission offices are abuzz with activity as families proverbially “kick the tires” (I never understood how kicking the tires of anything proves its merit. Locals will most assuredly recall the grainy low-def video of a commercial in which a little girl kicks the tires of an auto at her grandfather’s dealership and announces, “That’s a good car, PAW PAW!” But, again, that’s for another entry.) of any number of would-be institutions via tours, classroom visits, friendly chats with admissions personnel, informal discussions with current students, a sampling of the fare in a dining hall, conversing with faculty, clicking through dozens of web site pages, and, yes, chancing upon the occasional blog.
At Loyola, we are blessed to be able to utilize a full complement of activities to ensure that students and families receive an authentic and three-dimensional glimpse of what we have here. This is why we love when people come to see us and we work very hard to make sure that they get what they need. Nicole Rios, our campus visit coordinator, is one of our people who makes this happen. She and our entire admissions and financial aid staffs have worked some very long hours to make sure we have been able to provide a window to Loyola for many hundreds of families across the United States, and the world.
Decisions as to where to attend college often fall into some general categories, but each person has the right to make their own personal choice, which means they get to own the complexity of their decision. And, it’s ok for a decision to come down not so much to a clincal, or sanitized review of the facts, but a feeling, and impression, an ethos. Yes, facts help, but our relation to the schools we attend are multi-layered, and bound to experience, past, current, and potential.
I wish everyone good luck in choosing the school that is right for them this year. As we’ve said in this space time and again, a Loyola education is an uncommon one and a remarkable long-term investment. Of course, it works both ways: students enroll to enjoy a great eduction, and we gain the honor of delivering it to them. And, we are simply in awe of the extraordinary students and families who have come into our lives this year, and, therefore, we expect to enroll a brilliant and diverse class in fall 2010.
For this, in one of the most revered of Ignatian traditions, we are most grateful.