Tag: Undergrad Admission

Choosing a College Major VS Undecided

Choosing a College Major VS Undecided


While there are over 80 majors and minors to choose from at Loyola, believe it or not, one of the most popular majors in college these days is UNDECIDED! So don’t be afraid or embarrassed if that’s your current major of choice; you have plenty of time to finalize your choice during the first two years.  If you apply as a traditional Undecided student, you will be admitted to the College of Arts & Sciences which is home to most of the majors on-campus (but you can easily do an internal-transfer to the other schools should you choose a different major). Or, if you know you want to major in something related to business, you can choose the Undecided Business major so you’ll be enrolled in the Quinlan School of Business, but you’ll have time to narrow it down from there.

If you apply undecided, there are many different resources on campus designed to help you choose a major:

There is only one major at Loyola that is impossible to transfer into and that is Nursing. So if you are interested in nursing, be sure to indicate that on your incoming freshmen application, as you can transfer out but you cannot transfer in (even if it’s only your second day at Loyola and you started as a Biology major). You are able to transfer into any other major, so again, don’t be hesitant to apply undecided!

It’s more important to submit your application in a timely manner instead of waiting because you can’t choose a major. However, if you are certain which major you identify with, be sure to indicate that on your application, because all of our programs are direct-entry, so you are admitted to them and will begin in that program on you first day of classes.

All of our majors fall under these different undergraduate schools:

Good luck, future Ramblers!




Tips for College Fair Attendance

Tips for College Fair Attendance

Oh man, it’s been a minute since I last blogged. But the Fall is upon us again which means another admission cycle and more importantly, COLLEGE FAIR SEASON!

While College Fair Season isn’t an official season like Summer or Fall, there are a number exciting things about the start of this time of year. College fairs are one of the best ways to see and learn about a large number of universities in one foul swoop. They’re also a great way to get excited about the prospect of higher education.

But just like any season there are adjustments that need to be made. And that’s why I’m here. I’m here to give you some tips and pointers to maximizing your college fair experience. Let’s dive on in:

Do Some Pre-Planning– Most fairs have a list of institutions attending well before the start of the fair. If you can, check out the list and note the top school you’re interested in. Then, mark some schools you’ve heard of and want to know more about. When you arrive to the actual fair grab a map and head to your top schools first (but don’t run) then your secondary schools. Once you’re done with those wonder around for a bit. Explore some places you’ve never heard of and grab their information. The point of these fairs is to learn more about the schools you’re interested in and to explore others you may have never heard of before.

Think of Some Questions Before Attending– You don’t need to have a list of written questions you ask to every table you visit, but having a couple pre-thought questions will help you utilize your time properly. Asking simple fact questions (like size, minimum requirements etc) can be avoided since most of those answers are in the hand-out materials. Instead ask more in depth questions like, “what makes your school unique?” or “what are some of the popular and active student groups on campus?” Asking these types of questions will help paint a more well-rounded picture of the college or university beyond stats /figures. If you’re stumped on what questions to ask, see your college counselor. They are a wealth of information in all aspects of the college search.

Avoid Asking, “How good is your X program?” and “What do I have to have to have get into your university?”– These are my least favorite questions to receive at a college fair. They’re difficult questions to answer when they’re phrased that way. How do you want me to judge good? How do you judge good? And when you ask about minimum requirements for admission you might be missing other (equally important) aspects of application review. Luckily, there are two extremely easy ways to ask these questions and receive the same information. Ask, “Can you please tell me more about your X program?” This allows the admission representative to tell you about the curriculum, student involvement and accolades a program might have received. The other is, “How do you review applications for admission?” This allows the admission rep to explain the  whole process beyond just the numbers.

Snatch and Grab Politely– If you want to be strictly business at these fairs, go for it. But if you’re going to just grab information from a table then go to the next please be polite about it. When you approach the table smile and say “hello” grab what you’d like then say “thank you.” Most counselors understand your time is precious and you probably have other things you need to worry about that night. But, running through the fair grabbing anything you can is not cool.

Enjoy The Fair– Seems like hokey advice, but it’s still valuable. I see too many stressed out parents and students at my fairs. They run around the fair grabbing everything they can and talking with absolutely every school. If that’s what you want to do, go for it. But, I think people lose sight of the fact that we (admission reps) are there to serve them. The college fair is your time to explore and learn more. Don’t feel like to need to get to the fair right as it starts and stay until it ends. Use your time the way you want to. Ask questions, walk around casually, see a variety of schools and make connections with admission counselors. Most importantly, enjoy this whole college search experience.

Loyola’s admission counselors will be out all over the country over the next couple of weeks. To read more about each counselor and their respective territory check out this page.

College Application Resumes

College Application Resumes

When I was an incoming freshman, writing a resume for my college application was optional, and though it still is, I think it’s beneficial to have one. From working on projects around the Undergraduate Admissions Office, I’ve had the opportunity to glance briefly at some resume layouts, and they’ve inspired me to write a blog with some of my personal tips on how to make your application resume as outstanding as can be:

  1. Make it as clear and to the point as possible. Mention your achievements and describe them, give all the relevant information, but don’t feel the need to write a paragraph for each achievement if there is information that can be left out. Give as much detail as you feel is important- things that you don’t feel are as relevant (such as volunteering for three hours one time somewhere) probably aren’t.
  2. Going along with the one above, clear and concise resumes should be just that. There is no page limit on application resumes because counselors want to know as much information about you as possible, but if you’ve only worked one job or volunteered at one place or participated in one extracurricular activity all through high school, it’s okay to just write this information. There isn’t a need to find minor things to write to make your resume longer. Remember, quality over quantity.
  3. This is regarding something interesting I observed, and that’s the fact that several resumes I noticed were in a chart format. This is neither wrong nor right, and some high schools (some schools actually format resumes this way for students) may tell you to submit a resume in this format, but there’s one thing to keep in mind. When making a chart resume, make sure it is neat and aligned, both on the computer and in print. It’s very easy for lines to overlap with words, for things to get cut off, etc.

Remember, the resume is a representation of you, and it can be one of the best ways to tell Loyola more about yourself. So if you decide to submit a resume (which I personally encourage), keep these three points in mind and know that if you follow at least this much, you can’t go wrong.

Around the Country and Back Again

Around the Country and Back Again

It’s been a long October. I’ve been literally all over the country, visiting high schools and attending college fairs. At one point, I visited three time zones in less than 48 hours. I felt like some world famous rapper on a global tour. But I wasn’t on tour. And I am not a world famous rapper (yet). What am I really? A bit tired and an admission counselor. Curious as to where I’ve been?

Well my travel started in Columbus, OH in late September. I spent a couple days visiting high schools and eating Blizzards from a cool DQ north of the city.

Columbus reminded me a great deal of my home town, a bit smaller and a capitol city, of Sacramento. Speaking of home…

My first stop in October was to head back home to Sacramento, California.

(For some reason there’s a massive rabbit in Sacramento’s Airport)

I was lucky enough to head back to the Golden State to do some school visits/college visits. I don’t get to go back West Coast too often, so it was nice staying at home for a while. It was even nicer having a home cooked meal prepared when I finished college fairs late at night. Thanks Mom! I met a lot of great students while I was in Northern California. Many of the students I chatted with didn’t even know there was a Loyola in Chicago! I had to do some educating.

Next I flew back to Chicago for 30 some odd hours.

On Columbus Day I jetted to Dayton where I then drove to Cincinnati to stay for about a week.

This was my third time in the Queen City and I have to say it’s growing on me. The city is nestled in a beautiful group of tree covered hills. I came at a wonderful time of the year, just as the leaves began to turn yellow and gold for the start of the Fall.

I saw a number of students at all the high school visits and college fairs I attended. I felt pretty popular. The students were brimming with great questions about the application process and about life at the university.

While I loved meeting with students and their families, the best part of the trip was something I got to do on an afternoon off.

The Cincinnati Reds were in a playoff battle with The San Francisco Giants. The five game series was down to the last game at the Great American Ballpark. Being a Giants fan, I jumped at the chance to attend the game. This being a playoff game, I assumed the tickets would reach astronomical prices. I checked Stubhub before one of my visits to see if I could find anything in my price range. To my luck/surprise I found a $15 bleacher seat! I snagged that ticket ASAP and traveled to the game later that day. It was a beautiful day for a baseball game (check out the photo above), made even better when the Giants won.

After the game I had a couple more high schools visits then I drove back up to Dayton to catch my flight back to Chicago.

Now is when the real fun starts. We’ll start reviewing applications for the Fall 2013 semester very soon!

In the coming week, I’ll be sure to post some of my tips for applying to Loyola.

What’s Up World?!

What’s Up World?!

Hello! My name is Alex Benson and I’m an undergraduate admission counselor here at Loyola. I’ll be blogging through out the year, so I thought I’d take some time to tell a little about myself.

I’m originally come from the great state of California. Specifically, Sacramento. I came to Loyola a couple years ago to attend the university. I came in my Sophomore year, as a transfer student, after spending a year at a community college back home.

While attending Loyola I studied Journalism with a minor in Visual Communication (our major for graphic design). So, I split my time between our two campuses while I was a student. I had a fantastic time as a student. I loved how well many of my classes integrated all the great resources available in Chicago. I think Chicago is a wonderful place to live and learn.

When I wasn’t chipping away at school work, I stayed active outside the classroom working for both the student newspaper (The Phoenix) and radio station (WLUW 88.7). I also stayed active physically, by playing intramural soccer in the fall and spring.

My job as an admission counselor is basically talking to incoming students about Loyola. A big part of my job is reviewing applications from prospective freshman. All the admission counselor have different areas of the country we’re responsible for when it comes to applicants. I have the greater Cincinnati, Columbus area and some of the more western suburbs of Chicago.

My blog posts will cover a variety of topics through out the year. I’ll share some different admission tips and tricks. I’ll also talk about the different events around campus. And from time to time, I’ll post updates from my travels.

Hope you enjoy what I have to say!