How big of a role did the affordability of Grove City College play in your college decision making process?
The affordability of Grove City College played an important role in my college decision making process, as my family was focused on the best education option that would be set me up to be financially stable after college. I knew that I would not likely go into a high money-making field and would be more apt to end up working in the arts or for a nonprofit within a helping profession. Grove City College’s tuition cost was similar to the cost of attending a secular institution within my home state, and the College’s great reputation of academics, environment, and community helped make my decision.
Overall, how would you describe the spiritual environment at Grove City College?
For me, the spiritual environment at Grove City College was safe and had a lot of the elements I needed to grow personally (e.g. opportunities for service, Bible study, community involvement, mentoring). Faith and worldview were incorporated into the academics and classroom environment, allowing those of us who were secure in our faith to ask questions and consider different perspectives. For me, it was a safe place with many like-minded peers and professors.
How would you describe the level of academics you experienced during your time at Grove City College?
I chose Grove City College partly for its challenging academics, so I certainly got what I asked for. As many others, I found my first semester to be the most challenging in terms of adjustment, time management, and my grades. I remember struggling significantly more in certain courses than I ever had in high school, but by the time I was enrolled in courses specific to my major, I had figured out how to be successful and balanced with my time and coursework.
For many, I think that adjusting to Grove City College culture can be challenging. We had all been the “cream of the crop” students in our high schools and communities, but at Grove City College, we were put in a pool with peers who had a similar level of skills, talents, and accolades. For me, this was a growing experience both personally and spiritually as I began to face how much of my identity I placed in my accomplishments rather than the Lord. I chose to be a psychology major as it was the closest fit to my desire to help others and one day be involved in nonprofit work. I loved my courses, professors, and peers in the psychology department! I went on to work as an ESL teacher and volunteer at a foster home near Beijing, China, after graduation, and got my master's in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. I now work as a foster care adoption social worker in Richmond, specifically recruiting, training, and matching families with waiting teens.
What is the relationship like between the students and the professors?
Being a small school, Grove City College allowed me to get to know my professors well, spend a lot of time learning with the same core group of students within my major, and travel for research presentation opportunities, such as the EPA. Because my professors knew me and my work ethic, they could better challenge me to reach my full potential or help me if I was struggling with certain coursework and needed assistance during their office hours. Professors invited us to their homes for special occasions, shared updates about their families with us, and truly cared about how we were doing. This close teaching and mentoring is responsible for much of my academic growth as I developed into a professional. My classmates and I love keeping up with our Grove City College professors and re-connecting with them when we visit campus for homecoming.
What do you find to be the most unique aspect of Grove City College?
My favorite aspects of Grove City College that are still in my present day-to-day life are the community and friendship! I was part of a sorority, Alpha Beta Tau, and those girls have been my sisterhood and friends since college. We try to get together at least a few times per year, are in each other’s weddings, and keep in regular communication. With small numbers and the on-campus living requirements, I truly had the opportunity to live in real community with friends and experience the natural ups and downs of life with them over the course of several years. That set us up to have genuine, healthy, and vulnerable friendships in our young adulthood.
I initially heard about Grove City College from some students in my high school who were older than me and attended before me. Their values and priorities aligned with mine, and when I heard that they had chosen a small school in western Pennsylvania, I had to get more details on what it was like! To make the most of the time at Grove City College, I’d encourage an incoming student to be open to new experiences and learning but still be true to yourself and the giftings the Lord has given you. I think that, for a while, I tried to be good at all things and wore myself out, only to find such relief when I focused on the areas of my giftings and interests. Of course, I’d also encourage an incoming student to be open to the ways God will grow and teach them, through good and challenging times.
Describe your experience with residence life at Grove City College, particularly freshman year.
I was a transfer student, so my experience of making friends was a little bit different from the typical freshman. Once I joined a sorority, I lived on our sorority hall, which was by far my favorite part of campus life. When living in the same area as others whom you get to know well, you get to share so many memories and have a strong support system.