Schreyer Honors College: A Parent’s Perspective

Tracy Riegel is the parent of two Penn State students and a contributor to the We Admit blog, from which the following post is taken. Tracy and her husband, Rick, are both Penn State alumni and members of the the Penn State Parents Program. As Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College releases its decisions today, Tracy shares her thoughts on the program:

I remember this time last year when my daughter Meghan was eagerly waiting for decisions from several private schools — one Ivy League school, one out-of-state school, and Schreyer Honors College. Needless to say, it was an anxious time for her and certainly one of self-reflection. After many years of studying, test taking, paper writing, SATs, AP tests, and countless other activities it all came down to this moment.

Like you, we had many discussions about the pros and cons of the various schools where she applied. We talked about courses, academic resources, campus life, opportunities to learn beyond the classroom, where could she see herself living, cost, value —it was a long list. Finally, decisions arrived and she was accepted to several of her choices, including the Ivy. She ultimately chose to attend Penn State and the Schreyer Honors College. Why? Here are just a few of the reasons:

  1. Only 300 students in each class (approximately), which was appealing to my daughter to be in such a selective group.
  2. Strong faculty advising.
  3. The honors curriculum covers all majors.
  4. Opportunities to take part in leadership development activities specifically for Schreyer scholars.
  5. The Schreyer Ambassador Travel Grant, which provides financial assistance for about 200 students per year to pursue education, research, service, or study abroad.
  6. A number of new service and leadership initiatives that are now underway domestically and internationally.
  7. Guaranteed housing in the center of campus.
  8. Donuts with Dean Brady — an opportunity to meet with the dean in an informal setting.
  9. SHO Time first year orientation and the opportunity to be an orientation leader as an upperclassman.
  10. Preferred scheduling for classes. Your student will not have to enroll in the last section available, which is usually at 8 a.m.!

I’m sure there are many more personal reasons why students would choose the Schreyer Honors College. Meghan felt that it was a good way to make a large university smaller. She is able to take advantage of all the Penn State has to offer as well as those opportunities within Schreyer. I won’t kid you, the classes are hard (just hearing her talk about her math and physics classes made my head spin!) and time management is key. She is hoping to be accepted as a research assistant this summer on campus with a professor, is currently tutoring for a physics class, and is involved in the THON organization Atlas. She hopes to go to Singapore in May for two weeks for a class, and help with SHO Time orientation next fall.

Meghan made the right choice for herself and for her education. She had many opportunities and chose Schreyer Honors College.