Legacy Families Learn about the College Admission Process
Providence, R.I.--About 75 alumni parents and prospective students were able to launch their own college search processes at “Legacy Admission Information Day,” learning from Providence College experts how to apply for admission and financial aid while also enjoying a campus visit.
Susan Tower Walker ’86 of Scituate, Mass., the mother of 17-year-old Brennan Walker, a high school junior, said PC was “a good place to start” the family’s search for a college. PC is “pretty amazing,” added her husband, Chris Walker ’86. “Every time you come here, there’s some new curriculum and new building.”
During the day-long session hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations, parents and their high school-age children were welcomed with a continental breakfast, informed about planned changes to the campus and curriculum, treated to lunch in student dining areas, and taken on campus tours. There were opportunities to attend Mass and several College athletic events.
Christopher P. Lydon '83, associate vice president for enrollment planning and dean of admission, explained the ins and outs of the admission process, and Sandra Oliveira, executive director of financial aid, explained what aid is available to students and how to apply for assistance.
Lydon’s message was clear: At Providence College, where 323 “legacy” students are currently enrolled, alumni connections count.
All 9,800 applications sent to PC each year undergo an “intensely holistic review process,” Lydon said. On average, the acceptance rate for students who have a sibling or parent who attended PC is about 10 to 15 percent higher than the overall pool each year. In addition, when a student with a parent legacy is denied admission or placed on the waiting list, the application undergoes a further review with staff in the Office of Institutional Advancement.
“As a legacy candidate, that’s the care we’re going to take” with your application, Lydon said. “This relationship matters incredibly to us as an institution.”
Attending as a “legacy” student
Jenna M. Borkoski ’12 (Barrington, R.I.), president of the newly organized Student Alumni Association, described what it’s like to attend PC as a legacy student.
Borkoski said she considers herself to have “a Friar legacy on both sides of my family,” because her father, Charles M. Borkoski ’71, is an alum, along with her maternal grandfather, Joseph A. Baggott ’27.
When it was time to look at colleges, “Part of me wanted to blaze my own trail outside Rhode Island,” Borkoski said. But by the time she mailed her applications, PC was her top choice, and on the day her acceptance packet arrived, her mother let her know by calling and chanting “Let’s go, Friars!” into her cell phone.
Despite her family ties, “The path I’ve taken as a student is entirely my own,” Borkoski said. She noted that the College has changed a lot since the late 1960s, when her father attended. Still, as a legacy student, “I have felt an incredible sense of comfort” other students might not have, Borkoski said.
Bob Ferreira ’83, assistant vice president for alumni relations, talked about improvements planned for the campus over the next six years, including a new humanities building that will accommodate smaller class sizes in the Development of Western Civilization Program, a new track and field complex with an underground parking garage, a new School of Business in a remodeled Dore Hall, and a new residence facility.
Brennan Walker called the presentation “really informative. I like the way they talked about the whole college search process,” he said.
Warren C. Howe III ’87, of Wallingford, Conn., said he was a legacy student during his years at PC. His father, Warren C. Howe Jr. ’60, was among the first students to live in Raymond Hall, and has photos of it under construction, Howe said. Howe attended with his son, a high school junior.
“The presentation put into context what the college search process is like,” said Howe. His wife, Patricia, added that she found it “excellent. I appreciated the fact that it focused on the college search process in general and not just admission to PC. That broader perspective was very helpful for our son.”