Alec Smith

Describe your college search process and how you ended up at Loyola?

I originally thought I had everything figured out when it came to college. As most people are aware, college is incredibly expensive, so it made sense to me to pick the cheapest college possible. For me, that meant playing football for a college I wasn’t particularly fond of, but financially they stood out among the others. This philosophy could not have been farther from what my heart actually wanted, and after suffering a concussion that would end my football career and result in the termination of my scholarship, I returned home where I attended community college. It is at this time where I began my search for an institution that I loved instead of trying to find the cheapest place, because that is not what college is all about. During my search, Loyola stood out to me from the start and was a front-runner throughout my search and I never found another school that I seemed to like quite as much. Once I made that decision, it was only a matter of time before everything came together and attending Loyola was made possible for me.

What have you found to be the benefits of a private college/university?

The benefits of attending a private university are numerous. One of the reasons I love my private university so much is the care that each student receives by the professors. I sense a genuine passion for teaching and a desire to help students from my professors up to this point, and I am sure that same care will continue. Another reason why a private university was the best option for me was due to the amount of scholarships and financial aid offered to me. Not many students are able to pay the full tuition, and private colleges and universities realize this and offer many forms of financial aid and scholarships.

How did you find out about PICU, and the PICU Scholarship?

While attending community college, I reached out to advisors at Loyola and they referred me to a number of outside scholarships, including the PICU scholarship. This particular scholarship seemed like one I would be able to win, and I was very determined to do so.

What advice do you have for current community college students beginning their transfer process?

When it comes to advice, I believe the most important thing to remember is that this is your life and your future. Only you know what you like and where you will truly be happy, which may mean doing some research and visiting a number of schools. Once you find the right fit, don’t let anything stand in the way of reaching your goals. There are a number of scholarships like PICU and other outside sources that offer financial help in order to make your goals achievable. The best advice I can give is to find out what it is that you want, and make it happen even if it seems unachievable.

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