Otterbein University's High School Counselor Newsletter

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Jefferson Blackburn-Smith
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January is an important month in Otterbein University’s effort to enroll next fall’s class (of 2025!); it is when we begin to send our financial aid awards to admitted students who have filed the FAFSA. The strategic work of the months leading up to January is quite complex: how do we use our institutional aid in a way that brings to life our commitment to providing affordable access to academic excellence for families that don’t have the resources to be here on their own, and for families who have resources but would prefer not to use them.
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- Jefferson Blackburn-Smith

VP of Enrollment Management

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Has your admitted student visited campus before? Has your student visited campus before but wants to find out more information and get another feel of campus? We highly recommend signing up for a virtual or on-campus visit and scheduling a 1:1 with an admission counselor to talk about next steps.

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It is important for your students to consider how they will be supported on-campus and in their intended area of study. We encourage all admitted students to connect with our various offices on campus to learn more, such as our Academic Support Center/Disability Services, Office of Student Success & Career Development, Office of Student Financial Aid, Study Abroad programs, Undecided Academic Advisor, Army ROTC & more.

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Financial aid packaging will begin to take place the week of Jan. 18th and will be mailed out to students admitted before Jan. 4th by the end of the week. Students admitted after Jan. 4th should expect their financial aid package to be generated 2 weeks after admittance. We are encouraging students to be on the lookout for their financial aid package in the mail, and reach out to their admission counselor if they have any questions regarding the packaging. 

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The Honors Program is a holistic and cohesive undergraduate experience, beginning with engaging, integrative, and stimulating seminars taught by specially selected faculty from across the university, and culminating in the junior or senior year with an interdisciplinary seminar or independent thesis project. Each course in the Honors program participates in a shared Integrated Studies conversation about the theme of Knowledge, Action, and the Public Good. Through our related program theme, “A Community of Scholars,” Honors courses recognize the varied and vexed impacts of knowledge and action, and they examine multiple, competing, and contradictory conceptions of the public good.

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"Otterbein University is committed to the health and safety of all students, and the Athletics program has been working diligently in conjunction with the OAC to develop a plan to safely bring student-athletes back to their respective sport programs," said Dawn Stewart, director of athletics and VP for student affairs. This plan involved postponing fall and winter sports teams' seasons until the spring semester of 2021. We are anxiously awaiting cheering on our fall, winter, and spring sports team which are beginning league play very soon! Click on the button below to be taken to our athletics webpage, where you can view individual schedules for each team.

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The Master of Science in Athletic Training combines a liberal education base with professional academic and clinical experiences necessary to qualify a student to sit for the Board of Certification examination. The clinical experiences will involve, but not be limited to, assignments from the collegiate, high school, clinical, pediatric, geriatric, recreational, theater, equine and other unique settings. Undergraduate students interested in the MSAT program will enroll at Otterbein as an Allied Health (BS) undergraduate major with a Pre-Athletic Training Concentration. This graduate program will be available starting in Summer 2023. 

Otterbein Elects to ContinueTest-Optional Admission & Scholarship Policy

With the availability of the ACT and SAT scores being disrupted by COVID-19, Otterbein has decided to continue its test-optional admission policy for Spring & Summer 2021 and Fall 2022 terms.

Students will be able to select through the Common Application if they would or would not like test scores to be used in the evaluation of their admission application. Students with a high school GPA of 2.75 or lower are encouraged to submit a test score if available. Students will not be disadvantaged for the submission of test scores, so, if available, we would recommend submitting official scores.

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  • Majors within our History and Political Science department include the following: Global Studies, History, and Political Science
  • History & Political Science provides students a solid grounding in the academic study of history, politics, government, law, and global relations

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  • Students can pursue either a major or minor in Spanish & Latin American studies
  • Otterbein immerses its students in the learning of a modern language and culture through study abroad, co-curricular international travel, service learning, internship, and undergraduate research

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  • Otterbein offers an inter-disciplinary minor in race and ethnic studies through its RES program
  • The race and ethnic studies program promotes the critical study of race and ethnicity from disciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives
  • Courses examine historical and contemporary constructions of race and ethnicity, in national and transnational contexts

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  • Students can pursue a BA in either Religion or Philosophy, or they can add a minor in Religion or Philosophy as well
  • Religion & Philosophy students leave Otterbein with the skills and knowledge to pursue a plethora of careers, from law school to the Peace Corps to the military

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Now is a great time to visit campus and continue building your potential college list. Below is our campus visit structure for the spring semester:

Otterbein Overview Presentation + Tour: Monday-Friday @ 9:00am & 2:00pm

Otterbein Tour only: Monday-Friday @ 12:00pm

Virtual Otterbein Overview Presentation: Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 3:00pm

Students can also register for a visit with athletics or visual & performing arts by clicking the link below.

Jennifer Seymour, Otterbein's International Admissions Coordinator, was contacted recently by an English Language Learner Parent Liaison and Instructor on behalf of her 12th grade Vietnamese student, Jenny. Jenny did not believe she could ever attend college, but after learning that a small, diverse, and inclusive institution would be a great fit for her, our Jennifer Seymour connected her with two Vietnamese students that are currently at Otterbein. 

Thu Hoai (Autumn) Dang, who is pursuing her MBA at Otterbein, and Linh (Lily) Ha, an undergraduate marketing student who transferred from a community college, both enthusiastically agreed to meet with Jenny over Zoom. 

Jennifer Seymour went over application and visa questions with Jenny, while Autumn and Lily shared the benefits of being surrounded by supportive faculty and staff members, specifically Otterbein's English as a Second Language program, Academic Support Center, and Office of Social Justice & Activism. 

Autumn and Lily also compared their experiences coming from a larger college and community where they were surrounded by more Asian students who they could connect with and speak to in their own language, to that of a smaller college and community. 

Naturally, international students and parents will often seek out colleges and communities that have a high percentage of students from their own country so that they can feel "more at home", making an easier transition to living abroad. But often international students, such as Autumn and Lily, find this is not always best for them because it can hinder their ability to better learn the English language and make long lasting friendships with students from various backgrounds.

To learn more about Otterbein's International Admissions or ESL program, click the buttons below!