Courtesy of Bea Flores
College remains a consistent thought on the minds of juniors and seniors toward the end of their high school careers. With two out of three high school graduates attending college to earn a four-year degree, hundreds of NC students close to graduating will apply to numerous colleges. Kennesaw State University serves as an accessible option for these students. While 50% of college students prefer to leave their parents and hometown when they attend college, KSU proves itself as a great local university that offers several opportunities students look forward to. The local university provides its diverse student body with several clubs and a wide array of facilities to suit any student’s needs.
Currently, the normal admissions requirements include a 990 overall SAT score and an 18 on both parts of the ACT. However, interested students will not need to procure their scores when applying for the spring, summer, and fall terms at KSU due to the ongoing pandemic. Only the required high school curriculum and an overall minimum GPA of 2.6 or 2.5 with qualifying SAT and ACT test scores will allow a student to apply.
“I look forward to learning new topics for my degree, meeting fellow college students and knowing who I truly am by seeing my interests clearer than before,” current NC senior and KSU applicant Jmen Seso said.
Whether students reside in dorms on campus or commute from home, KSU supports multiple clubs and organizations ranging from cultural, athletic, and gaming organizations run by the student body. KSU’s clubs require members to attend a certain amount of events and meetings in order to retain membership.
“I’m part of the Student Nurses Association, Filipino Student Association, and the Vietnamese Student Association. They do club activities whenever there’s free time and you have to attend at least half of the events to be a member,” KSU senior Bea Flores said.
KSU offers several sponsored sports including basketball, baseball, and tennis. Overall, football dominates KSU’s sports scene. A D1 school, KSU’s Owls joined the Big South NCAA Conference in 2015 and boasts a positive record with first-place finishes in 2017 and 2018. The Owls participated in the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs three times from 2017 to 2019, with their highest finishes at the quarterfinals versus Sam Houston State and South Dakota State. Regular season games usually take place on Saturdays and although high school football in Cobb County will continue to play through the fall, the Big 10 and other colleges nationwide including KSU will not play their fall seasons due to COVID-19.
“Mostly fraternities and sororities make a big deal out of the football games. It is the biggest sports event at KSU, and some students like to tailgate pre-game,” Flores said.
Partnering with Cobb and Douglas Public Health and Community Organized Relief Effort and Wellstar Health System, KSU offers free coronavirus testing to all its students and staff on both campuses. The university added extra accommodations to its outdoor spaces, allowing students to study and relax outside. Along with enforcing face masks while on campus grounds, KSU set protocols to sanitize public facilities on campus daily.
College life varies widely depending on one’s major. The nursing program at the Wellstar School of Nursing features notoriously high rigor and discipline for a four-year degree, as do nursing programs nationwide.
“I have classes from 10:00 am through 4:45 pm. After that, I buy some snacks and head to the library to do group studying until 10 pm,” Flores said.
Part of the rigor involved in nursing school includes required labs, hands-on work in hospitals, and various examinations separate from the in-class curriculum. Although nursing students do not experience copious amounts of free time, less time-consuming majors including marketing and astronomy provide students with more free time to pour into their clubs and recreational activities. Computer science constitutes a major part of modern society, but it falls in the same category as marketing and astronomy in terms of how much free time students accumulate while still offering one of the highest-paid undergraduate careers in the country. Students that choose to major in computer science at KSU will find their needs satisfied at the Marietta campus.
As students anticipate the future of their academic careers in colleges and universities nationwide, they must not forget the costs of moving away from their parents. Living on-campus can cost around $10,000 annually, piling up one’s student debt and expenses on top of tuition, fees, and textbooks. Although attending a college to live an independent lifestyle seems attractive to half of the nation’s college students, money and expenses limit their options. KSU offers more than just a college degree. It offers clubs and organizations, well-maintained facilities, college-sponsored events including concerts, and a safe environment to college prospects living close to home.