Tuesday, April 8, 2008

National Deposit Deadline - May 1, 2008

For students and their families May 1, 2008, may represent the end of a long and rigorous journey through the application process.

The National Deposit Deadline is standard at most colleges and universities throughout the United States, encouraging students to make a decision about their future plans for education.

If your daughter has been accepted into the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted and she intends to enroll in this entering class of PEG Freshman, then please submit your reservation deposit of $300.00 as soon as possible. Each year we have many more accepted students than there are available spaces in the program, so reserving your space in the program is of paramount importance.

Deposits may be taken over the phone by calling Gretchen Watson, Assistant Director of Admissions, at 540.887.7211 or you may write a check to Mary Baldwin College. Please be sure to fill out and return your deposit card as well.

If you have any questions, or would like to pay your deposit, then please call the PEG Admissions Office at 540.887.7211.

Prospective Student Overnight - 2008

2008 hosted the largest Prospective Student Overnight in the program's 22 year history. Over 170 accompanied the 38 talented young ladies representing 18 states that spent the night in the dorm and attended classes with current PEG students the next morning.

Mahala Burn, PEG graduate of 2007 and currently completing her fellowship program at Yale University at age 18, was this year's keynote speaker and stressed the importance of fit in the program.

To all the students and their families who attended this event, thank you for making it the rousing success that it was. All the faculty and staff who interacted with the visiting students recognized their talent and ability.

If you have not yet visited the program, then please feel free to call the PEG Admissions Office and set-up a visit, Monday-Friday, 8:30am - 2:30pm.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tis the Season.....For Financial Aid

It's that time of year, dear reader, to consider the question of financial aid. That is, to be, or not to be? This process has been mysitified, attributed occult-like status, by the media, and the whispers of college students and their parents shaking their heads at their computer screens, their glazed eyes tired from scanning the fine print that goes along with the dreaded acronym known as "FAFSA". However, this dismal picture can be avoided if you're willing to follow a few simple steps.

1. EVERYONE should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)!

Whether your bank account is busting at the seams with wealth, stocks or accumulated, lucrative properties you should still file the FAFSA.


Though it's true that the FAFSA does provide a few grants to those students who have demonstrated financial need, it also is your chance to qualify for government loans that will not be available to you if you do not. Some government loans, like the Stafford loan, is available to all students regardless of need. Interest rates on these loans are usually lower than those you might receive through your bank.

The FAFSA acts as your application for both federal and state aid. The deadlines differ from state to state but usually a good round ballpark for entering college students is to have their FAFSA filed by May 1st. You can start to file your FAFSA on January 1st, though I do recommend that families wait until their tax returns are done to file.

2. Do your taxes early!

The FAFSA uses your current financial information. Do not use your tax returns from the previous year as the government sends out random verification forms to make sure of your financial situation.

3. Get your PIN #!

The government defines the PIN # as a device that "serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records". At this time, your PIN # ( you should get one each for yourself, your spouse and your daughter) takes about 3-4 days to get to you by email and longer by regular mail. You will need this number to electronically sign your FAFSA.


4. Attend Financial Aid Nights at local high schools!

Don't be afraid to attend a Financial Aid Night at a local high school that is intended for older students! The financial aid professionals present at these events will be presenting the same information that you need to know. Bring a piece of paper and take notes.

5. File your FAFSA!

Take a weekend and start filling out the paperwork, electronically of course. Mary Baldwin cannot offer you a financial aid package, that is a total financial breakdown of what you owe taking our governement and state grants and loans and merit scholarships, that will be sent to you in the mail. The sooner your FAFSA is completed and processed, the sooner you will be able to know what college is going to cost you.

The governement is phasing out paper FAFSA applications and so they can only be done online.

6. Take your EFC with a grain of salt.

The EFC, or Estimated Family Contribution, will be given to you on your student aid report once you file your FAFSA. This number represents the monetary amount that the government feels that you should be able to pay for college given your current financial situation.

These numbers are notoriously low. Add $4000 to $5000 dollars to the EFC you are given to reflect a more accurate picture.

7. Start looking for scholarships!

While Mary Baldwin does provide generous merit scholarships please understand that this may not be enough to cover your costs for tuition, room and board, books, school supplies, travel and fun money. Every year millions of dollars in scholarships go to waste because people did not apply for them.

Ask your your local chamber of commerce, your guidance office and search the internet for scholarships that might be available. www.fastweb.com is a good website to start with.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

May Term Update - Mary Baldwin College

In addition to four traditional academic terms Mary Baldwin College also offers what we call the "May Term".

May Term Abroad courses are distinctly different from tourism. Often students travel by public transportation and stay in homes or in small, family operated hotels. Students may have the opportunity for academic interchange with foreign students in the classroom. In the case of courses where site and subject are interdependent, students have the opportunity to travel with an expert in the field. Learning happens through experiencing, touring, and through informal on-site lectures.

While each study abroad program has a principal faculty leader, there are frequently several faculty who go along so that students can enrich their field experiences with insights from various experts. Some expeditions offer a range of courses. On a recent trip to Russia, for example, students could select a course in modern Russian studies from a professor who had studied in Russia and was fluent in the language, or they could choose a course that focused on the performing arts in Russia and was taught by a member of the theatre faculty.

Where will you be during May Term 2007? Paul Callo, assistant professor of biology, will be in Costa Rica. Martha Walker, associate professor of French, has plans in France. Japan is the destination for Professor of Education Jim McCrory and Professor of Asian Studies
Daniel Métraux.

Mary Baldwin College’s annual study abroad fair initiated the college’s Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement as an event venue and introduced students to May Term educational
sites worldwide. A dozen MBC faculty —including some familiar travelers and others who will embark for the first time for a course — will take students on farflung adventures for the three-week term.

Costa Rica: Field Ornithology (BIOL
150). Students learn to identify birds
and study their biology and conservation
with Assistant Professor Paul

Cyprus: Multicultural Psychology
(PSYC 216) and Intercultural
Communication (COMM 280).
Focus on how family life, religion,
politics, and geography shapes
culture with native Cypriot Associate
Professor Andreas Anastasiou and
Professor Jack Kibler. Associate
Professor of Communication Alice
Araujo joins the trip to explore the
relationship between culture and

England: Virginia Program at Oxford
(ENG/HIST 390) (Summer 2008).
Professor of History Mary Hill Cole
guides six weeks of Renaissance
history and literature with British
scholars and tutors, plus sightseeing
and outings. London Theatre (THEA
208). Study and travel in the world
capital of English-speaking theatre
and visit Stratford-upon-Avon with
Virginia Francisco ’64, professor of

Central Europe: Science in Cultural
Context (CHEM 105). Bulgaria-born
Vladimir Garkov, associate professor
of chemistry, gives students an up
close view of the sites of significant
scientific discoveries.

Italy: Renaissance Studies in Italy
(ART 343). Sara Nair James,
professor of art, leads studies of art
in Rome, Florence, Venice, and other

Japan: Introduction to Japan (JPNS
250). Professors Métraux and
McCrory stay with students in
Tokyo, tour ancient historical
Kamakura and Nikko, get an
inside tour of Japanese Parliament
(Diet), and visit Japanese

England and Wales: Celtic Britain.
View Britain’s multicultural side at
historic and literary sites with
Associate Professor Sarah Kennedy
and Professor Roderic Owen.

France: French Play in Performance
(FREN 154). Attend theatre
performances, visit landmarks, and
learn about life in Paris from host
families with Associate Professor
Martha Walker.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Prospective Student Overnight - March 30th and 31st!

Happy Holidays from the entire PEG Staff!

It's that time of year to start thinking about our Prospective Student Overnight (PSO), a wonderful opportunity to see the PEG dorm, tour Mary Baldwin's historic campus and get a feel for what it's like to be a PEG!

The dates for this year's PSO are Sunday, March 30th through Monday, March 31st. Check in times for Sunday, March 30, are between 1:00pm and 2:00pm.

The best way to find out if PEG is right for you is to meet other students and their parents, participate in classes, enjoy a meal in our dining hall, and ask all the burning questions that you may have about the program.

Other scheduled events include:

- Information and financial aid session
- Tours of campus and PEG Center
- Individual Interviews
- Dinner with guest speaker
- Coffee and dessert for parents and ice cream and movies for students

Mark your reservation today for this exciting opportunity!

Please contact:

Gretchen Watson
Assistant Director of Admissions
Program for the Exceptionally Gifted

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Characteristics of Highly Gifted Individuals

In Growing Up Gifted, Dr. Barbara Clark reviewed the research of Dahlberg, Gross, Koppel, Lovecky and Silverman, and listed the following as characteristics commonly found among highly gifted individuals.

  • An extraordinary speed in processing information.

  • A rapid and thorough comprehension of the whole idea or concept.

  • An unusual ability to perceive essential elements and underlying structures and patterns in relationships and ideas.

  • A need for precision in thinking and expression.

  • An ability to relate to a broad range of ideas and synthesize commonalties among them.

  • A high degree of ability to think abstractly that develops early.

  • Appreciation of complexity; finding myriad alternative meanings in even the most simple issues or problems.

  • An ability to learn in an integrative, intuitive, nonlinear manner.

  • An extraordinary degree of intellectual curiosity.

  • An unusual capacity for memory.

  • A long concentration span.

  • A fascination with ideas and words.

  • An extensive vocabulary.

  • Ability to perceive many sides of an issue.

  • Argumentativeness.

  • Advanced visual and motor skills.

  • An ability from an early age to think in metaphors and symbols and a preference for doing so.

  • Ability to visualize models and systems.

  • Ability to learn in great intuitive leaps.

  • Highly idiosyncratic interpretations of events.

  • Awareness of detail.

  • Unusual intensity and depth of feeling.

  • A high degree of emotional sensitivity.

  • Highly developed morals and ethics and early concern for moral and existential issues.

  • Unusual and early insight into social and moral issues.

  • An ability to empathetically understand and relate to ideas and other people.

  • An extraordinarily high energy level.

  • A need for the world to be logical and fair.

  • Conviction of correctness of personal ideas and beliefs.

As Silverman notes, "it may be nearly impossible for highly gifted children to conform their thinking to the ways in which others think. Some do not 'group' well. Some have difficulty developing relations with others. Some argue continuously because that is the way they learn. Some are intensely sensitive. Some have major discrepancies between their intellectual maturity and motor coordination and so appear 'immature.'" All of them are highly vulnerable and at risk.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Scholarship Question

Happy Thanksgiving!

The PEG staff joins me in wishing you and your family a very safe and happy start to this year's holiday season.

I've decided that this installment of the PEG Blog should cover a subject near and dear to every college student's heart, the scholarship.

Mary Baldwin does offer very generous merit scholarships to all incoming students (yes, that does include potential PEG students) in varying amounts from $5,000 to $13,000 based upon a student's current GPA and SAT or ACT scores. In fact, most entering PEG students receive either $11,000 or $13,000 by virtue of their high GPA's and test scores. However, I can well understand that even these generous scholarship amounts, though renewable every year as long as the student remains in good academic standing, may not be enough for a family to be secure in their decision to send their young daughter to college.

The good news? There are scholarships out there, you just have to know where to look.

If your daughter is under the age of 13, then the process of finding an outside scholarship might be more difficult.

"None of the online scholarship databases includes information about college scholarships that are available only to children under age 13 because of federal privacy laws. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), 15 USC 6501, and the Children's Privacy Protection Final Rule, require web sites to obtain "verifiable parental consent" before collecting, using or disclosing individually identifiable information from children under age 13. This effectively prevents online scholarship databases from matching students under age 13 with college scholarships. Because of the difficulties in obtaining consent, all of the scholarship databases avoid the problem by omitting scholarships for underage children from their databases and refusing to register users under age 13."

This information is according to www.finaid.org. However, they also have a listing of scholarships for children who are younger than 13. Please visit this website to see a list of those scholarships.


Fortunately, the process is easier for children who are age 13 and older. Fast Web is a wonderful scholarships search engine that allows students and their families to learn about prospective scholarships by typing in their personal information, and from that day forward a list of those scholarships that the student may be eligible for will be delivered to the student's email everyday.

There are also other private options to consider. The Davidson Fellows scholarship program, established in 2001, recognizes exceptional students and supports them in the fulfillment
of their potential. Each year, Fellows are awarded scholarships of $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 and are recognized for their achievements at a special awards reception in Washington, D.C. The deadline for the 2008 Davidson Fellows Scholarship is March 26, 2008.
To be eligible to apply the 2008 Davidson Fellows Scholarship, applicants must be under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2008. For more information about this scholarship program please visit http://www.ditdservices.org/Articles.aspx?ArticleID=36&NavID=1_0 .

Of course, this entry only represents a small sample of the scholarships that are available. I will continue to search and other scholarships will be posted here as well.