“No matter what transpired in the coming year, I grabbed hold of the promise that this experience would be good in a way that was in accordance with God’s own definition.” — Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph.D. on his feelings while dropping off his son Andrew for school his freshman year of college in “Faith in the Freshman”
I n his book, “Faith in the Freshman,” Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph.D., University president, reflects upon the significance of the first day on campus. As a University president, parent, and once-upon-a-time freshman, Ferry recognizes this rite of passage to be “all at once exhilarating and terrifying, joyful and painful” for students and parents alike. Every year on that first day, Ferry is careful to set the tone. “My goal is to do whatever I can to assure students and their parents that the journey before them, wherever it leads, is almost always worth the next step,” writes Ferry. The joy and responsibility of supporting our students and providing each of them with a positive next step is shared University-wide. The first day is far from the first connection with Concordia University Wisconsin. Choosing the right university is one of the most important and personal decisions a person may ever make. Our admission crew understands that students and their families are facing this rite of passage, and provides careful consideration and individual attention to each applicant to help them make the right decision.
It’s the “personal touch” that gets mentioned the most by students and their parents when asked why they chose CUW. From first campus visits to personal telephone calls to special meetings with professors, the admission counselors are an energetic, passionate, and informative team of individuals who are instrumental in these early consideration steps.
A caring, Christ-centered approach
“The application process to CUW was extremely easy and went very smoothly. The way they have it set up makes it almost impossible to get confused, because they walk you through it step by step.”—Tyler Hass
“I got to meet and talk with some of my fellow pre-seminary students on registration day. It was wonderful to spend time telling each other about our faith and the interest of becoming pastors. That really made my day special.”—Su Reh
“When I visited other schools, I was just part of the group, but here, it was more one on one.” —Jake Jurss
“Being that Hannah is the first child in our family to go to college, we wanted to make sure we understood everything. Our admission counselor picks up the phone and answers everything, and it’s been very helpful.” —Anne Elrod
“It’s important for students to know that they’re not just a number here on campus. They are a special person created in His likeness whom we care deeply about.” —Joel Bahr
“I remember how ‘cared for’ I felt when visiting campus as a high school student, and I want to ensure that I do the same for every student and family that walks through our doors. There was such a lasting impression that I still remember it to this day, and I truly believe our families get that same experience.” —Sarah Kitterman
An environment that inspires spiritual and academic growth.
The beauty and location of campus are certainly positive reinforcements for those considering CUW, but for most students it was the innovation and rigor of the programs, and the time with professors that moved them from “interested” to “applicant.”
“The professors really care about us in that they want us to succeed. I’m always trying to become the best I can be, and the atmosphere at Concordia really helps me feel like I can accomplish that.” —Rachel Buetow
“I really liked that I got to meet the main professors. It made me more comfortable. They teach using real-world situations that students can relate to.” —Savannah Kassin
“I fell in love with the campus and the mission. It was really warm and inviting. It felt like a really nice home for the next four years.” —Rachel Froehlich
“We looked into the program and it was accredited, but it’s more than just a program. They were kind, warm-hearted, and professional. We knew it wasn’t a mistake or a one-time experience. We knew the root cause of that kindness was Christ and Christianity.” —Dan Argueta
“The campus grounds are incredibly beautiful. I can see Rachel (Buetow) loving it because of the kind and caring people.” —Maryellen Buetow
Every day we hear about the CUW people who made a visit particularly special. Below is just a sampling of the compliments:
“We all have a relationship with Ashley Peichl [admission counselor]. I’ve probably sent her over 50 emails with different questions, and she’s been so helpful in answering them. Who knows if she’s ever had a bad day? She’s always smiling.” —Wally Argueta (mom)
“Dr. [Jane] Bishop introduced herself to me. It was nice that she took the time to talk with students and make a relationship. It was nice to know that teachers wanted to know my name.” —Hannah Elrod
“Coach [Shawn] Cassidy, my basketball coach, and Joel Bahr, my admission counselor, are great. I love these guys.” —Jake Jurss
“Amanda Villani [admission counselor] is really great. She’s checking on me all the time.” —Aubrey Netzel
An education that’s accessible and worth it
A private school offers many advantages, like Christian education, small class sizes, personal attention from professors, and, most importantly, university-wide investment in the experience of each student. The financial advisors work hard to make a CUW experience a reality.
“Dr. David Birner [executive director of international education] introduced me to a grant from the LCMS that covers part of my school education. The main reason I’m here is because I received this grant. Dr. Birner and Amanda Reitz [international admission coordinator] also helped me get my Visa and the governmental documents, like F1 student Visas.” —Solomona Rakotonirina
“Talking with the professors about the program, they talk about the students in the program, and students who have graduated from the program and what they’re doing. They know the students by name.” —Aubrey Netzel
“Concordia helped us a lot with the financial aid aspect. They helped us get as much as we needed to get there.” —Rachel Froehlich “CUW makes it possible for students to achieve their degree in four years.” —Tyler Hass
“At CUW, 99 percent of our students receive financial aid, so we always want families to understand that while the sticker price may be intimidating, there are many ways to help bring the cost down. We take a personal approach to financial aid because each family is different, and there are many different circumstances that affect their finances.” —Mark Adkins
“In working with families, I emphasize the value of the Concordia experience. They are not only paying for a great academic education, but also for the support of a community which helps ensure students’ success. Additionally, Concordia strives to provide access to all who wish to attend CUW. We will do all we can to make Concordia affordable for students who wish to attend.” —Michaela Hanson
“Concordia is comprised of many different departments, and they all work very well together. Whether it was our admission counselor, academic advisor, or the office of financial aid, they are all interconnected so well. This is our first experience with someone going away to school, and it was very smooth.” —Wally Argueta
“God really put Concordia right into Hannah’s [Elrod] path. It’s important to her to know how to be a businesswoman with a Christian worldview, and that’s what she wants to portray when she gets into the business world.” —Anne Elrod
The charge of supporting our students, both at the start of their collegiate journeys and along the way, is one shared University wide, but it is also a joyous responsibility that extends beyond. It’s a role inherent to parents and one that can be taken up in other ways, too: by faithful church members who pray for their fellow young congregants; by individuals who provide generous financial support to further students’ academic opportunities; and by alumni who ignite the intrigue of a prospective student by sharing their own most cherished and valued Concordia experiences. The path to and through college isn’t always easy, but an entire community can help to make the journey worth it. And the value of a higher educational experience can endure long after a student’s freshman year. In the words of Ferry, “Part of being a freshman is figuring things out, I suppose. It took me a while. In some ways I am still interpreting that year’s significance. But, the only way possible for me to describe who I am today or why I do what I do is to refer to my freshman year in college.” Learn more about a Concordia University Wisconsin education and how to get the admission process started by visiting www.cuw.edu/admissions.
By the Numbers.
Undergraduate Majors: 70
Graduate Programs: 39
Doctorate Degrees: 4
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Student Organizations: 70+
99% of undergraduates receive financial aid
Types of Financial Aid awarded:
- Grants: 33%
- Loans: 32%
- Scholarships: 35%
The average student is awarded $23,022. 68% of student aid awarded does not need to be repaid.
By Lisa Liljegren and Kali Thiel, University Affairs Special Contributor Amanda Villani, Admissions Photography by Jeffrey Phelps