Melanie Barber, '17

B.S. in Business Management, B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies

How big of a role did the affordability of Grove City College play in your college decision making process?
Affordability wasn’t the first thing I noticed when I looked at Grove City College because I was initially attracted to the Christian environment. However, as I began to more seriously consider attending Grove City College, my parents emphasized what a great value the school really is. My parents were able to help pay for some of my education, but I also had to take loans. They told me that I would be in a far better position to pay off student debt than my counterparts who went to other schools because I would have to borrow less than most students who went to private schools. I am from out of state and looked at many small, private colleges in New England. The cost to attend many of these schools was at least 25 to 50% higher than Grove City College.

How is faith incorporated in the classroom?
Faith is an important part of the academic environment at Grove City College. Many professors pray before class begins. In my business classes, the professors usually pointed out passages of Scripture that apply to the business world. We also talked a lot about the idea of servant leadership, looking to Jesus Christ as the ultimate example of this. Many of the business professors have worked in some sort of industry, and so they were able to tell real-world examples of how to integrate your faith into the workplace.

How do the academics challenge students to think on a deeper level about the world and life in general?
Professors teach beyond the “what” by explaining the “why” and the “so what.” This pushes students to move past memorization and consider the implications of the facts they learn. For example, instead of just telling students that World War I happened, a professor will explain the context of the time period and then explain how WWI affected the Christian movement and how the effects of the war continue to play out in society today.

What are some of the ways that professors ensure that students not only receive information but truly learn and understand how to apply that information?
Professors will assign group projects that provide the chance for students to apply what they have learned in the classroom. I also had professors who assigned optional books, extra credit opportunities, or reflection papers in order to facilitate further interaction with the material in the classroom.

What advice would you give to an incoming student?
Recognize that you are at college to love God and to love others. The college years will not always be easy or fun. Don’t have that unrealistic expectation. Your classes will be hard, and you will go through trials with friends, family, or other life situations. However, keep your priorities properly aligned. You are pursuing knowledge for the glory and advancement of God’s kingdom, not your own. Accordingly, fight the temptation to serve yourself or seek your own advancement. Again, college will not always be easy, but it is a good journey. Be encouraged! God is shaping you into the man/woman He created you to be, and He loves you very much. Grove City College provides a healthy and loving environment for that shaping to take place.

Describe your experience with residence life at Grove City College, particularly freshman year.
The freshmen halls are so much fun! The RAs facilitate activities for their residents, such as ice cream socials, movie nights, game times, etc. You have a community bathroom, and it was always fun to catch up with people while getting ready for bed. My hall had a few intramural sports teams as well. We played volleyball and basketball. It was great to spend time with friends and get to know them better through healthy competition.

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