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Have you ever asked yourself, “What’s my why?”

Jason Moran
Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing

What I really mean is, have you ever asked yourself, “What’s my purpose?”

Recently, I was on Forbes.com and saw an article titled Do You Know Your “Why?” 4 Questions To Find Your Purpose. In the article, I was immediately drawn to a tweet posted that stated – a clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what matters most, compelling you to take risk and push forward regardless of the odds or obstacles. Why am I sharing this? Because this tweet defines a Juniata College lived experience.

After reading both the tweet and the article, I found myself reflecting back on my past eight months at Juniata College serving as Vice President of Enrollment; my move to Huntingdon, PA to join the Juniata community; and my many interactions with Juniata College students, faculty, staff, and alumni.  Why did I find myself reflecting?  Because I instantly made the connection between the article and Juniata College where students, faculty, staff, alumni, and yours truly land to find purpose… or their WHY.

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What I wish I knew – Fernando Gomes, Assistant Dean of Admission

Fernando Gomes
Fernando Gomes, Assistant Dean of Admission

By the time we reach the end of the school year, I will have spent an entire decade in college admissions. Ten years, three different schools in three different states, and I really wonder how time passes by so quickly! (And if that sounds like something an older person would say, don’t worry, you’ll find yourself saying it in due time.)

If there’s one thing I’m appreciative of it is how much I’ve learned over the years. Who I am now is definitely not who I was 14 years ago when I was deciding on what college to attend. There are many times when I want to go back to my high school self and just somehow impart all this new knowledge and do my [college selection?] process all over again! But what’s done is done- I can’t go back in time, and so here I am now working as an admissions counselor, doing my best to give students the knowledge they need, the knowledge I wished I had, to make the best decision for which college to attend.

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My own college graduation story

Cindy Gibboney
Cindy Gibboney ’18, Director of Enrollment/Alumni Engagement

“What was I thinking?” That pretty much sums up my thoughts during my eight years of working towards my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Let me back up a little. Prior to coming to Juniata College, I had a convoluted start to working towards my degree. As a first-generation student, my family had no idea that “the college search” was even a thing. I did know, however, that I would need to further my education to help with my future. I spent one year at a local community college before my father received orders from the Air Force to relocate to Berlin, Germany. Once there, I found out that there were college courses offered that I could attend in the evenings and on the weekends, since I was working full-time. So, I picked away at taking the courses. After three years, I earned my Associates Degree in Arts from the University of Maryland, even though I had never stepped foot on their campus.

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Financial aid questions parents actually ask

Kat Swantak
Kat Swantak, Assistant Dean of Admission

The hard part is over! Your child was admitted to college. Now comes the “paying for it” part. We totally get it. Paying for college is a huge investment and one that should be taken with great care. There are all sorts of loans and grants and work study opportunities and a whole host of other kinds of financial aid. It’s hard to keep track of them all, let alone understand what each school’s financial aid award really means since they all look different.

Parents and families of admitted students ask a lot of questions about financial aid, as they should. It’s complicated, and I’d be skeptical if you told me that you didn’t find it confusing at least at some point in the whole process. There are the standard questions that families tend to ask, like these, and they’re good ones. I mean, we wouldn’t put it on our website if they weren’t, right?

But let’s go a little deeper. Parents, let’s get real for a moment.

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12 gifs that are too real if you applied to Juniata

Kat Swantak
Assistant Dean of Admission

Wait, where did this year go? Like, actually. I can’t find it. I think I left it in 2019 somewhere. I feel like I just started reading applications a week ago, and now it’s half way through April. Many of you have already found your future home at Juniata, some of you are still deciding (Don’t worry, we’re still here!). You all have one thing in common. You all applied to Juniata. Did your journey look something like this?

When you discover that Juniata even exists in the first place:

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