Announcement from Richard V. Hurley, President of UMW
The entire University of Mary Washington community has been saddened to learn of the decision to close Sweet Briar College. Our two great institutions are very similar and share both a common history and a deep and abiding commitment to the liberal arts and sciences. Because UMW has been contacted by a number of SBC students about completing their degree at UMW, I have directed staff from across our university to identify ways that we can support and accommodate them.
We have signed a teach-out agreement with Sweet Briar College and it has received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. We are eager to welcome Sweet Briar College students to the UMW community and pledge make their transition into our community as seamless as possible. At the same time, we will work to maximize their chances of completing their degrees on the schedule that they had anticipated. We are providing Sweet Briar College students with clear guidance on the components of our degree programs and how we will evaluate requests for transfer credit. We want these students to be in a position to make informed decisions about what it will take to complete a degree at UMW. Upon acceptance of UMW’s offer of admission and receipt of a paid deposit, UMW will immediately take the following actions:
- Advising: SBC students will be assigned to a professional advisor in the Office of Academic and Career Services and/or a faculty advisor in cases where the student has a declared major. This advisor shall expedite efforts to work with SBC transfer students to conduct a degree completion evaluation and plan a summer and/or fall course schedule.
- Major Program/Special Majors: SBC students who enter UMW with a declared or preferred major will be matched with one of UMW’s existing degree-completion programs. For students wishing to continue an SBC major that UMW does not offer, we will strive to fashion a special major that will allow them to continue their intended course of study in a way that can be adequately supported by UMW courses and faculty members. UMW will connect students interested in this option to a faculty sponsor and expedite approval of the student’s desired special major program.
- Course Registration: SBC students will have an immediate opportunity to register for courses once a course schedule is determined in consultation between the student and her advisor.
- Academic Honors: SBC students who will have completed less than 60 UMW credits at the time of their graduation will be eligible to graduate with “distinction” (3.3-3.74 GPA) and “highest distinction” (3.75 and above GPA). SBC students who take more than 60 credits at UMW to complete their degree will be eligible for Summa Cum Laude (3.75 and above GPA), Magna Cum Laude (3.5-3.74 GPA) and Cum Laude (3.25-3.49 GPA) academic honors upon graduation.
- Residential Living: SBC students who so desire will be guaranteed on-campus housing, and the UMW Office of Residence Life will work with deposited students to find suitable accommodations.
- Scholarships/Financial Aid: SBC students will be eligible for full aid packaging (federal, state, and institutional merit and need-based scholarships) and UMW will waive the deadline for completion of the FAFSA for SBC students. The Office of Financial Aid will work with SBC students to coordinate rapid evaluation and awarding of aid.
- Student Involvement: SBC students will be connected by the Dean of Student Involvement to UMW clubs, organizations, and programs in which they indicate interest. This will help ensure that co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities are available and that the transition to the UMW community is as seamless as possible.
- Welcome and Orientation: UMW will provide SBC students with a customized welcome and orientation to the university that connects students with their new peers, UMW’s various academic and student support services, and other resources and units of the university. SBC students will be provided individual peer transition mentors.
Finally,UMW will waive the transfer application deadline and all application fees for Sweet Briar College Students. An expedited review process has been established to facilitate a rapid response to prospective students from SBC. Students seeking expedited review of their transfer application should contact the Office of Admissions at 540/654-2000.