Name: Matthew Matuszak
Hometown: Green Bay
Course of Study: Theology & Religious Studies Major, Chemistry Minor, Pre-Law Certificate
Why did you choose St. Norbert College?
I chose St. Norbert College because of the small-town feel and sense of community. I was not opposed to going to a bigger school outside of Green Bay, but St. Norbert was the best fit. The campus was beautiful and homey, and the heritage and history of the college was rich and deeply rooted in the surrounding community. St. Norbert also offers a variety of majors with a top-ranked liberal arts curriculum that I found very attractive. The school is a welcoming, community- and faith-based home away from home.
How has financial aid impacted your college experience?
With the financial aid I received from St. Norbert College, and through the careful planning I did, I was able to go through the first two years of college with no student loans. Even during this third year, when I finally had to take out loans, the amount was not staggering because I had aid from the generous gifts of alumni but also from other sources, like the Wisconsin Grant. While St. Norbert is known for providing financial aid to students who want to attend, the Wisconsin Grant has drastically reduced my cost of attendance and overall out-of-pocket costs. I’m truly appreciative of receiving the grant because it allows me to attend St. Norbert without worrying about impending student debt.
At St. Norbert, I put into practice so many of my personal values but also my passions because this school allows me to be free to do so. I am majorly involved in the College’s Against Cancer student organization as co-president, raising awareness for cancer and making it relevant to students on campus. I have deep, intellectually-stimulating conversations in and outside of my classes and I can chat with professors and staff about more than their jobs if I want to, something I couldn’t have done at a larger state school.
With the help of the Wisconsin Grant and St. Norbert financial aid, I am able to attend St. Norbert and experience college in a positive and life-changing way. I truly do not regret my choice of attending a private college. In part, the value of St. Norbert College that goes beyond the dollar is shown in how many of my high school friends have transferred in from large state schools, which are arguably cheaper, because they see the same value I place on St. Norbert and private colleges, one that isn’t monetary.
Did receiving financial aid impact your decision to attend St. Norbert College?
After falling in love with another university and St. Norbert College, I had a tough decision to make because they are both such wonderful institutions with equally beautiful campuses. The main issue was, as with any college decision, the cost. With institutional aid from St. Norbert and the Wisconsin Grant, I chose to attend St. Norbert.
What will a college degree mean to you?
Having a college degree, in my opinion, is no longer about getting the specific set of skills and credentials needed for your desired field. A college degree is vitally important to providing a basis for the critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills that any professional will need. A lot of employers won’t even hire a graduate unless they have a college degree now.
Some schools focus heavily on the major you select and prepare you with curriculum pointed at one outcome. Other colleges, like St. Norbert, on the other hand, want to educate the whole person and as a result, the student becomes more open-minded, diversified, and especially qualified to enter the world of the professional workplace. Having a college degree, especially from a private college, is going to set me apart from other job applicants and give me an upper hand at securing my future.
Have you learned something during college you didn’t expect?
Something that I learned while in college at St. Norbert that I didn’t expect was my love of history. While I don’t plan on minoring in it or obtaining any sort of certificate, the liberal arts education that St. Norbert offers has allowed me to dive into topics that I find compelling and enriching. Classes such as African history or constitutional law, which has significant historical ties from case law and landmark Supreme Court decisions, stimulate me and round out my education.
What are your plans after graduation?
After I graduate from St. Norbert College, I plan to work in healthcare at a hospital or nursing home in an administrative position, gaining enough experience to enter a graduate program to obtain an MBA in Healthcare. This will further my dream to become a healthcare administrative professional. There is a lot of good work that can be done on the administrative side of healthcare that isn’t about the bottom line financially, something that a private liberal arts college education has also taught me.