If you know what the following words mean—Stewart's, the TU, Crossgates, the Northway, cider donuts, SPAC, the track—you're clearly a local. And since your hometown is right here in the Capital Region, you may be wondering about life at Siena. Is it too close to home? Will you know too many people? Should you apply? This Q&A is for you.

Meet Beth Rucinski, a sophomore marketing major who didn't have to travel far (we're talking just a few miles) to find the right college for her. Here's why she'd pick Siena all over again:

1. Diversity. "Although it may seem like staying near home means staying near everyone else, it doesn’t! It’s actually exactly the opposite. I’ve met some awesome people at Siena from all over the country, and even from all over the world. Being at Siena has been mind-opening; I can truthfully say I’ve learned just as much out of the classroom as I have in it."

2. Community. "There is honestly nothing greater than walking into a local restaurant with your Siena t-shirt on and seeing someone’s face light up as they ask, 'Do you go to Siena!?' It is almost always followed by 'I went there' or 'A family member went there,' and even an occasional 'We go to every basketball game!' Not only do Siena students open their doors to everyone, but so do the alumni. It’s always awesome seeing how much networking can be done just by knowing some Siena grads that stayed local."

3. Home is where the heart is. "As great as it is to be independent and always hanging out with friends, there is something special about being able to go home for a nice home-cooked meal and to see your family every once in a while. Being a local student really does give you the best of both worlds, and most importantly: you get to decide how often (or how infrequently) you go home."

4. Proximity to Albany. "It’s obviously nice to be close to Albany for a lot of reasons—including internship and job opportunities, as well as the short ride to other colleges like St. Rose and UAlbany. Networking is also huge in the Capital Region, and if you’re anticipating staying by your family when you’re older, getting to know the jobs and professionals in the area is important."

5. Year-round opportunities. "I think being a local actually increases your involvement on campus. With only a short drive away from home, you can take classes over the summer, work on campus in one of the many offices or even take the opportunity to do research with a professor. I spent the summer after my freshman year working on campus during the day, and doing research on a thesis with a professor in my major in the afternoon. All options that are totally advantageous for locals!"

You heard the upstater. Even if you've driven by the campus dozens of times, schedule a tour today so you can really see what it's like at Siena. Or, go ahead and apply. Now's the time!

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