Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find frequently asked questions about participating in a SSIR or Themed community. If you have other questions that are not answered here, please contact us.


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  • May I apply for more than one SSIR or Themed Community?

    Yes. You can only apply to be a participant in up to three SSIR or Themed Communities. Faculty are looking for students who show a particular interest in their community.

  • What’s an ideal length for my application essays?

    An essay response should be concise yet expansive enough for you to express genuine interest as to why you want to be part of this community. Past application essays ranged from 1–2 paragraphs. You will have the opportunity in your interview to expand on your essay. If you are applying to more than one SSIR or Themed Community, be sure to address both communities in your essay responses.

  • Why do you ask for my G.P.A. on the application?

    We ask for your grade point average only as part of your entire application; there is no minimum grade point average to apply. The classes associated with SSIR and LLCs are rigorous and require a committed student; however, we understand that grade point average is only one measure of academic success. If you are not satisfied with your grade point average or do not feel it reflects your ability as a student, please explain that in one of the essays.

  • What if I haven’t gotten involved yet? Does it look bad for that part to be blank?

    We ask that you list how you been involved on campus thus far to try to get a holistic picture of you as a student here at Richmond. We know that many first-year students, in particular, haven’t been overly involved as they work through the transition from high school to college. We also acknowledge that, for many students, participating in a living-learning or SSIR community is a way to find their niche on campus. Feel free to explain that in one of the essays for the faculty to review.

  • I have submitted my application. Now what?

    Once you submit your application you have completed the steps that are needed until the interview process.  You will hear from the New Student and Transition Programs Team about how to schedule your interview.  

  • What are the faculty looking for from students?

    We are looking for students with a genuine interest in the topic and an open mind. We want students who will commit to the community fully. We are looking for students who want to join a community of peers who they may not know well to begin with, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, academic disciplines, and who want do more with their academics outside of the classroom.

  • I am a student athlete; can I apply to be in an SSIR or Themed Community?

    Yes, communities are open to all. We have had many student athletes participate in an SSIR or Themed Community who successfully balance academics, the SSIR of Themed Community, and their athletic commitments.


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