Joining Presidential Scholars is great and everyone should apply. Being accepted is based off academics as well as community service, but you can only apply before the freshmen and junior semesters.
Being part of the Presidential Scholars, or “Pres Scholars” as it more commonly known, requires you to go to about one meeting a month on Wednesday nights from 6 to 8 pm. Every Pres Scholar also has to take one honors class each semester. I have taken Mayan Art and Culture, Art and Patronage in the Italian Renaissance, Sociology, and History of New York Architecture. These classes have been by far some of the best classes I have taken at FIT. Only Presidential Scholars and students who get special permission can take honors classes, so the size of the classes are not so huge. Also, the classes are specialized and the teachers are always amazing, often the most celebrated professors in the school. Taking these classes are helpful in finishing a minor if you choose to do so. I have recently finished my Art History minor and am in the process of finishing a Fashion Studies minor.
Irene Buchman, who is in charge of the Pres Scholars, is very focused on the liberal arts. Even though SUNY requires certain liberal arts in order to graduate, Professor Buchman really stresses the importance of broadening your horizons beyond fashion and business. Every meeting has a speaker who is a specialist in their field, but is never from the fashion industry. Buchman thinks we have enough fashion in our brains already, and she is probably right.
Pres Scholars also get some advantages in registration. Every semester students have to register themselves for the upcoming semester by getting up at an ungodly hour and praying they get the classes they want before all the slots fill up. However, Presidential Scholars meet with Professor Buchman about two weeks before everyone else signs up, and chooses the block they want. This almost ensures not only you get the classes you desire, but also that you do not have trouble graduating because of unfinished SUNY requirements.
However, the best part of being in Pres Scholars is definitely our access to Professor Buchman. She knows everyone in this school, I mean everyone. If you ever have a problem with a class, or need a recommendation or anything like that she is a great resource. There have been many times Professor Buchman has graciously helped me when I turn up to her office unannounced and worried. Friendly, intelligent and incredibly generous with her time, Professor Buchman is the rock of the Presidential Scholars.
Oh yeah, the cookies are great too.