What The King’s College Looks for in Students
By Kokko Tso
An interview with Dr. Kimberly Thornbury
Dr. Kimberly Thornbury is the Vice President for Enrollment & Strategic Planning at The King’s College in New York City. We asked her about the King’s College experience and her tips for applying to college.
What attracted you to The King’s College?
“I grew up near the college in New York and was very familiar with it, but it was the college’s unique position as the only residential Christian college located in the heart of a major city, as well as its PPE core curriculum that really drew me to come help recruit students for King’s.”
PPE curriculum—what’s that?
“PPE stands for Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, and it’s a model we adapted from Oxford. Think about some of the most important questions of our society, ones that are reflected on the front page of every newspaper: What is good government? How should we relate to and work with others? What is economically sustainable? These are the questions all King’s students study, discuss, and debate in their first classes here.”
The King’s College is a Christian college; how do faith and reason intersect in its community of scholars?
Your faith is not simply a campus ministry or praying before class. At King’s, it’s interwoven into everything you do. We believe that God created goodness in creation, and because of sin, we have some broken systems right now. So, we equip our students with the biblical framework to ask, “As Christians, how should we think rightly about law, justice, media, politics, or any other discipline—and how do we restore this broken system to its original state of goodness?”
What does The King’s College look for in prospective students?
First, I should mention that we have an open admission policy. Whatever your religious background or personal beliefs, as long as you have a desire to learn about a biblical worldview, you’re going to find a respectful, encouraging environment that not only supports your faith but also tests it.
We look for young men and women with courage. It takes a brave person to enter the “city that never sleeps”—an environment full of diversity, energy, and challenges—in order to learn how to navigate through life in faith.
We’re also looking for students who demonstrate both intellectual and professional curiosity. Internships are a big part of a King’s education. We’ve placed students in some of the nation’s leading companies and organizations in NYC. From the United Nations to Fox Business, Manhattan Institute to Jimmy Fallon, Goldman Sachs to charity:water—the list goes on. We want students who are ready to pursue knowledge, then take what they’ve learned in the classroom out into different workplaces and industries.
What is some advice that you would give to CLT students who are interested in applying to The King’s College?
First, spend time and effort in high school to get a good GPA and test scores. Our admissions counselors heavily weigh your high school academic record to determine your ability to succeed and contribute at The King’s College.
Second, don’t be afraid to go deep (rather than wide) on advanced classes, extracurriculars, and community involvement. You can’t be good at everything, and admissions counselors can tell the difference between a student who really strives to master specific subjects or pursues a particular passion, versus someone who’s just trying to pad their resume.
Finally, get out a calendar and circle important dates—test days, application deadlines, etc. It’s easy for these things to sneak up on you, and you want to make sure you get everything in on time.
Oh! And one more thing: if you have a crazy or silly email address, get a professional one to use with your college application. You want admissions counselors to remember you for the strength your resume and essay, not because your email was “email@example.com.”
Any other thoughts for CLT students?
We focus heavily on studying primary texts and great works at The King’s College, so anyone who loves what the CLT stands for will find a familiar academic environment at King’s. We also find that CLT students do extremely well. In fact, all the students we’ve gotten from the CLT currently have 4.0 GPAs here.
Finally, look for a college education that is a good fit for your beliefs and goals. Take a campus tour and look around. Do you want to surround yourself with the students, faculty, and staff you see? Do they have the qualities that you aspire to? Review course catalogs and look at the course descriptions: do they turn your head and capture your imagination?
If you’re looking for a beautiful curriculum, a close-knit community that prepares you better for how you were created and where you want to be, and an education that will enhance your character, then you should definitely consider The King’s College.