Rugby Apps: Salisbury University orgs.salisbury.edu/rugby/
Karen Fong is a college admissions expert with specialized knowledge of the collegiate rugby landscape. She is a credentialed guidance counselor backed by a team at Dunbar Educational Consultants with over 130 years of combined experience in this field. She is also a former Division I Rugby player at University of California at Davis, National U-23 Team player and currently is on the USA Rugby Referee circuit. With her deep knowledge and strong ties to the collegiate rugby world, Karen is the best resource for families searching for the best fit college for their young rugby player. Various packages are available to suit every family’s needs. To schedule a consultation and discuss client options, please call Karen at (310) 497-0619 cell or email
“Your opinion matters here.” – Aaron Basko, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, Salisbury University.
What do you get when you combine highly engaged students, a great college town atmosphere and easy access to the beach on the east coast? You get Salisbury University (SU), a small- to medium-sized (8,000 undergraduate) public university in Maryland, located just a 90-minute drive from Baltimore and two hours from Washington, DC. Outdoor activities rank high on students’ list of favorite activities off campus which makes perfect since seeing that the campus sits in close proximity to the water and beaches of the Eastern Peninsula and Chesapeake Bay. SU already made a big name for itself academically, consistently ranking as one of the top ten public universities in the U.S. for the last sixteen years, and SU is making a name for itself in the rugby world, too.
Basko notes that the deciding factor for many students is when they come for a campus visit and, “are so impressed by the warmth of community.” The campus has been described as having a distinctly “private” school feel with its lush arboretum atmosphere. Basko says SU is a “dynamic and active” campus where students “take an active role in shaping their education.” Students gain a strong sense of belonging by being a part of multiple clubs and groups. This high level of involvement keeps students engaged in the community. “One word that describes students here is engaged,” says Basko.
This word certainly depicts the SU Sharks Rugby Club, which has both a men’s and women’s Division 2 team. The men’s team has competed brilliantly; most recently reaching the Collegiate Division 2 Final Four in 2011 and the National Championship game in 2012 (where they lost to Middlebury). The women’s team placed 2nd in the Potomac Rugby Conference in 2011.
Men’s Coach Bill Creese describes his squad as being traditionally “undersized,” however, it may be due to their smaller stature that this team embraces their extremely hard work ethic. “As coaches, our main goal is to keep educating the players,” and Creese emphasizes that his players learn more than just rugby laws. Because the coaching staff is voluntary, the majority of managing the team falls on the players’ shoulders. The players must actively become involved with all parts of running the club, and Creese is proud that they develop into leaders both on and off the field.
While being a top-ranked rugby program is a huge source of pride for current and past players, the number one thing players noted as their favorite part of the rugby program is their close bond. Current team captains, Ethan Reese and Nick Kuhl both describe their connection to the team as that of a family. Kuhl explains, “My favorite part is doing something I love with my closest friends.” Kuhl and Reese have been living together since their freshman year, and now they live with a couple of other rugby players. Creese also noted that the players “do everything together.” From studying, to training to going home for the holidays; these players stick together through thick and thin. These relationships don’t fade after graduation, either. Kuhl and Reese both note that at the majority of SU games, you can look up and see no less than 30 alumni players rooting on their team every week. This proud rugby family continues to support the team with both their cheers and their checkbooks. There is a hefty price tag to being a nationally competitive rugby team, and the Sharks rely heavily on their strong alumni and family support to cover these costs.
SU is a competitive university with acceptance rates averaging 53% each year. To apply to SU, students can use either SU’s own application system or the Common Application. The middle 50% of applicants have SAT scores within the 1600-1800 range, ACT scores between 24-27, and GPAS in the B+/A- range. SU’s application review does Super Score the standardized test scores, as well as giving recognition for SAT Subject Tests, AP Tests and a rigorous curriculum. Of special note, SU is the only public School in Maryland that is test optional, meaning students with a 3.5 GPA or better can choose to submit test scores or not. A letter of recommendation is also required. The rugby team does not have any formal recruitment tags with the admissions department.
For a Maryland resident, estimated total costs (including tuition, housing and other fees) are approximately $18,000/year while out-of-state student costs are approximately $29,000/year.
If you’re a highly involved and active student looking for a campus filled with students who are as dynamic as you are, Salisbury may be the right fit for you!
Team Website - orgs.salisbury.edu/rugby/
Men’s Coach Bill Creese -
Women’s Team President - Fallon Migliorini