RUTHERFORD, N.J. – When Felician College junior Macki Groves (Millville, N.J./Millville) applied to the physician assistant program at Rutgers University in March, she knew a successful application would bring a premature end to her soccer career for the Golden Falcons. But once she found out she was one of more than 1,500 applicants vying for 50 spots, she gave the idea little thought.
She started to take the proposition a little more seriously when she made the first cut and earned an interview. Then, early this month, she received an acceptance letter to begin the three-year program in 2015-16.
"I was honored," Groves said. "My main goal since I got to college was to be accepted into a program like this. All the classes are in Piscataway, though, so playing sports for Felician will not be possible."
Groves thus enters her final season in 2014. While the two-year starting midfielder will miss the atmosphere of college athletics, she never seriously considered turning down Rutgers' offer.
"I've played sports my whole life, and made great friendships, so of course it will be hard," she said. "But this is something I need to do right away to help set up the rest of my life."
Among the people who wrote recommendation letters for Groves was her soccer coach at Felician, Thomas Notte. For Notte, the loss of a starting player pales in importance to seeing Groves advance in her career.
"You have to take advantage of opportunities in life when they come," Notte said. "Enrolling in this program is what's best for Macki. She has worked hard for this chance and I'm very happy for her."
Groves enters her junior year at Felician with a 3.95 cumulative grade-point average, and earned Academic All-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference honors for the 2013 season. She has nine career goals in 35 games.
"Macki's class work is consistently high-quality," said Dr. Alfredo Castro, Groves' academic advisor and Felician's NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative. "She represents the very finest Felician produces both on and off the playing field."
Felician College, the Franciscan College of New Jersey, is a liberal arts, coeducational Catholic college founded in 1942 and sponsored by the Felician Sisters. True to its mission, Felician College welcomes a diverse student population and embraces its educational needs. With campuses in Lodi and Rutherford, New Jersey, Felician College currently enrolls more than 2,200 students and offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate programs, in the classroom and online, in the arts and sciences, business and management sciences, health sciences and teacher education. Felician College also sponsors 13 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II and National Collegiate levels.