As a current Marist student in the Honors Program, I hope I can be of some help! The Honors Program has, without a doubt, been the backbone of my career at Marist.
I was invited into the Honors programs of all the schools I was accepted into, and Marist was the only one that I felt provided not only academic excellence, but also a strong sense of community. I decided to live on the Honors floor my freshman year, which was by far the best decision I could have made for a smooth college transition. In addition to making instant friends (who I still live with and consider my best friends three years later,) the Honors Program used the space to invite faculty to speak with us about topics they were personally passionate about. These informal events allowed me to get to know faculty in a different environment than the classroom, and get to participate in meaningful conversations with my peers.
The Honors curriculum at Marist is purposefully built not to overwhelm students by making them take an overwhelming additional amount of credits, but rather to provide a more enriched and personalized experience of current credit requirements. For instance, all Marist students must take a First-Year Seminar, but Honors students take an Honors level FYS. I find this a very practical approach to the Honors Program, since it allows me to fulfill my Honors and regular academic requirements with enough room to also be double minoring.
Instead of describing the program as challenging, I like to describe the program as enriching. The classes are a lot of work, for sure, and require a lot of time and effort, but they are not intended to make you fail. Rather, the program strives to provide students with opportunities to graduate as socially engaged and responsible members of society, with real-world experiences to also make us employable.
The additional requirements above and beyond the regular Marist academic program are the Honors Civic Service and Learning classes, Honors by Contract, and Honors Senior Thesis. All of these classes aim to provide students with opportunities to go above and beyond the typical college experience. It is in these classes that I have gotten to work one-on-one with professors, which is a huge opportunity, especially considering at some schools with large lecture halls the professors may never know your name. With the Honors by Contract and Senior Thesis specifically, you work with a professor of your choice to develop a project, the content of which is flexible according to your major, interests, and intended career path. Marist students who complete the Honors Program graduate with a closer relationship with professors and have experiences that are impressive to discuss in an interview or on a graduate application.
The Honors Program has never failed in providing me ample opportunities to attend conferences or lectures, both formal and informal, to make my college experience memorable and gratifying.
I wish your daughter the best of luck in her decision, and if you have any additional questions (both about Honors or the school itself,) please feel free to ask!