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The University of Central Arkansas

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Anyone in Arkansas can tell you that UCA

May 29 2013History/Histories (art history/etc.)
Anyone in Arkansas can tell you that UCA does not have a great amount of prestige attached to it. I made a 32 on my ACT, am an excellent writer, and could have easily attended another university out of state. U of A seemed too absorbed in itself, and UCA showered me with scholarships. I was accepted into the Honors College which gave me free, high-quality housing. This majorly influenced my decision to attend UCA.

I didn't really like UCA at first. No one from my high school attended with me besides my boyfriend at the time, so I was on my own. It was intimidating and I was torn in many different directions; Honors, Greek life, and my boyfriend all pulled me toward different social groups. I broke up with my boyfriend, joined a sorority, and immersed myself in my studies. I became MUCH happier after joining Greek life, even if I don't enjoy it nearly as much now that I am older. I believe it was good for me as a freshman.

UCA has a decent social life and decent people. You can definitely find your place, whether you are more liberal or conservative. I've found the people relatively friendly, if not a bit close-minded. Freshman year, I regretted not attending Hendrix to which I also had a full scholarship, but as I've spent more time around Hendrix folks, I've realized that school was NOT for me. I love my Hendrix friends (my current boyfriend attended Hendrix as well), but they are so far from being diverse that they are often caught in a cycle of their own beliefs and thinking. I'm happy at UCA where I'm able to make my own decisions. I'm not religious, so the extremely religious population of Conway can get a bit tiring, but I've found (both in Greek life and Honors) people that share the way I think.

The History, Spanish, and Honors staff and faculty are absolutely fantastic. I can't imagine having more knowledgable or helpful professors at another school. I admit that the classes probably aren't as challenging as they could be- I see many people pass that are absolute morons- but if you engage yourself you will learn a lot and really grow as a researcher and citizen. The Honors program in particular is the best thing about UCA. UCA doesn't realize what a gem they have in this program. Its founders and staff changed my life.

All in all, I enjoy UCA because you can truly make your own experience. At Hendrix (nothing against Hendrix, it's just the one school I know a lot about to make comparisons with), students are given an exact "Odyssey" they must complete and seem to be babied until they graduate. UCA has a ton of nontraditional students and don't hold your hand-- you are expected to make yourself succeed. They will help if you ask, but they will not force you to become successful. The tools are there, but you must utilize them. There are just too many people at UCA for the administration to hold your hand. It's just small enough that I can become a leader of several different organizations and truly make a difference on campus.

Also, take into account the money you will save by going to UCA. I have had excess money to travel every summer and received a grant from Honors to go abroad for 2 months this summer. It's definitely a good deal.

Some students are total morons, but you learn to deal with them. The professors are great for the most part (avoid the Education department), and will really help you out if you've worked hard. I love UCA and I really think this school has turned me into a more confident, successful person.

3rd Year Female -- Class 2014
Education Quality: A+, University Resource Use: B-
Feb 03 2012English

It's a decent school, but basically you HAVE to go Greek. If you don't, you'll be the odd man out. Or woman.

1st Year Female -- Class 2014
Social Life: A+, Useful Schoolwork: F

I'm 26 and after doing completing six years

Sep 07 2010Political Science
I'm 26 and after doing completing six years in the Air Force, Traveling a LOT, and one semester at Temple University Japan Campus, I came back home to go to school because it was the cheaper route to finish my degree up. (ran out of money in Europe!)

I want to preface by saying this is my first semester and I'm only taking two General education classes and two classes towards my major. Please don't rely too heavily on my opinion as it's possible it will change since I'm early on here.

Conway, Arkansas isn't too bad depending on when you're used to and expect. As long as you're assertive about your own entertainment and open-minded then you'll have plenty to do here. If you only want to drink and part and that's it.... well you'll have a bit of difficulty here. It's a dry county but a few restaurants serve alcohol. Otherwise, you'll have to drive a little bit to towns nearby to get something. There's a lot of outdoors stuff to do. I'd say that's the bulk of the activities available without going into Little Rock.

The school itself I would suppose might be best suited for kids straight out of high school. All my classes I'm taking now seem to treat every student like this. If you're a non-traditional student, or just share similar viewpoints of someone older like myself, this can get a bit annoying. The one assumption I've got from all my teachers so far is that we're all fresh out of High School and have plenty of money via student loans, mommy and daddy, and etc.

My biggest gripe is teachers who are unsympathetic to financial issues and books!!!
- My German class requires a textbook that is supposed to come with a CD and a login code for the online workbook (to do all required homework). I got my book used so I didn't expect the CD but there was also nothing mentioned about this login code in the syllabus. Every single person in the class, with a new or used book, did not receive this login code. Our instructor had no sympathy and still requires us to now purchase this code online on the website for $75 after she discussed the issue with us and admitted it was just a packaging error (and pretty much that we were all screwed).

In the LEAST, she could have made accommodations and done our homework assignments a different way so that each student didn't have to pay $75 due to a packaging error. Especially since there was no mention of the login code in the syllabus.

-For my writing class I got my "textbook"...this REALLY makes me angry. Turns out the "textbook" is actually A 256MB USB KEY with ONE file on it! This file isn't an eBook with a lot of pages. More like a larger size power point presentation. My instructor for the course wrote this "textbook" . Oh and this 256MB USB Key with one file is $50. If I can get a 4GB USB key at Wal-Mart (and most places) for under $10... how can anyone justify charging so much?!

SUMMARY
Overall not too bad of a school. Definitely geared towards younger students straight out of high school. Great outdoors activities in a laid back small to mid size town. Not a place if you're looking for a good party school though. Overall this seems to be one of the better schools in the Central Arkansas area.

1st Year Male -- Class 2013
Campus Aesthetics: A, Scholastic Success: F


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