Colorado State University - Fort Collins
Colorado State University - Fort Collins - Comments and Student Experiences|
Overall: The main thing that attracted me to CSU was the social life and town of Fort Collins. The university has around 20,000 undergraduate students (although I believe they are trying to expand that number), which to me is the perfect size. There are always new people to meet but I still run into people I know on campus. Additionally, the campus is fairly small for a university of its size and everything is within a walking distance.
Student body: As for the types of students found here, I think CSU is a good representation of the Colorado population. There are those from more rural areas, as well as students who come from Denver and Colorado's larger cities. If you enjoy the atmosphere and type of people you find visiting Colorado, chances are you will like the student body here. Since CSU is big, anyone should be able to find their niche. While Boulder has a reputation for being somewhat snobby and rich, CSU tends to attract more down to earth and laid back students (this said from someone who grew up in Boulder). Overall, I think anyone could fit in and feel comfortable here.
Academics: While CU has a reputation for being the more prestigious state school, I think the quality of education CSU offers is at the same level. Ultimately, you will recieve from your education what you put into it; if you are a good student who gets good grades, you are equally prepared for the job market as any student at a large state school.
The quality of programs at CSU varies; I've heard great things about some majors and bad things about others. I am a Human Development and Family Studies major and really like the program; most of my professors have been good and the advisors are helpful and very accesible. That said, I have heard less favorable reviews of other departments so it would probably be helpful to find reviews of the major you are interested in.
Social Life: If you are looking for a school that has a good balance of social life and school, CSU is a great option. There are always things to do on the weekends, whether it be parties, events on campus, etc. Once it gets warm, there is lots of hiking in the area and good camping spots. In the winter, many students go skiing and it's always easy to find someone to go with. Greek life at CSU is noticeable but not overwhelming; most sorities and frats don't live in their houses so you probably won't go to many of their parties unless you join one or are in a sorority. If you like to go to parties, this can make them harder to find because you generally have to know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who has a house. This can make it harder for freshman who don't know upperclassmen with houses intitially, but the party scene is still pretty accesible if you know the right people.
Administration: Ask any CSU student and they are likely to have some complaints about the administration. This is probably common for any large school but it is sometimes easy to feel like you're "just a number". I disagree with a lot of the things that CSU spends money on; we just built a study cube off of the library that is literally just a small glass building for students to do homework in. Some of the buildings and dorms on campus are getting older and CSU would better serve its students by updating them. Additionally, it feels like the administration is more interested in budgeting what will attract new students (the study cube, a new football field, etc.) than things that benefit students already attending. For example, parking is a disaster and I would much rather be able to find a place to park so I'm not late for class than have a new football field for our admittedly terrible team or study in a glass cube.
Athletics/School Pride: If you are looking for a school that takes pride in it's athletics, CSU is not the place for you. Our football team is pretty bad and also has a bad reputation (if you want to know more about this, just google CSU football players fight with freshman...completely ridiculous and a bad representation of CSU). I'm not a big sports fan other than football but I know some of our other athletics have pretty good programs. Still, none of our big sports teams do very well which contributes to a lack of school spirit among students.
Other: The campus at CSU is nice but its not anything to write home about. There has been construction recently which is a bit of an eyesore but hopefully this will help update some of the less attractive buildings. If you are looking for the old brick buildings covered in vines, CSU isn't for you but we still have some nice places on campus like the Oval.
You will love this school if you are white. It seems this campus is very open to white kids from all walks of life.
But it's an open fact CSU has difficulty recruiting and maintaining a racially diverse student body. It doesn't help that Fort Collins has a population that is over 90% white. Or that it's northern, neighboring town, Laporte, is home to a major White Supremacist church.
I've found that many of the students on campus are from small towns or suburban backgrounds where the demographics are mostly the same as Fort Collins. It shows. It seems to take my classmates a longer time to "warm up" to me than it does for them to instantly befriend the other white kids sitting around me in lecture halls.
Then there are the kids who are obsessed with "social justice" and race and whatnot. Since they also tend to be from non-diverse backgrounds, it's like the blind leading the blind up here. They tend to demonstrate the same subtle biases and preferences as everyone else.
Though I've had a few enjoyable classes and good professors, I feel short- changed by this unspoken barrier between myself, the majority of my classmates and the town. If I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen to go to Metro or UCD, since I've been deprived of all the social advantages of "going away" for college.
If you're an "activist" type and enjoy butting heads with people, you might like it here- there's plenty of work to do. If you just want to enjoy your college days and mingle with a diverse crowd, without constantly feeling the need to prove you belong, go to Metro or UCD. Those schools probably even have better academics than CSU.