The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America - Comments and Student Experiences|
CUA is a beautiful campus. Any prospective student will not disagree, the gothic architecture, landscape, location and access to the city by an on campus metro station is unbelievable. But don't let the aesthetics of the campus fool you, as it did to me.
Religion: Anyone that says they don't force religious down your throat is kidding themselves. Religion is EVERYWHERE, which is expected at THE Catholic University of America, but it is too a point where, I myself, a Catholic, begin losing faith due to the judgement I received for not being as "hardcore" as others. There is such thing as a "God squad"- you heard that right. A God Squad. You believe in Gay rights, equality and free speech? Good luck with that. Want to start a club advocating for LGBTQ or Women's rights? Good luck with that. Everything is according to Catholic Social rule. THIS SCHOOL IS EXTREMELY UNPROGRESSIVE AND INSANELY CONSERVATIVE. I promise you, at your time at Catholic you will never hear a speaker that advocates for anything against the Catholic church.
The People: Vineyard Vines, Polo, Sperry, you name it. Everyone at this school went to Catholic school for Pre-K to High School. You'll most likely hear girls discussing what color plaid their school skirts in. I had some friends that went to public school and a lot of kids would look at them with four eyes. Mostly conservative, entitled rich kids, super religious, and extremely judgmental.
The Food: You would think paying thousands of dollars for a meal plan, you would get a decent meal. WRONG. The dining hall is horrifying. Probably the size of my living room. Disgusting quality, definitely NOT sustainable, unhealthy, with very very limited options. The school requires freshmen and sophomores to have an unlimited plan. During my time at CUA, my friends and I avoided the dining hall like the plague. Disgusting, disgusting food. This is not an opinion- more so a very universal fact.
The Reputation: CUA does not have as good as a reputation as the other schools in D.C. In fact, its probably one of the punchline to many jokes made by the surrounding universities. The admission rate is pretty high and mostly all the programs are unranked. Nationally, CUA is ranked #121. I've even heard the nursing program is on probation? Catholic also has more negative press about them than positive.
Expensive: CUA is extremely expensive, despite the financial aid. Referring to my previous point, you are paying an extreme amount of money for a subpar private school with absolutely no prestige, and no name recognition.
Alumni Network: EXTREMELY Lacking. Unless you want to go into the clergy.
Parties/Social Life: Parties at CUA are usually pretty mediocre. You will see the same people and girls have to pay at the door. If you're old enough for the bar scene, D.C. is a great place to be.
Athletics: CUA is D3. A low D3 school to be more specific. The sports teams suck and the athletes think they are gods despite being a part of the most irrelevant sports programs in the nation. They even call non-athletes NARPS (Non Athletic Regular Person), overlooking the fact that they would probably not even make the club or intramural team at most other universities.
Academics: I really enjoyed my major classes at CUA. I had good professors that I learned a lot from. EXCEPT, some of the programs were new, underdeveloped and poorly executed. Also, being at a Catholic university you are required to take three religion courses and three philosophies. Which basically contributes nothing to your actual major unless you are a theology or philosophy major.
I ended up transferring to a state school, that not only was significantly cheaper, but also had ranked academic programs, research opportunities, more prestige, and a better environment that is allowing me to discover who I am, on a campus that is incredibly diverse in ethnicity, religion, political views, etc. Truthfully, I ended up making a lot of friends at CUA and I do not regret going there my freshman year because it showed me the kind of person I do not want to become. At CUA, I felt restricted, confined in my beliefs, and judged. I was also not getting the bang for my buck. I strongly suggest applying to a school that helps you grow and expand both academically and mentally. That challenges your point of view and everything you believe in. Go to a place that you will LOVE. I did not find this at CUA and if you take a look at their retention rate, not many others did either.
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