Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University - Comments and Student Experiences|
Academically, SLU is above average, but definitely not top-tier. The programs here can range from extremely easy to very challenging depending on the department. The school is known for its strengths in health sciences. Many of the programs are highly respected. The pre-medical track is basically a flunk-out track, however. Science at SLU is very systematized and sheer genius will get you nowhere. I would not recommend pre-medical studies at SLU unless you are someone who knows how to "work the system."
Besides hard science/pre-med, I would recommend almost all of the University's other programs. Social science and business courses that I have experienced have been phenomenal - both in their relative ease as well as depth of learning. Generally, class sizes are small, which is a huge plus for those seeking job connections and graduate school recommendations. One of my professors recently got me a great paid internship and another is helping me every step of the way through my graduate school applications. In fact, one of my courses next semester has only 3 students! All in all, I recommend this school. I have had second thoughts regarding the cost of the school, though. Usually, the school is outstanding at meeting students' financial needs - mostly through private scholarship money, but I do sometimes think of what I could have done with the $200,000+ I spent on a degree that I will receive shortly. (Note that this includes housing and living costs).
So, SLU definitely has a good looking campus. The place looks very nice and the fact that is in a pretty big city should mean that there is stuff always going on. This is one of the big things SLU deceives you with. You need to look beyond the pretty looking campus and the city. You need to talk to the people before you decide to go here. That was probably the biggest mistake I made when I decided to go to SLU. I just looked around, saw the campus, read about the academics, ad that's it. I failed to see what the people were like when I visited campus. St. Louis itself, personally I don't know too much about the city. I have heard different perspectives about the city; that is great and that is awful. Personally, I don't really know which one is correct, because I don't really get out that much(I'll tell you why later).
Academically speaking, SLU is really a good place to go. I have only been here for one semester, but I feel like the teachers are good. Maybe I got lucky with my first semester teachers, I don't know. I have not had to bad of experiences with my teachers so far. I have heard some people with pretty bad experiences with teachers, but every university is going to have some bad teachers, SLU is no different. If you look at ratemyprofessor.com, I think SLU has a pretty high professor average. So, if you are only looking for academics, SLU is a good place to go. BUT, there are many universities that have good academics, and I would not recommend SLU unless you are thinking about the medical field. There are better universities that are much less expensive. (I would like to go on a tangent about how expensive this university is, but I don't want to spend too much time on this review. Just know that SLU is very expensive, and know that just because you are getting scholarships and everything does not make the university that much more affordable. I'm realizing every day that coming to SLU was a huge financial choice that will take many years to get rid of the debt.)
Now to the most important part, the people. Being a medium sized university (roughly 10,000 students), I thought SLU would be much more diverse. I thought wrong. Being a Catholic university, and an expensive one, mostly everyone is the same, in my opinion. (I want to stress that this is my opinion, because I have heard people say different). I would say that at least 80% of the people here are white Catholics. Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with religion, but these people here are raised Catholic and they have unquestioning values about their faith. They are for the most part close minded and not open to change or challenging of their faith. (I myself was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic grade school and high school, but I would consider myself a non practicing Catholic at the moment). Anyway, these people are hypocritical. They go out to party, drink, and hook up, then they go to church on Sunday night at 9 p.m. and wonder why other people aren't going to mass. They do not understand what their faith is really asking of them to do. They go out to do things that their God does not want them to do, and then go to mass expecting everything to be OK. Sorry for that tangent there.
What else about the people... In my experience, this is what the people are that I have met in as close to a nutshell as I can describe. SLU students are white RICH Catholics who went to good high schools(usually Catholic high schools. And if they went to public high schools, it's is because they live in an extremely rich town where the academics are very good because everyone that lives there is very rich. ALSO, the majority of them are from the rich suburbs from Chicago. So, if you are trying to get away, and you are from the suburbs of Chicago, you will not if you go to SLU because about 1/3 of the students, i feel, are from the RICH suburbs of Chicago), have rich parents, are close minded, have never really experienced much, were not the coolest people in high school (The ones who were sort of cool in high school, but mot really. Thought they were cooler than they were, tried to hang out with the cool kids, but never really fit in), did not drink in high school (or at least not until the very end of their high school career) and as a result are obsessed with drinking and get drunk very easily and often(but SLU is still not that big of a party school. Everybody here is still studious), are sheltered, just look like stuck-up rich snobby people in their Ralph Lauren clothes (I had one person tell me that he has never worn Hollister or Aeropostle in his life, while wearing his, who knows, $150+ Ralph Lauren sweater.), and I don't like any of them. The people are nice, I will give them that, but for the most part, this is what I have experienced about the people from SLU. My friend I talked about earlier, says the people she has met are different, but I don't know, I have yet to meet her friends. Then there is the other half of SLU students, the weirdos. These are the classic weird people who people are going to find anywhere, but I think there might be an abundance of them here at SLU.
Continuing with the people, I have heard that it really depends where you live what the people are like on your floor and residence hall. Which is very true. In Gries, there are the people that I have mentioned, and in Reinert probable as well. Everywhere else for first year students, I think is for the more studious and weirder students,
Now to the girls. SLU has about a 60-40% girl-boy ratio. Being that much more girls, I expected more from the female side of SLU. There are definitely some attractive girls at SLU, but the vast majority of them are average at best. There is not really much middle ground-either hot or not. Like how there is no middle ground with everybody else here. You either have losers who go out to drink, or you have losers who do weird stuff and/or study. As a result, I do not get out much, because I don't want to hng out with any of these people at SLU because I do not want to do what they are doing.
I am going to talk briefly about the frats/sororities for a second. I rushed, and I got a bid, but declined it, so I have a minimal authority to talk about them. Frats are a joke. They accept anyone and are really not very serious at all. You do not even rush before the academic semester begins like you do with other schools. You just show up to events at the beginning of the year and you basically get to become a member. There is no hazing whatsoever as far as I know in the frats. Really? No hazing? That is what a frat does, and they don't do it here. I hazed back in high school for my football team, and honestly it is one of the funnest things I did on the team. But, anyway, no hazing is either good or bad for you depending on what you want from a frat if that is what you want in your college experience. So, form my experience, the frats are a joke and accept anyone (this includes the weird people who would not even come close to being in a frat at a real public college with frats).
And heres a mini paragraph about the student involvement organizations/centers or whatever you would call them; to put it nicely, THEY ARE NOT GOOD.Anyway, sorry for the very long post, I just wanted to say what I wanted to say. I did not say everything I did want to say, because I am tired of typing now. So, to summarize, SLU is OK at best, in my eyes. It is not great, but it is not extremely terrible. I really do not like the people here at all, but the academics are good. The Jesuit affiliation is not really prominent(for better or worse for you, depending upon what you want). SO, HERE IS MY ADVICE to high school seniors looking for a university to fit with them:Every university is going to be slightly to vastly different from every other one. No one university, I feel is going to fit 100% with you. There will always be at least one or two things that you won't like, but that is not a big deal. You want to look for that university that fits 95% or so with you. Personally, SLU so far does not fit with me, and I will probably be transferring after one year at this place. The number one thing a high school senior should look for in a college, I believe is the people. Do not just go to a university and look at the campus and read about the university. You need to talk to people and get a feel for the university. What you need to do is to stay overnight at the college and get a feel for what it would be like to go there. The people are the most important thing about a university. You need to make friends and enjoy your time there. I have a 3.94 GPA and SLU has really good academics, but I could care less, because I am truly miserable at SLU. I have not met a single person a would call a friend, and I am having an awful time. So, don't fall into the trap I did. Talk to people at the colleges you are looking into, stay overnight, and get a feel for the people there. Ask yourself if these are the kind of people you would like to hang out with. SLU fits a lot of people(because there are a lot of people in this world), I think. I am just not one of them. You might be, so don't let my review dissuade you from going to SLU, because you might very well love it there. I have no problem if people love SLU, I am just not one of them.
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