Here's the truth about Adelphi University:
With any university, you take the good with the bad. While I do regret turning down NYU, I do not regret choosing Adelphi's close-knit and reputable Honors College. I honestly wish the Honors College had a more exclusive curriculum from the Gen-Ed core requirements. The classes that Honors students are required to take (including a thesis required for each student) are pretty rigorous, and the community in that school is like a little family. While some Honors students are a little "bookish" and unwilling to socialize, there are plenty of bright and friendly students in the college. Many Honors College alumni end up going to graduate school at prestigious schools such as Harvard Law School and MIT. My experience and networking in the Honors College significantly helped me prepare for a graduate career, and I am now enrolled in an esteemed graduate program in Art History.
The other classes at Adelphi are not too bad. The classes are small, and most of the professors, who know you by your name, go out of their way to help you and make sure you succeed. However, the general student body is not very academically engaged and would rather spend time gossiping about fellow students. As the acceptance rate is close to 70%, Adelphi generally attracts students who did "average" in high school, so it is not very difficult to be admitted to the school other than admission to the Honors College.
As for the student body, the school has a vast majority of commuters, so the campus empties out by the evening and is dead on the weekends. Personally, I find this a little bizarre since many of the student activities and events are held on weeknights. The phrase that many campus-wide emails use is "Get Involved", but the university should better accommodate to the commuter population so that they can get involved in student activities. The activities and organizations that are popular are the sororities and the fraternities. Greek Life does not completely dominate the social scene, but it has a huge presence at Adelphi. A lot of students I knew ended up going Greek, and it seems that in order to have a better social life and to not get left out of events, one feels pressure to go Greek, which is a little off-putting given that the university is so small.
I made plenty of friends when I was an Adelphi student, but students at this school really need to look closely and carefully for opportunities to meet people. The social atmosphere on campus is basically that of a second high school, a place full of cliques where everyone seems to know everyone else. The campus is slowly becoming more diverse, but racial and ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ community at Adelphi are quite underrepresented. It is not that the students are not accepting; they just seem rather apathetic. Also, students must keep in mind that Adelphi used to be an all-women's school and the campus is 70% women.
The sporting events aren't very well-attended, even though Adelphi does well in Division II Lacrosse, Baseball and Softball. Perhaps if Adelphi had a decent basketball team and a football team, there would be more school spirit there. There are some decent cultural events on campus such as lectures from people like renowned anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall and performances from Grammy-winning and Tony-winning artists.
As for Adelphi's location, it is near a Long Island Railroad Station that goes to New York City, so NYC is pretty close to the campus. Adelphi is also within close proximity to a mall. Garden City itself is a beautiful town and has its share of good places, but it can be a little boring at times.
Tuition, while cheaper than many private universities, is still pricey. Expect to fork over around $30,000 a year if you do not get any financial aid or scholarships.Overall, I would recommend that students do some research on Adelphi before deciding to go simply because "it's close to where I live." If he or she can, I recommend that a prospective student apply to the Honors College. I am in no way discouraging people from attending Adelphi; I have presented the pros and cons of the school. If I had to do it all over again, however, I would have chosen a school in NYC like NYU or Columbia. There will be a new president at the university soon, so Adelphi shall see what the change in leadership will bring to the university.