Marist College - Comments and Student Experiences|
President Murray is anal compulsive about having a beautiful campus, so you'll know where your tuition is going. Constant lawnmowers, weed wackers, construction for a new building, etc. on campus. What people won't tell you is that the winters are much colder on the campus than in other parts of town, because there is nothing to block the wind coming off of the river. You'll fall in love with that river view in the warm months, but from December-March you'll hate walking there. Some parts of the campus smell like a dead animal because of these trees they insist on planting because they look nice. If there's no further proof that Marist is form over function, they completely redid the cafeteria (it's now called a "dining hall" because it sounds nicer) to make it look like a castle interior, except they somehow made the food WORSE and took away a lot of customization options that made the food good in the first place. The other food places on campus are all run by Sodexo and they jack the prices every year, without giving you any extra debit money on your meal plan. Total ripoff.
The area is a mixed bag. You'll need a car to get to almost all of the good stuff, and you can't have a car until you're a sophomore (the school does have two zipcars and Poughkeepsie has $3-4 cabs). By the way, there is not nearly enough parking on the campus. If you're into active stuff, Marist is a great place to go with a ~20 mile long rail trail/pedestrian bridge only a mile away from campus and the Mohonk preserve over past New Paltz. There's two national parks, Vanderbilt and FDR, a 15-20 minute drive north. There's a movie theater, a mall, a roller rink, and an ice rink in the area as well.
Poughkeepsie itself is a total dump. There's currently a heroin epidemic going on in the city, and you can't walk anywhere at night with less than 4 people or you could get assaulted (the campus itself is very safe). The usual practice is to pregame in your apartment/room/house and then go out to a club/bar, most of which you will need a fake ID to get into (fortunately, most aren't very strict). Again, the cabs take you directly there and back. If you're looking for a huge house party school, Marist isn't for you.
The student body is mostly homogenous. At first glance, you'll find the typical Marist student is a rich white kid from Long Island, New Jersey, or possibly Connecticut. Marist loves pocketing money, so they lowball kids on financial aid and basically dare them to come to the school. You do have to look hard, but you can find kids from different backgrounds.
Marist boasts at having nearly 100 clubs and activities, but many of them are just clubs for people in the different majors to join (an accounting club, teaching club, etc). Frat life is a joke here. The good sports teams are all non-spectator sports. Men's basketball has been bad for years and plays to an empty building. Football is bad, outside of one year. Women's basketball is great, but even they only get high attendance for their opener and one other game.
Finally, as for academics, I can only speak from my experience and not the other programs. The bottom line is out of over 40 classes I took at Marist, less than a quarter of them will actually help me in my career and I felt like I wasted my money. Communication classes all give you the exact same information, which is mostly common sense, just under different course titles. I also took computer programming classes, which were more difficult, and the professors there had a "if this is so easy for me it should be easy for you too" condescending attitude. Marist did absolutely nothing to help me get an internship or a job in my field - their career center I found to be useless and cookie cutter, they didn't bring in any companies in my field for info sessions or career fairs, and my faculty advisor gave me better advice.I generally enjoyed Marist, but for over $40k (and contrary to what they say, they are cheap with financial aid), I would advise you to look at your state schools first. You may be able to get the same or better experience for a lot cheaper. I don't look at my diploma proudly nor do I have one of their alumni license plate covers, put it that way.
That being said, i am an american citizen and grew up with an american education, just happened to live overseas and i just wanted to seek, a well-rounded college experience that will push me forward to becoming an adult and seeking a profession.
SO that's where i come from, and you can assume that i had my fair share of expectation's for this school.
I was studying Fashion Merchandising at Marist, which i must say, was an amazing department. they make you work hard and they prepare you for a great well-rounded introduction into the industry. The classes are tough and the professors make you work hard for it. Once you get out of college or have an internship, you'll understand that the industry isn't any different. It's difficult, you have to push through the work and get to your goal. The Marist fashion department is great in that sense.
HOWEVER, there were a lot of mishaps going through this process and living and learning at Marist. I TRANSFERRED into Marist from another school. i wanted to study fashion as i was just attending a general liberal arts university previously. SO i came to marist, knowing little about Poughkeepsie and the entirety of the Marist experience.
If you come to this school as a TRANSFER student, i would not recommend this to anyone. They do not cater to transfer students what so ever and there is no guidance in trying to adjust. I am pretty independent and i know how to deal by myself, but this was much more challenging than i had imagined. They put the transfer students in the Marriott Residence, which is a huge step up from the normal college dorm. HOWEVER, you have to drive back and forth from school, you're basically a commuter and they offer free transportation that fits about 6 people in a family sized van. You will probably need a car for this. I say this because Marist runs on a point system when it comes to housing. Now, what kind of school runs on a point system? The point system basically allows you to gain on-campus housing, the more points, the better housing. So you have to be involved in clubs and other organizations.
As an international student, i joined the international club, as i thought i would meet people in this. The clubs start around 10pm and are about 5 minutes. So i had class from like 4-6pm, and i would drive back to the resident inn and then have to drive back to school and then back to the residence. The van doesn't drive that late. There was a lot of back and forth and very unnecessary to obtain these points? not to mention how worthless the clubs actually are, they force the students to be more focused on points rather then trying to be in involved into a club.
If you are seeking diversity, unfortunately, this school is not it. Mostly tri-state area students, which is not a bad thing. But it is a an experience. I am proud to be part of the LGBT community and this was the most depressing school to try to figure yourself at. I almost felt like it was a high school environment, and people weren't that friendly. i thought that being in the fashion department, i would have fit in, but the department is mostly 90% girls and most of them aren't that creative.
The town of poughkeepsie isn't very safe either. i was 21 when i attended marist for the year and the party scene is big here. If you have an ID you get into the same three places that everyone goes to. and of course all of the girls that see their friends act like they haven't seen each other for years when they run into each other at the bar. but that's just a regular college experience. The social life can be good if you make friends and put yourself out there. it isn't easy, and marist makes it very difficult.
I wanted to go college to figure myself out and to find out what i like. Marist was just not the place for me to do this. The people that i still talk to that have finished studying at Marist, did enjoy it, but it's really up to you to make the experience. as a transfer student, it was very challenging for me, and most of the transfer students that attended with me for that first semester, left. which speaks a lot about the transfer experience at Marist.