Furman University - Comments and Student Experiences|
As a Health Sciences major, I was given many opportunities to participate in research and almost every faculty member in my department was helpful and knowledgeable in their fields.
That said, Furman is just way too expensive for the quality of education, housing, and experience that you receive. The financial aid department does not give a lot of money and I have had to fight them to try and stay at the school to get my degree. I would have been better off transferring but I'm so involved with my major that I feel the need to stick it out.
The most frustrating thing about Furman, for me, is that they charge an exorbitant amount and spend most of the tuition costs on groundskeeping and unnecessary beautification projects as opposed to upgrading educational materials or fixing housing concerns. I reported my room flooding on multiple occasions and even had to have toxic mold cleaned several times but still had to pay the same cost for my room as everyone else with no permanent fixes ever being made. The largest major at Furman is Health Sciences but they have one of the smallest and most outdated buildings on campuses; the "lecture hall" is so cramped that professors will do anything to have class somewhere else, materials for my anatomy class were so old they were falling apart and we had to have class in another building altogether to fit our class, and the main lab for HSC majors is an old storage building outside of the main facility.Lastly, I'd like to say that the student body is probably the least diverse and most stuck-up group of people you will ever meet. On average, students tend to be conservative, southern, and rich. If you do not belong to a sorority or fraternity then you will find yourself excluded from the vast majority of the student body. I don't have any problems getting to know many of the students because they are all very talkative and friendly, but they can be very self-absorbed and materialistic. It is difficult to become truly friends with many of them unless it is in the context of greek life or a religious organization.
I also won an Army ROTC scholarship. A dozen colleges around the country sent me letters offering to pay my room & board if I brought my scholarship to them - places like Gannon, San Francisco State, etc. Furman was among these. My parents asked that I choose one of these schools as a "back-up," so I had a free ride guaranteed. I had never heard of most of these, but chose Furman University based on some research. I applied, was accepted, and decided to go to Furman, all sight unseen. The chance to get an $80,000+ education for free was too much to pass up.
It was the best decision I could have possibly made. I chose Furman for three reasons - the academics, the campus, and the chances to study abroad.
First, the academics are top flight. I drifted from the English department my first year to the History department. The professors are all full PhDs - Furman uses no Teaching Assistants. My largest class (an intro-level Chemistry class) had 30 students. Professors are always available for help or additional information. Students are serious, bright, and eager to learn. Throughout the South, a Furman degree sets you equal with graduates from Duke, Davidson, Wake Forest, and others.
Second, the campus is simply beautiful. Fountains bookend a half-mile stretch of green called "The Mall." The chapel and library preside over the commons, and many new buildings have been added recently, though they all are in keeping with the neo-classical Georgian theme. The Furman Lake has a nice running path, and the Belltower illuminated at night is the university's trademark. It's not called "The Country Club of the South" for no reason.
Finally, the foreign study. Fully 1/3 of all Furman students will study abroad during their four years. I myself was lucky enough to go twice. My sophomore year, I studied drama and history in England. Six weeks in London, with time in Scotland and Ireland. I also spent two weeks of my own time traveling through Eastern Europe - this was in 1996, just a few years after the end of the Cold War. In 1999, I returned to Eastern Europe to study political security issues and history again. This time, I saw Russia, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. All of this before I was 22.
My time at Furman prepared me for more than a career - it prepared me for my life. I went straight into the Army after college, as a second lieutenant. As fully 75% of the Army's officer corps is from the South, name recognition of Furman University was another advantage. I am leaving the Army next year, and have been admitted to the graduate program in History at George Mason University.
Now, there are cons - much is made of the social life of Furman. 1/3 of the student body is in the Greek system. I myself never pledged. Greenville, South Carolina is a great town - there's plenty to do without being in a fraternity or sorority. Book stores, cafes, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, bars, pubs, cultural events, concerts, minor-league sports, etc. I never felt left out for not being in a fraternity.
The second con - Furman's campus is "dry." More aptly, it might be called "damp." The administration will not turn a blind eye to drinking, but low-key get-togethers in dorm rooms rarely attract RAs.Finally, housing. Except for a few exceptions, students are required to live on campus all four years. The good news is that juniors and seniors get great on-campus apartments, many of which are less than 5 years old. But being in such a gorgeous locale, and still only a 15 minute drive from downtown, why would you want to leave?
Are you a student and about to sign the very first lease in your li... more→