in Arkansas can tell you that UCA does not have
a great amount of prestige attached to it. I made
a 32 on my ACT, am an excellent writer, and
could have easily attended another university out of state. U
of A seemed too absorbed in itself, and UCA showered
me with scholarships. I was accepted into the Honors College
which gave me free, high-quality housing. This majorly influenced my
decision to attend UCA.
I didn't really like UCA at
first. No one from my high school attended with me
besides my boyfriend at the time, so I was on
my own. It was intimidating and I was torn in
many different directions; Honors, Greek life, and my boyfriend all
pulled me toward different social groups. I broke up with
my boyfriend, joined a sorority, and immersed myself in my
studies. I became MUCH happier after joining Greek life, even
if I don't enjoy it nearly as much now that
I am older. I believe it was good for me
as a freshman.
UCA has a decent social life
and decent people. You can definitely find your place, whether
you are more liberal or conservative. I've found the people
relatively friendly, if not a bit close-minded. Freshman year, I
regretted not attending Hendrix to which I also had a
full scholarship, but as I've spent more time around Hendrix
folks, I've realized that school was NOT for me. I
love my Hendrix friends (my current boyfriend attended Hendrix as
well), but they are so far from being diverse that
they are often caught in a cycle of their own
beliefs and thinking. I'm happy at UCA where I'm able
to make my own decisions. I'm not religious, so the
extremely religious population of Conway can get a bit tiring,
but I've found (both in Greek life and Honors) people
that share the way I think.
The History, Spanish,
and Honors staff and faculty are absolutely fantastic. I can't
imagine having more knowledgable or helpful professors at another school.
I admit that the classes probably aren't as challenging as
they could be- I see many people pass that are
absolute morons- but if you engage yourself you will learn
a lot and really grow as a researcher and citizen.
The Honors program in particular is the best thing about
UCA. UCA doesn't realize what a gem they have in
this program. Its founders and staff changed my life.
All in all, I enjoy UCA because you can truly
make your own experience. At Hendrix (nothing against Hendrix, it's
just the one school I know a lot about to
make comparisons with), students are given an exact “Odyssey” they
must complete and seem to be babied until they graduate. UCA has a ton of nontraditional students and don't hold
your hand— you are expected to make yourself succeed. They
will help if you ask, but they will not force
you to become successful. The tools are there, but you
must utilize them. There are just too many people at
UCA for the administration to hold your hand. It's just
small enough that I can become a leader of several
different organizations and truly make a difference on campus.
Also, take into account the money you will save by
going to UCA. I have had excess money to travel
every summer and received a grant from Honors to go
abroad for 2 months this summer. It's definitely a good
Some students are total morons, but you learn to
deal with them. The professors are great for the most
part (avoid the Education department), and will really help you
out if you've worked hard. I love UCA and I
really think this school has turned me into a more
confident, successful person.