I have received a couple of good perks while attending ASU as a Barrett Honors College student. My professors in The Human Event and the honors ENG 102 courses taught me how to write strong papers, a skill that will help me with the rest of my academic career. From now until I graduate, I also get the privilege to register for classes a week earlier than everybody else, which ensures that I get the schedule that I want. Though these benefits make the Barrett Honors College seem like a sanctuary within ASU, it is a complete mess in reality.
Barrett Honors College is horribly disorganized. Though I had helpful and informative professors, many others that I knew did not have the same luck. Several other Human Event professors do not allow their students to discuss ideas that are different from their own. Such bias had gone as far as lowering a student's grade on his/her thesis papers. I would have thought that all Human Event professors would be required to allow students to discuss their thoughts without persecution.
Another example of disorganization is the study abroad program through the honors college. I am currently signed up to go to China on May 15, yet I, along with several dozen other students, were never informed of how much tuition would be until April 23. Is it really that difficult to give at least an estimate of the tuition costs during the information meetings back in the Fall semester, instead of waiting until 2 days before the payment deadline to tell us we owe an extra $1500? The program thus far has been nothing but one hidden cost after another, and you are expected to pay those costs (ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars) in a very limited time. If the trip itself does not make up for these expenses, I will NEVER register for another study abroad session again.
Finally, the college completely disorganizes the student's life. Students have the responsibility of managing their time wisely, but many assignments given through honors courses simply take up too much of it. Requiring a student to read for 4 or more hours for a single class is heinous when that student has other classes (especially honors classes)to worry about. I can still learn how to write effectively and read critically without being forced to dramatically lower my standards in all of my other classes. Why, then, does Barrett Honors College require students to needlessly sacrifice so much time and energy? I've also had to give up all extracurricular activities just to get my assignments done on time for nearly the entire year, thus making me gain an extra 5lbs. The honors courses should be about making us think, not making us ruin the rest of our lives.
If you do not mind putting up with severe bias, shelling out thousands of dollars at the last minute, giving up all of your time, and/or come close to failing all of your other classes in order to pass one honors course, then Barrett Honors College is the perfect place for you. Otherwise, you will probably hate it. Your college experience should be about learning and living, not one or the other.