StudentsReview :: Northern Arizona University - Extra Detail about the Comment
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Northern Arizona University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityD Faculty AccessibilityC+
Useful SchoolworkC Excess CompetitionA+
Academic SuccessC Creativity/ InnovationC
Individual ValueD- University Resource UseC
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB+ FriendlinessB-
Campus MaintenanceB- Social LifeC
Surrounding CityC Extra CurricularsC-
Describes the student body as:

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Condescending

id='quarter' class='snapshot' style='color: #977500; line-height:80px';float:left;
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Individual Value
Highest Rating
Excess Competition
She cares more about Individual Value than the average student.
Date: May 06 2014
Major: English (This Major's Salary over time)
Four years ago when I visited the NAU campus, it felt very different than it does now. Perhaps I was a bright-eyed high school senior with little experience, but the changes in attitude and energy among professors and departments that I have witnessed since my freshman year would say that something is going on behind the scenes. Since I was an out of state student, a big draw was the small school but with state school prices. Not anymore. This year (2013-14), NAU admitted more freshmen than it had the capacity for. Like, a thousand more. NAU either did not expect so many students to accept and made a MASSIVE clerical/interdepartmental blunder, or it purposely invited more students to make more money, without considering things like where they would live or how big the classes would be. I read in the student newspaper (The Lumberjack) an interview with three freshmen who were living in a former dorm recreational room (their complaint was lack of privacy). Freshmen who weren?t so lucky to get a spot on campus were simply given information about off-campus housing and told ?good luck? by residence life. According to apartmentratings, the average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,034. My rent this semester was \(460, the lowest on campus, for a single room in one of the oldest buildings on campus. From now on, most upperclassmen are expected to move off campus into frankly shitty apartment complexes or homes. The traditionally upperclassman all-female hall I live in, which has been designated for juniors and seniors for nearly 100 years, will be a coed freshman dorm next year. Like other state schools, there are also fees to pay, none of which are too outrageous. Based on choices NAU has made regarding new building construction, treatment of faculty, dining situations and housing, it is apparent they have entered a corporate, make-as-much-money-as-possible mindset. Not only is this a disappointing trend in higher education in general, it is especially disappointing for NAU given its history as a small school, small campus surrounded by a quiet college town, and as an operation of some human decency.SRF:ELEMENTS:4xsrfAcademically speaking, I think NAU on the whole is mediocre. In my departments (English and Music), there were outstanding faculty and there were faculty who need to see a therapist, or have their classes evaluated for effectiveness, or both (I can think of three whose struggles with mental health issues interfered with their classes). Simply doing the minimum of assigned work is enough to pass classes. I was in the Honors program for most of my time here, but had to drop out in order to graduate on time. The Honors program was evaluated this semester by an outside panel because of its unusually high requirements and ~50% retention rate. The program requires 21 units of Honors classes, which I was only ever able to take when I was assigned into them my freshman year (6 units) or when I took a class outside of my major. I never saw an honors class offered for my major or minor, and the idea of making a class honors by doing contract honors did not appeal to me, nor seem to hold the standard of set by the program itself. Honors students must also take math to precalc and go through to calc 2 or take two semesters of a foreign language AND have a 3.5 GPA to graduate, with very high GPA benchmarks along the way in each year. Everyone I know who was in Honors dropped out. It?s true that academic rigor is not for everyone, but as someone who consistently tested in the 99th percentile and above throughout schooling and was an A/B student, I feel it should have been more possible to graduate with honors.SRF:ELEMENTS:5xsrfAs an out of state student, I might have a mistaken perspective on Arizona people, but students from Phoenix, Flag, and Tuscon were mostly distant and cold. Personally, I always felt like I needed to do more than simply be friendly and fun to keep the other person?s interest, and rarely just ?hung out? casually. I felt that there needed to be a reason for spending time together, like eating food or watching a show, which meant that I spent money to sustain friendships. But that could just be me. When approached, students were reasonably friendly and collaborative. Staff at the school always treated me well, and any mistakes or issues were quickly cleared up by speaking in person, not over email or over the phone where you don?t have their full attention. Every semester, I had to direct the bursar?s office on how to distribute my financial aid the same exact way it had been for the past semesters.SRF:ELEMENTS:6xsrfKnowing what I know now, I would have chosen to stay at home and attend school in-state. Living out of state has allowed for personal growth, but none of it was because of the university. Flagstaff seems to be unaware of its giant student population, as only some pizza delivery and bars are open past 9pm, and one student dining option on south campus. Living without a car was terribly boring, it meant I was stuck on campus or limited to the expensive downtown scene all the time. However, as a year of parking is 440\) and the parking system seems to be designed to be as inconvenient as possible with hawk-eyed enforcement, maybe it wasn?t a bad idea to leave a car at home. The bus system in Flagstaff is top-notch, with a free line for students that stops at apartment complexes, a shopping center and the movie theater as well as through the center of campus and up through downtown.

As NAU moves into its money grabbing stage, I will be cautioning future college students against attending NAU. Unless you are a resident of Arizona wanting a change of location and/or you have been awarded well enough that you don?t have to take out huge student loans and can afford housing and high cost of living, this university is becoming just like any other mediocre state school and not worth extra effort, pain, or money. You can make a place to belong here, but you can also do that anywhere else.

commentGreat review. You're spot on about the school entering a money-grabbing stage. I personally know two professors who were fired because they were too tough with students and didn't give enough A's and B's. The current direction of NAU is all about money and making the academic experience easy enough that "Even a Caveman could do it…"
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