Southern Methodist University

By Caroline Hicks, Contributor (Class of 2015)

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School Name: Southern Methodist University

Location: Dallas, TX

Enrollment: 10,893

Tuition: $40,770

What are the academics like at your school?

SMU offers 7 different schools in Business, Arts, Science and Humanities, Engineering, Law, Theology and Education. Small class sizes and outside help offered at the Learning Resource Center make it a manageable academic experience.

What is the Greek scene/nightlife like?

Greek life is very popular at SMU, consisting of 18 IFC and Panhellenic fraternities and sororities. Due to SMU’s close proximity to downtown Dallas, nightlife includes both nearby campus bars and houses as well as clubs and bars downtown that are rented out by fraternities.

Describe the housing options at your school?

Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus. A brand new dorm commons just finished construction and will house its’ first students this coming fall 2014. Sophomore boys in fraternities can live in their fraternity house sophomore year. Sophomore girls in sororities can live in a dorm or in a panhellenic house which houses girls in all sororities. Junior and senior year girls live in their sorority houses (depending on the sorority.)

What do students complain about most?

Parking is lacking on-campus so it’s hard to find a spot if you commute to class.

Describe the students at your school.

Students come from ALL over the U.S. Texas, California, Illinois, Tennessee, New York … You will meet someone from every state. It’s a fun environment because you learn things about people from other places you never knew before.

What are dining options on campus and off campus?

Two on-campus dining halls as well as on-campus restaurants like Subway, Pizza Hut and Einstein Bagels give lots of flexibility for eating on-campus. Off-campus there is Hillcrest Ave right across from campus filled with a variety of options. Then of course the Dallas area has more restaurants and Tex-Mex then you could imagine!

What is your overall opinion of your school?

SMU is the perfect mix of urban and suburban settings, students from all over the country, and a wide variety of on-campus opportunities. It is the perfect size where it is not too big that you feel overwhelmed, but not too small where you know every face you see. Dallas is an exciting place to be and gives students the opportunity to have both a college and city experience!

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Michigan State University

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School Name: Michigan State University

Location: East Lansing, MI

Enrollment: 37,454

Tuition: In-state: $13,246 Out-of-state: $35,026 International: $36,018

Name: Quinn Miller

Class of: 2016

What are the academics like at your school?

Classes are relatively hard, ultimately requiring a balanced schedule to succeed.

What is the Greek scene/nightlife like?

Greek life is great. The greek system at msu is small compared to others but is rapidly increasing. East Lansing has a great nightlife atmosphere that allows everyone to enjoy themselves.

Describe the housing options at your school?

Housing is challenging, you are required to sign up for house very early in the year to ensure a house for the coming year. It’s relatively cheap just depends on where you live.

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What do students complain about most?

Everyone that I talk to loves the school but hates the weather.

Describe the students at your school.

Very diverse. There are students from all over the world.

What are dining options on campus and off campus?

MSU really hit a home run here. Students enjoy a top notch dinning experience every time they eat. Brody is extremely nice. In terms of off campus, students are encouraged to buy meal plans but many apartments offer kitchens that allow students to cook.

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What is your overall opinion of your school?

Great sports, academics, and of course girls 

Georgetown University

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School Name: Georgetown University

Location: Washington, DC

Enrollment: 7,522 Undergrad

Tuition: $44,280

Class of: 2015

What are the academics like at your school?

Challenging, engaging, intellectually stimulating

What is the Greek scene/nightlife like?

Technically nonexistent

Describe the housing options at your school?

Dorms for freshmen/sophomores mostly, apartments/townhouses for sophomores/juniors/seniors. Some are nicer than others, selection is done by lottery.

What do students complain about most?

The look of the library and the monotony of the food

Describe the students at your school.

Intelligent, outgoing, ambitious 

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What are dining options on campus and off campus?

On campus there’s one dining hall that is okay in moderation and some on campus restaurants like Subway.Off campus there are tons of good options.

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What is your overall opinion of your school?

Definitely worthwhile, enjoyable, intellectually stimulating, fun 

Yale University

Basketball Court
Basketball Court

School Name: Yale University

Location: New Haven, CT

Enrollment: 5,402 Undergrad

Tuition: $45,800

Name: Brendan Shi

Class of: 2015

What are the academics like at your school?

The best thing about Yale is the flexibility– students don’t have to declare a major until the end of sophomore year, and shopping period gives people the chance to try out different classes before committing to them. Students can also designate classes pass/fail in order to expose themselves to topics outside of their comfort zone. Being taught by professors that are doing cutting edge research gives students the opportunity to pursue meaningful research as an undergraduate. Students here place academics very highly on their priority list, and intellectual pursuits of all forms are highly encouraged.

What is the Greek scene/nightlife like?

There are two bars, Box 63 and Toad’s Place, that are heavily populated by Yale undergraduates on both weekday and weekend nights. Although Yale has a handful of fraternities and sororities, they definitely do not dominate the nightlife. However, all of the fraternities are very inclusive and allow all Yale students to attend their parties. Between fraternity parties, Toad’s, house parties, and residential college parties, it’s easy to find something to do after the sun goes down.

Toad's Place
Toad’s Place

Describe the housing options at your school?

Yale housing is guaranteed all four years, and all underclassmen (Freshmen and Sophomores) are required to live on campus. Upperclassmen are given the option to move off and find their own housing, but a majority still remain on campus because of the convenience. Yalies live in residential colleges that are assigned prior to freshman year and most develop strong allegiance to their respective colleges. Residential colleges have their own dining halls, workout facilities, game rooms, late-night food, and courtyards.

What do students complain about most?

Everyone at Yale seems to be happy, so students often find that when they are struggling, it is hard to find people to commiserate with. This problem is not because there aren’t any others who are struggling, but because Yalies are fantastic at pretending to be happy in social situations even if they are unhappy inside. Overall, however, this problem is not that widespread, and a vast majority of students are truly content and happy at Yale.

Describe the students at your school.

Yale students are diverse and talented. They are world-class musicians, amazing athletes, drama stars, coding wizards, fantastic writers, and stellar engineers. They are also humble, however, so it’s common to meet someone and find out later from a mutual friend about their unique achievements.

What are dining options on campus and off campus?

Every residential college has a dining hall, and the food is definitely above average. New Haven also has a thriving food scene with everything from Indian and Thai to the first burger restaurant and America’s best pizza (Pepe’s– google it).

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What is your overall opinion of your school?

If I had to decide again, I would still come to Yale. There’s so much to do, so much to learn, and the whole environment of the school is nurturing and encouraging. Yale also boasts a fantastic Club Basketball team which most recently won the National Championship.

Tulane University

  Tulane

School Name: Tulane University

Location: New Orleans

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,352

Tuition: $61,688

Name: Mike

Class of: 2016

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics at Tulane are somewhat challenging, coursework isn’t that bad and you don’t really have to go to class if you keep up with the work when it’s due. It benefits you to attend class, but it really depends on your major. People say the business school is a lot easier than most other majors.

What is the Greek scene/nightlife like?

About a third of the students at Tulane are in Greek life, which doesn’t seem a lot but it is becoming bigger and bigger each year. Nightlife scene is big too, as Tulane has consistently ranked in top ten party school rankings year after year. We like to work hard when we have to, but we always party hard, even when we don’t have too. Mardi Gras is always insane and one of the highlights of every students year.

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Describe the housing options at your school?

Freshman and sophomores must live on campus, and juniors and seniors are able to rent off-campus housing for both years if they want. They also have the option to move back on campus if they want to.

What do students complain about most?

Some of the things students complain about the most are Wifi, its suprer spotty and slow at times on campus. The undergrad dining options are really limited, so we eat off campus a descent amount. There is tons of construction around the school, which we understand is for improving the area, but still is annoying because my current won’t be there to enjoy it. A last thing is that the Greek life administration can be strict.

Describe the students at your school.

A lot of students come from the north, there are a ton of Jewish kids (people nickname it Jewlane), and the student population is generally very wealthy. Not a whole lot of diversity on campus, but lots when you leave campus.

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What are dining options on campus and off campus?

Bruff commons in the cafeteria for undergrad dining, the LBC (student center) has many fast food type options. There is also a Le Gourmet and Pj’s coffee to get food on campus as well outside of the LBC.

What is your overall opinion of your school?

Love the school because it has a great nightlife scene combined with a good academic setting while also being in a really fun city (New Orleans). So much to see and do, there is never a dull moment.

Washington and Lee University

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School Name: Washington and Lee University

Location: Lexington, VA

Enrollment: 1,838

Tuition: $44,507

Class of: 2015

What are the academics like at your school?

Rigorous. Classes are small which encourages a lot of participation in discussion. There is not necessarily a lot of homework due, but readings and work outside of class is the only way to do well.

What is the Greek scene/nightlife like?

Almost 85% of the student body is in the Greek life and thus the social scene heavily revolves around your Greek house.

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Describe the housing options at your school?

As a freshman and sophomore, you have to live on campus. Freshman live in dorms and sophomores live in their Greek house or a apartment style dorm. For juniors and seniors, you are allowed to live off campus so most do. This is changing starting for the class of 2018; W&L is building a junior village and juniors will be required to live on campus.

What do students complain about most?

poor gender relations. One of the steps that is being taken to fix this is the junior village. It will be a chance for males and females to get along outside of class and not when they are drunk and at a party. 

Describe the students at your school.

Fairly homogeneous 

What are dining options on campus and off campus?

For freshman there is only one dining hall, but for sophomores and upperclassmen you typically eat at your Greek house. As far as off campus dining goes, the town is small so there aren’t a ton of choices. There are some wonderful local restaurants though! (just not like starbucks, chickfila, chipotle, etc.)

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 What is your overall opinion of your school?

I really like W&L. Its a great education and a very caring community. The alumni network cares a lot about students from W&L. Washington and Lee is a really great university.

 

Syracuse University

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School Name: Syracuse University

Location: Syracuse, NY

Enrollment: 14,422

Tuition: $59,320

Name: Lexi

Class of: 2016

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics are well known throughout the Americas. We have the number one communications school in the country as well as a renounced music program called the Bandier program. Most majors are centered on a core liberal arts requirement with specialized classes in each major.

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What is the Greek scene/nightlife like?

Greek life is huge at Syracuse. We have about 12 sororities and 23 fraternities. Recently named number one party school in the country according to the 2014 Princeton Review. There are four college bars on campus that are great for spreading your network and to watch our college sports.

Describe the housing options at your school?

The first two years while at Syracuse you must living in university housing. Freshman year you live in a split double or open double, sophomore year the choices vary immensely. You could have to split double, open double, quad, six person, townhouse, or apartment style on South Campus with singles a living room and a kitchen.

What do students complain about most?

Biggest complaints are about not being able to intra transfer into our communications school due to inflated gpa requirements as well as the snow and weather. 

Describe the students at your school.

Students are very academically competitive and focused, they are also very communicative-meaning they like to network and are open to everyone on campus. The Jewish community is huge so they’re a lot of JAP’s (Jewish American Princesses). Students are definitely well off and in the 1%

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What are dining options on campus and off campus?

Dining options on campus are the dining halls where you can do a 7 meal plan/14 meal plan/ 19 meal plan/ or 21 plan a week as well as a debit amount on your su card you can spend at the school store or various locations around campus including Starbucks, freshens, and grills. We also have an off camps meal plan that works as a debit card on the local restaurants around campus that is prepaid.

What is your overall opinion of your school?

My overall opinion about Syracuse is the environment is uplifting and fun while still academically challenging. We are all very aware of future outside of college and try hard to network with eachother and gain experience for life after college. Being in upstate New York and under four of feet of snow at times you would think we would have a depressing atmosphere, but we all work together to stay upbeat and positive through the gray months. We really are a great community to be a part of.