On paper, Elon looks great. In person, Elon looks great. So. What are some not so great aspects of Elon? We toured today during the open house and it just seemed almost too good to be true. Granted, this is only the fifth campus we have toured this fall so we dont have a lot of experience, but still, nothing seems wrong here. Thoughts?
Okay, because nothing is perfect and you need to be aware of the negatives (even if they are not negatives to everyone). Elon's academic reputation is a bit of a unknown. The student body is fairly homogeneous with little exposure to ethnic and economic diversity. The surrounding area has little to offer in the way of culture or entertainment. So in my view, Elon has a lot to offer but you need to know what you are signing up for. All of the above is true of many of the best LACs. You just need to be okay with what it offers and what it lacks.
My daughter is a freshman and overall we've been extremely happy with her (and our) Elon experience. I felt the same way when she was applying....that it was almost too good to be true, but of course nothing is perfect. I think the biggest downside is the lack of diversity of the student body. White, upper middle class kids are overrepresented. Elon is very aware of this and working to improve the situation. And although the campus is gorgeous and the tiny town of Elon is very cute, Burlington is mostly just a huge shopping mall.
These negatives have been vastly outweighed by the beautiful campus and well run administration, and the amazing study abroad programs. The thing I like best is the personal attention the students get from their teachers. When we visited for family weekend in September, we got a chance to meet my daughter's professors and they all knew her.
I rave about Elon to everybody I know and I highly recommend the school, but you are wise to be aware of the negatives going in. Good luck to you.
another rave review. great on paper, better in person. S is having a wonderful experience, both in learning and social. wishes there was more time for activities and classes.
if you are looking for a big city or big football, elon is not for you, but if you are looking for a medium size school where teachers teach and know their students, opportunities for abroad, research, and interships are abound on a beautiful campus, then elon is it.
everything runs smoothly, well oiled, organized system. in general kids are friendly as well as teachers and administrators. the dean of biz school helped my son move in, how many schools can say that?
Thie thread echos my feelings. I have been considering posting the same question. Elon has quickly moved to the top of our list. We just love the school and feel like the smaller environment and academic opportunities are a huge draw. The only thing we noticed when we visited was it seemed so quiet on campus. Without the big sports programs, is there enough for the kids to do on the weekends? Do most students really stay on campus? My freshman will not have a car their first year at school.
Another happy freshman family here. Agreeing with the few minor negatives above, but son is enjoyed attending football games even if the victories were few, and he has also been attending soccer and basketball games. The benefit of a fairly well-off student body is lots of cars on campus, making it easy to organize trips to Charlotte and Raleigh.
Son is happy with his dorm and the friends he has made, mostly positive feedback academically, registering for classes for the spring was smooth and he loves the food! Has joined several on campus organizations. I have not heard any complaints from him.
I had a chance recently to lunch with a few moms of his hs friends - all of whom are at large universities - Penn State, Maryland and Virginia Tech. While their sons are all doing ok, I heard much more in the way of mixed reviews and some real hassles. No one is discussing transferring, but the conversation cemented my belief that Elon is the right place for my son.
Decided to add to my post; I do have one issue....thanksgiving break.
Second year in a row, professors cancelled Tuesday classes with one week notice. Obviously, changing a flight is impossible.
How about canceling classes for Monday and Tues in the calendar Or mandate that classes must not be cancelled less than a month in advance for this week? Very frustrating; many universities that have large OOS populations are already closed.
On the diversity discussion, my daughter has not found what is being posted here. Her friends are Asian, African American, Muslim etc. maybe it's just her, and I understand that it isn't like other schools but thought that should be noted
2 kidzmom - yes, most kids do stay on campus. They seem to find plenty to do.
I'm a parent of a VERY happy junior. Elon runs smoothly, professors know kids by name and focus on teaching. Tons of study abroad options. A true emphasis on engaged learning, and an ongoing commitment to creating a warm, inclusive community (weekly college coffee, holiday party at the president's house, luminaries & caroling in early December, etc) And a reasonable price tag to boot!
Negatives are hard to find, but here's my list:
Most students move off-campus junior and senior year. They all live very nearby, but I prefer on-campus housing. That said, Elon is working on building more housing, and D has a nice apartment just a couple blocks from campus for a very reasonable price.
Greek life seems fairly dominant. That said, D is in a sorority and truly loves it, and has made very strong friendships both within and outside her sorority. And she knows independents who are also happy.
While students can certainly get by without a car (and Elon does have Zipcars on campus), life is easier at Elon if you have a car.
I should say that we had the same question when looking at colleges - can this place really live up to it's billing? Well, with Elon what you see is indeed what you get!
My college experience was some what marred by going to an aggressive left-wing school. Most days you laugh it off but some days you just arent in the mood to get confronted at every turn with a wall of flyers for the Queer Vegan Future Farmers sit in. The visual noise is too much.
Different viewpoint are fine at a college. What would be disqualifying is if there is an "official line" at the school and active proselytizing.
It was that commitment to diversity, among other things, that made my daughter, who is Chinese-American, decide that Elon was her first choice and to apply. She attended a diversity admissions event in early October, at which President Lambert spoke, and at which she met a number of students who are African American/black, Asian and other minority students. She talked at length with them about life on a campus where they are a quite small minority, and everyone was (for the most part) quite positive.
I agree with the other parents posting here. DS is a senior and has had a great experience academically and socially. He has had a car on campus all four years which was important to him because the campus is not near a big city. We were also bummed when the professors from the Tues/Thurs classes canceled classes tomorrowat the last minute and the flight home is booked for Wednesday. The school really does run smoothly and the professors take the time to get to know the students.
argbargy, I don't think most Elon students are intensely political in either direction. The only "political" news I remember reading about during my daughter's 2 1/2 years so far was this years hulabaloo over the Chik-fil-a on campus. There was a petition to ask Aramark (who runs the food service) to cease having Chik-fil-a on campus because they contribute to groups who oppose gay rights. Student Gov't passed the initial petition, but it was vetoed by their president, and there weren't enough votes to override it. Meanwhile, another group had a "support Chik-fil-a" event. In the end Elon administrators formed a committee with administrators, faculty, students and alum to discuss policy for vendors who do business on campus. All in all a fairly peaceful, reasoned discussion of a hot-button issue. Google Elon Chikfila Pendulum to get the student newspaper's take on the issue (the Pendulum is the student newspaper). Or here's the university's official statement: http://www.elon.edu/e-net/Note.aspx?id=962735