Can you elaborate on Sewanee?

<p>Hey everyone!</p>

<p>So I'm new here, and so this is my 2nd post ever!</p>

<p>Anyway, I'm a potential transfer student from a community college, I've got a bunch of schools in mind that I want to apply to, but a few are really up on top as my front-runner choices, one of them is Sewanee.</p>

<p>I browsed through all the pages and threads on here about the school, and although I got some good info, I would like to know more, especially from those who have been to the school for a visit and/or are familiar with it. One does not hear much about it definitely, here in California.</p>

<p>So if you are familiar with the school, I'd love to hear your opinions and or thoughts on the school</p>

<p>From The Princeton Review</p>

<p>Sewanee - The University Of The South</p>

<p>Academics:
The University of the South is a small, "very demanding" school "in the middle of rural Tennessee." Students describe it as "an oasis of perfection" "dripping with both Southern and academic tradition." "Sewanee embodies what a liberal arts education should," beams a history major. Classes are "small" and there's a "well-rounded curriculum." About a third of all your courses here will be general education requirements, and you have to pass a comprehensive exam in your major. "The volume of work can make you want to pull your hair out," warns an economics major. "Sewanee does not inflate grades," either. "You must work hard to earn an A." "Occasionally a professor or two takes the absent-minded professor stereotype to a ridiculous level," but "it is hard to find a truly bad teacher among the whole lot." Professors here "care about their students." "Their passion for their fields and students is unparalleled." Profs are also very approachable. "We have incredible access to the faculty," gushes a religion major. "Many professors invite students to their homes for social and educational activities somewhat regularly," adds a music major. Students also love the "extremely reachable" administration. The only complaint we hear about academic life concerns the lack of course availability</p>

<p>Campus Life:
Some dorms at Sewanee "really need some work." "Give me air conditioning," demands a sweaty sophomore. The school is generally "behind technologically" as well. The "secluded" town that surrounds the school is "void of any good restaurants, bars, and general distractions a city provides." The campus is "absolutely gorgeous," though. It's a "serene haven" in "an idyllic setting" atop a mountain. Also, the school owns an "incredible amount of land." "Hiking the beautiful perimeter trail" is a favorite pastime, and students can bike, kayak, and "play in the woods" to their hearts' content. Socially, "Sewanee is unique in its quirks." There's a revered honor code. Faculty members wear academic gowns when they teach, and "most Sewanee students follow the tradition of dressing up for class." You'll see men in bow ties and seersucker suits and women in "pointy heels and pearls." There's also an "ever-present" sense of community. "You can't compartmentalize your life here," and for good or ill, "everyone knows what everyone else did last night." Otherwise, this school is "an uncanny combination of academic suicide and rampant partying." During the week, studying is paramount. "We spend a lot of time in the library," notes a sophomore. However, alcohol policies here are "lenient" and "Sewanee is a pretty big party school." Booze is "by no means forced upon you," but "students here drink often and heavily." The frat scene is absolutely massive. "Almost everyone becomes involved in a fraternity or a sorority." "The administration requires all Greek events to be open to the entire campus," but "there is no other social network except the Greek organizations."</p>

<p>Student Body:
Even though the administration here is "pushing the diversity card to the nth degree," Sewanee is "strikingly homogenous." "A lot more students here are liberal than you would guess," and Yankees are "not viewed as aliens," but "Sewanee is a Southern and conservative school in every sense of the word." Students are typically "laid-back," "rich, conservative, and fun" "children of the Southern aristocracy" who like to "get drunk on the weekends." Some are "heavily spoiled and coddled." Sewanee is affiliated with the Episcopalian church, and some students are pious, but on the whole, religion is not a big deal here. "We have lots of cookie-cutter, preppy, extreme social drinkers, but then again you can also find people who wear only organic hemp, sleep outside, and have dreadlocks," explains a junior. "There are a lot of outdoorsy styles mixed in as well." While "social arrangements are very cliquish," students tell us they are "relatively peacefully coexisting." "It really is one of the friendliest communities that I have ever seen," declares a sophomore.</p>

<p>think a poor man's Vanderbilt.</p>

<p>^ that's also a lot easier to get into</p>

<p>thus, the term "poor man's".........</p>

<p>Sewanee Admissions Stats:
SAT:
% Submitting Score: 57%
Critical Reading Middle 50%: 570 - 690
Math Middle 50%: 580 - 670
Writing Middle 50%: 560 - 670
ACT:
% Submitting Score: 43%
ACT Middle 50%: 26 - 30
Math Middle 50%: 24 - 29
English Middle 50%: 25 - 32
Average High School GPA: 3.6
% with GPA 3.75 of higher: 37.82%
% with GPA 3.50 - 3.74: 22.34%
% with GPA 3.25 - 3.49: 15.74%
% with GPA 3.0 - 3.24: 14.21%
% with GPA 2.5 - 2.99: 8.63%
% with GPA 2.0 - 2.49: 1.27%
Students in Top Tenth of HS Class: 43%
Students in Top Quarter of HS Class: 67%
Freshman Student from Public School High Schools: 50%</p>

<p>Total applicants: 2,481
Total applicants who are accepted: 1,688
Total of accepted students who enroll: 402</p>

<p>a comparison with Elon might prove interesting</p>

<p>how about a comparison with Rhodes College</p>

<p>What do you mean by "poor man's"?</p>

<p>And comparison with Rhodes would be nice, since I'm somewhat considering that school as well....</p>

<p>In my opinion</p>

<p>Vanderbilt=Sewanee>Rhodes>Elon</p>

<p>It is quite different from Vanderbilt. It is an isolated, beautiful campus with lots of things to do outdoors and in nature. Students dress up for class and professors wear academic garb. You have small classes and lots of individual attention. I love Vanderbilt, but Sewanee is just not a similar school at all. It is D3 sports and a lot of Vandy's environment centers on SEC sports. Sewanee has an Episcopal influence, but is certainly non-denominational. It is not in or near a major city. Lots of drinking.</p>

<p>Vanderbilt was a poor comparison from a location standpoint obviously. I was thinking more in terms of academic rep and rigor when I said "poor man's Vandy", ie in the sense of its a school that students who might not get into Vandy but are looking for a solid liberal arts school in the south on the rise might look at, ie like Elon.</p>

<p>I work at Rhodes, and we consider Sewanee our chief rival. Both Rhodes and Sewanee are more or less equal in terms of academic quality, both of instruction and of students' ability coming in. Both have beautiful campuses. While Rhodes is in the heart of a 1 million person metropolis, Sewanee has a 10,000 acre tract on top of a mountain. I think the city location of Rhodes is a HUGE advantage to the students - there's so much more to do academically, professionally, and socially. But I understand that some people like a rural setting better. Both schools are D3 sports in the same conference. Sewanee has a theology school which Rhodes does not. Rhodes has an accounting master's which Sewanee does not. All in all, there's a very large overlap in admitted students between the two schools. </p>

<p>Of course, Rhodes is better ;-) lol</p>

<p>Thanks for the replies everyone!</p>

<p>I can't decide between the two so I may just have to apply to both!</p>

<p>haha I commented on the other Sewanee thread but my dad's friend's daughter who lives in China is going to be attending Sewanee next year. I have no idea how they even found out about the school from China.</p>

<p>I'm a recent graduate of Sewanee and can not say enough about my great experience there. The academics are certainly strong, and the relationships with the professors are certainly a huge plus. I had many classes at my professors houses, and was invited to dinner on several occasions with them. All of that is in the brochures though. A few of the things I can say about it that aren't in the brochure are that the residential life is generally great. I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed living in the dorms during my time there. They are very small compared to most places (the largest is only about 130 people) and the people who live there wind up forming a pretty solid community. I can also say I personally liked living in a rural area. There are a few places to go out to eat in town, and if you want the amenities of a big city, Chattanooga is only 45 minutes away and Nashville 1:15. It's an easy night to go to dinner in Chatty and make it back in time to still have fun that evening in Sewanee. Sewanee also has a surprisingly supportive (and widespread) alumni community. I had not heard of it until I was a jr. in high school, but since I became a student (and graduated) I have encountered a ton of Sewanee people, and been able to make both friends & professional connections through my fellow Sewanee Alums. I'd sincerely encourage you to visit if possible and take a look at it. Also, please feel free to email me with any questions you may have, djstroud(a)gmail.com. Good luck with your decision process!</p>

<p>@pierre I noticed you mentioned that in my other thread... It's actually kind of funny -- one of the reasons I've decided to remain at Sewanee is because of a random extra proficiency we have in Asian studies.</p>

<p>While certainly just about everything is strong at Sewanee, two years ago we acquired an ex-Yale professor to teach Chinese who administers an accelerated Mandarin class (we cover the text books in about half the time they intend). We also have an Asian (Chinese?) history professor whom I'm not really familiar with, but apparently is a leading expert on whatever his focus is (perhaps art history?). Lastly we have a single professor who teaches the Chinese philosophy classes, but is extremely learned and called, I think, the leading expert on Confucius and Wittegenstein, whatever that's worth. He's in China right now and has given lectures at some of their top universities, and is currently having his latest manuscript peer-reviewed over there... </p>

<p>Sewanee has it's good and bad. I very nearly transferred out after my sophomore year but elected to stay almost entirely because of the best professors I've encountered and because of the people. I had a few bad professors, but have had the opportunity to take classes with some who are considered the best at Sewanee in their respective fields, and I've grown close to all of them and they are genuinely interested in helping you, teaching you, and even working with you. </p>

<p>One thing about the people -- even the ******y guys you'd expect to hate "outside of the bubble"/"in the real world" are incredibly friendly to other Sewanee students -- we often act as "one big fraternity." There are silly traditions like the "passing hello" where, out of common courtesy, you acknowledge people as you pass them. You actually come to miss this when you're off the mountain and find people giving you strange looks when you smile or say hello to them...
Sewanee students definitely think very highly of themselves, either rightfully or not. A lot of students are a bit apathetic. I once spoke with a friend of mine about his coming to Sewanee -- he turned down Princeton -- and he went off about how schools like Harvard and Princeton are hard to get in to but easy to do well in once there and how Sewanee was the opposite. I'm not sure I believe this (at all), but there it is definitely a prevalent sentiment.</p>

<p>The students are varied. I think we have a considerable percentage of students who have gotten in by paying fully and scarcely maintain a 2.0 to stay in their fraternities and sororities. The other large segment of campus would be those who generally work most of the week and on sundays to do well, and then let loose thursday, friday, and saturday. There is definitely a good group of students who do not regularly attend parties and seem perfectly happy. There's usually at least one thing a weekend that's sponsored by the activities board that has nothing to do with drinking -- it might be something (sorta) lame like a ceramics night, or it might be a giant game of laser tag in a park in the trees. </p>

<p>We have a pretty low retention rate compared with other schools. There are definitely students who come and do not like it and leave, and then there are definitely students who arrive and think they can dick around entirely and stay, but quickly flunk out and have to return later.</p>

<p>It's definitely a unique environment -- a lot of students dress for class. I've never seen pajamas or sweats, but you will see some students in t shirts. A lot just wear polos or whatever.</p>

<p>There's a lot to do if you look for it -- there are awesome points and views right off of campus that overlook the valley below; there are caves and cliffs and students go climbing; even though they're D3 the sports do a lot of practicing; and Chat and Nashville aren't too far away. Most students bring cars, understanding that occasionally you'll want to get away. It is definitely what you make of it -- there are all sorts of programs and foundations and endowments that can be applied for, but you need to actively pursue them. In the same vein, you can go abroad nearly anywhere, but you'll have to prepare a convincing argument.</p>

<p>There are some pretty decent restaurants off the side of the mountain, but it's a 20-minute drive or so. Fast food places are about 5 minutes away, driving. </p>

<p>What do you plan to study? That would definitely help me recommend or suggest against Sewanee.</p>

<p>sorry for the short novel.</p>

<p>cajunking,
I was planning on studying economics, but I might want to add another major in environmental studies if possible. I'm definitely still up in the air as to to the major I'd want to stick with.</p>

<p>The economics program is pretty good. There are a couple professors who are only so-so, but there are a couple really great ones (though one is called "the Smiling F" because of how difficult even his 101 class is -- but you definitely know your material afterwards). Econ is a pretty popular major -- I'm sorry I can't help more with that!</p>

<p>Students who major in econ do very well getting internships in the Southeast, especially in Nashville and Atlanta from what I've heard, but we do not have a city right around us like Rhodes does.</p>

<p>I know there are at least a few programs already instituted for studying abroad (ones that are geared towards economics), particularly one in China. Of course you can make your own program as well. </p>

<p>Environmental studies is definitely a strong major at Sewanee. There are landscape analysis and research labs on campus that are involved directly with environmental studies, and the new building for foresty and geology will probably contribute even more resources to the field. It is definitely one of the majors that Sewanee has a unique and comprehensive grip on because of its location.</p>

<p>cajunking,
Thank you so much for the info! I'm very excited about Sewanee after reading your posts.</p>

<p>One question though: what is the housing situation like at Sewanee? will transfer students be able to get on-campus housing? I know Sewanee's website it said that the majority of students live on campus, which makes sense...</p>