Eckerd visit

Just wanted to stop by and report that we had a fabulous visit to Eckerd yesterday! My DS was not initially overly enthusiastic, feeling that he wants to go OOS to school. But, he also understood that we needed a financial safety school for him, and as a FL resident who qualifies for BF, as well as some automatic merit at Eckerd, we HAD to take a look since he is not interested in a large public university. So essentially, Eckerd had to overcome some negative thoughts going in.

I’ll start with the ending and say that by the time he was finished with his meeting with the admissions counselor, Eckerd was no longer a “I’ll go if I don’t have anywhere else to go,” it is now a real contender on his list! We were very impressed with the vibe we got. The tour guide described the students there as being of the “I want to save the world” mindset. The setting is gorgeous of course, but I got the real feeling that the students were there to learn. They’re serious about their water activities, but I don’t mean sports, I mean research and service. The ability to go kayaking or join a scuba club is secondary.

My DD who just graduated from Wooster, went with us for the tour. She was equally impressed. I was prepared to hear from her how much better everything was at Wooster, but instead, she was more of the opinion that she would have been happy at Eckerd, because the vibe was similar.

I am curious that we were not taken in to see the library, and DD did point out that it looked quite small. With interlibrary loans, I’m not sure how much of a concern that really is, but it did seem at odds with what was said about the school. Anyone have thoughts about this? I think because we are close enough to make it fairly easy, we will try to have DS visit and sit in on a class when school is in session.

So today, I’ve been on CC seeing what other current thoughts are on Eckerd. There’s not much info about it in the past couple of years. But I’m a little bothered by the recent comments about it being a party school with lots of drugs. That would be a huge turnoff to DS. I’m not naive (he’s my third child heading for college!), but I don’t want to send him somewhere that he will have a hard time finding like-minded students. It’s not that he will want to stay in and study on Friday and Saturday, it’s that he will want to have friends who will hang out and have fun in other ways. How much work would that be??

I have a friend whose daughter just completed freshman year at Eckerd and I had a chance to visit her there in February. She does not party (really! She and her mom have the kind of relationship where it would not have been a problem had she reported otherwise) and she is happy with her social life at Eckerd. My older child is a wooster student and I also felt like the two schools had a similar vibe.

Had a discussion with DD (the recent Wooster grad) about the partying rep at Eckerd. Her opinion is that many liberal arts schools just get tagged with that reputation. She said she’d heard it said about Wooster from her friends that go to other schools. So that’s a good perspective for me to have…

My lad just graduated in May. He was a non-partier, though some of his friends definitely partied. He tells me the school naturally attracts partiers with it’s beach and good weather. Such is life. However, it also attracts those who love the Great Outdoors and is quite strong in the sciences. Many wanting to Save the World is a great way to sum things up. Students want to make a difference. One has to choose their group, but honestly, that’s true at most (all?) colleges. He says the nice thing about Eckerd is he never felt put down by choosing not to party. Friends would ask, accept his “no thanks” and remain friends. When we’d visit it seemed like he had tons of friends.

As for the library, it’s definitely not nearly as in depth as my middle lad’s Top 30 research school, but my guy had no complaints. Plenty of students study in the library.

Eckerd has an honors program, a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, numerous national honor societies and the largest number of Hollings Scholars in the US. There are a number of Goldwater, Fulbright, Udell and Ford Apprentice Scholars. There are those who will party hard, but my children never felt compelled to participate or felt unsafe. It is more of a live and let live philosophy. There is a strong sense of community, 93% of students graduate in 4 years, 88% live on campus. There are always sponsored events, lectures, guests, music, plays, theater, comedy, movies going on during the week and on weekends. Can’t say enough about the professor/mentor program, research opportunities, study abroad programs, (semester, winter term, spring into summer and spring break service trips). There are new programs, (Peace Corps prep), new buildings, (art center, sailing center), newly renovated dorms. My daughter is now in vet school and my son went to law school. Both of them credit the preparation they received at Eckerd.

Checking back in to say that DS received his acceptance to Eckerd this week - his first acceptance! He is pretty excited. He has 8 other applications out there, and months to wait, but as of today, he continues to be enthusiastic about Eckerd!

One has to admit, the weather we’re having right now makes me wish we still had a reason to go visit Eckerd… too bad my grad graduated last May (sigh). Best wishes to your son @Collegefortwins .

@Collegefortwins Glad to here that your son is excited about his acceptance to Eckerd. Congrats! I was just wondering when he submitted his application because my daughter is waiting on her decision in the mail. She’s so anxious checking everyday. Once again congrats!

He submitted back in August! Counselor finally submitted her letter in early October. Good luck to your D!

Ugh, got our hopes up today when mail came from the Office of Admission but it was just general (useful) information on financial aid and merit scholarships. Does acceptance come in a big or fat envelope? At least he would know what to look for!

Back in pre-historic days, I worked at the interlibrary loan office. It was mostly used by grad students who had time to wait 2-3 weeks to get a book. Of course in those days we were requesting the books either by snail mail (type type type, that was my job) or telex machine (type type type onto a tape and send that tape to a library). It still required a librarian on our end to research which college libraries had the material and a librarian on the other end to find the material and copy and send it or just send the book. It is really not that different today and while I’m sure the original request is now sent by email or some other faster method, the actual book still has to be sent from somewhere. Most undergrads doing research don’t have 2-3 weeks to wait for the book or article to arrive.

So much is available online that interlibrary loan is changed. We had grad students who would order 50 articles, take one look at them and decide only 3 were worth reading.

It actually was a large envelope, but a thin one! I can’t remember that exact phrase on it, but it made me think “this could be an acceptance.” It was subtle enough though, that DS didn’t seem to catch it.
Hope you hear soon!

So my S actually got word this evening through the portal that he was accepted! I hope this doesn’t mean a snail mail packet has been lost or delivered to the wrong house (happens sometimes around here). Hopefully it will show up in the next few days.

Does anyone know when there might be notification about scholarships or the honors college? The letter on the portal didn’t mention either.Thanks!

Hi @bearpanther ! Congratulations on the acceptance! My DS received notification about scholarship in his acceptance packet. ANd he just received an invitation this week to apply for the Honors college. TBH, he may have received that invitation earlier, and he just happened to notice the recent email. The link to apply to it was in his student portal and could have been there for weeks…?

Yes, the mail packet finally arrived (very snail mail) and the scholarship was there as well. The handwritten note from admissions on the letter is a nice touch. He also got the HC email yesterday but I guess the app isn’t due until March so he has time for a breather before he jumps back in to essay writing!

When we visited during an open house in November of 2017, we walked down a little path and found a number of students sitting in trees that hung out over the water smoking pot (the students. Not the trees.). So there is definitely a visible drug culture. But DD is in love with Eckerd (I wish I knew what % of her love springs from her desire to bring her dog) so we’ll see. Doing one more visit to New College. It’s a much more affordable option, even though we’re OOS. Did any of you consider New College? Why or why not?

Hope you can attend one of the April Explore Eckerd days for accepted students.

We visited New College prior to Eckerd. It just was not a good fit for DS in the end - maybe a little TOO small and I personally was not very impressed with the campus, facilities or the location at all (though I didn’t share that with DS). It was among the first colleges we visited and it made his list for a bit…probably would even have remained on the list, had we not visited Eckerd. He actually didn’t like the class contracts in lieu of grades, which surprised me.
As for the drug use, that remains somewhat concerning to me, mostly if he winds up with a roommate who is into it or has it in their room. He is adamant about not even wanting a roommate who vapes. (Let’s hope this is less prevalent in college than it is at his hs?? Guessing that’s a little optimistic though!) But we have already had discussions about how to handle those situations - neither which are issues confined to Eckerd…

The only student I know who went to New College disliked it and transferred quickly, but I hesitate to say that often because humans are different and it’s a data point of one.

My lad who went to Eckerd agrees that many kids enjoy recreational drug use, but absolutely none pressured him into even trying it. They offered. He said no. They respected that. It’s one thing I appreciated about the students around him as I’ve seen more “peer pressure” in high school. Again though, it’s tough to say it’s always that way as it’s a data point of one.

I believe there is a healthy living dorm if that’s of interest. It wasn’t to my guy because he wanted to be with “average students” even though he’s as healthy (or tries to be) of anyone I know with diet and lifestyle (loved his study of the Blue Zones and trip to Greece in a JTerm studying it up close).

It’s easy to change roommates. My lad did so right after first semester as his first assigned roomie was an only child and acted that way - seemed to resent having to share. Afterward my lad roomed with friends.

Best wishes on your decision.