Help a confused senior with college?? Especially Soka University in California?

<p>Hello, Im a high school senior and really at a turning point regarding college. Iv applied to a bunch of schools, and been offered merit aid at most of them. However, Im independent- Iv never met my father and my mother lives in Ny, caring for my disabled sister. At the moment, im living with my elderly grandparents in AZ, but they cant contribute anything to college. So far, all my finaid packages have been pretty lackluster, there are a lot of gaps. I understand why, but its still a little disheartening. Theres one college that really intriguing me though!</p>

<p>Its a really small college in Southern California called Soka University. Iv recently received my acceptance and done some pretty deep research on the place :) </p>

<p>It certainly seems like an amazingly beautiful campus! Ill include some links to a few at the end of the post. There are a few things im worried about, however. Its terribly small- around 100 entering Freshmen- and many of the students are from oversees. I like the aspect of meeting a variety of new and diverse people, but wonder if it would be easy to survive without feeling Claustrophobic ? </p>

<p>Everyone who graduates earns a BA in the liberal arts with a concentration in humanities, international studies, environment, or another topic I always forget. I would want to pursue the international studies track.. A semester of junior year is spent studying abroad in a country which speaks the studied language(Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish). It sounds so exciting! </p>

<p>They also waive tuition if your family makes under 60k.. as an independent I sure do..
Does ayone have any thoughts on soka university? Anyone go there or know anyone who has? I would be very appreciative for any insight :)</p>

<p>I guess im just afraid of making the wrong decision.. Its such a small school and biased on Buddhist principles. Im not Buddhist, nor do I particularly want to become one. I don't have a real religion, per say, but im also not an atheist- would Soka be like the Jesuit schools iv applied to?</p>

<p>Some of the other colleges im considering: </p>

<p>ASU- instate, hope to get the obama scholarship which pays for everything</p>

<p>Seton Hall- this was really my first choice, I want to go into international relations and they have special programs with the U.N... But I got my Finaid award today-17,500 scholarship- but also 18k in loans!</p>

<p>Randolph Macon- accepted, 12,500 scholarship- got my finaid award.. about 12k in loans- all federal ones, though 6000 is unsubsidized</p>

<p>Hendrix- accepted with 10,000 scholarship, but they gapped me 11k in finaid- after federal loans :(</p>

<p>Loyola New Orleans- Accepted, 12,000 scholarship</p>

<p>Regis University-Accepted 10,000 scholarship</p>

<p>Roanoke: accepted 11,000 scholarship</p>

<p>Drexel- accepted, no money :(</p>

<p>Drew- accepted, 8000 scholarship</p>

<p>Saint Mary's College in California</p>

<p>Loyola Chicago- Accepted no money :( </p>

<p>Beloit- accepted, 4000 scholarship</p>

<p>Earlham- applied</p>

<p>St.John's University accepted 10,000 scholarship</p>

<p>St Olaf- applied </p>

<p>Rollins- Applied</p>

<p>Soka</a> University of America : Soka's website</p>

<p>A Few photos :)
<a href="http://www.joseitoda.org/assets/images/value/edu22.jpg%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.joseitoda.org/assets/images/value/edu22.jpg&lt;/a>
<a href="http://www.soka.edu/images/news_events/high-resolution-photos/hi-res-aerial.jpg%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.soka.edu/images/news_events/high-resolution-photos/hi-res-aerial.jpg&lt;/a>
<a href="http://www.woodbridgeglass.com/gallery_photos/soka_01_350l.jpg%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.woodbridgeglass.com/gallery_photos/soka_01_350l.jpg&lt;/a>
<a href="http://www.soka.edu/images/news_events/high-resolution-photos/hi-res-foundersday.jpg%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.soka.edu/images/news_events/high-resolution-photos/hi-res-foundersday.jpg&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Hi there! I know that you posted this very long ago but i was wondering if you actually went to soka in the end? I'm a student from singapore and i'm applying to soka too (even though my country doesn't really know it exists). I really love the school because of the same reasons you pointed out! If you did go to soka can you tell me how it's like? I can't afford a visit there but i really want to go! Thanks! =)</p>

<p>I think he went to Swanee (I just checked his posts to see). I really interested in Soka too! I haven't been able to visit yet but I would love to compare notes with you about what you know about Soka:D</p>

<p>No one has posted on this for a long time but for interested students I will post some information. I live 3 miles from Soka. It is a stunning (and small) campus. It is pristine. There are not a lot of students there but I did meet three last week. They came to volunteer at an elementary school where I work. All friendly students, all from outside the country but spoke English well. Though the campus is atop a beautiful canyon it is set in a quiet residential area. A short bike or bus ride will take you to the movies and shopping. The beach is also a short bus ride. There are some great trails for walkers and bike riders right next to campus that are popular. They host an international festival every May. I cannot speak about the academics only about the area. We also have very great weather! A very safe area too I might add. Quiet suburbs, not big city life.</p>

<p>I'm totally interestedddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd.</p>

I’ll going to see if I can resurrect this thread. But I’m considering Soka but I can’t visit it since I’m too far away. I like in Mississippi. So please, If anyones even a little, I would love to find out more.

For sure! I am really interested in going to Soka University too. I just visited and went to their Lion’s Roar event (which was specifically for HS students) and this college is AMAZING! Seriously, the pictures on the website don’t give this place enough credit. The campus is absolutely gorgeous (the water in the lake in the front of the campus is crystal clear and blue!) and the lily pad/lotus pond pools are beautiful. The whole campus is surrounded by a nature reserve, and the campus is basically on a hilltop. Whenever on the campus, you have a spectacular view.
On the student tour I took, the tour guides were very helpful. They gave us tons of information, and basically, Soka really wants their students to succeed. Soka gives their students ton of free amenities (like free food, laundry, shuttle service, parking, etc and you can check out almost any recreational equipment) and the atmosphere is very supportive. Now when I say free, I mean that most likely these things are being paid for in your tuition. However, it’s still a good deal! They seem to really take care of their students at Soka.
And then there’s the study abroad part! Each student is required to study abroad in their junior year. I can’t explain how excited I am about this! This sounds like such a great idea. And the best part is that it won’t cost extra–the cost for studying abroad is built into your tuition.
So it seems like a great deal right? Seems almost too good to be true!
The one concern I have is that the student population is so small (about 450 students) I feel like it might get old seeing the same faces over and over again? I mean, I don’t have a problem living in a small community, in fact, I’m rather used to it. I am actually homeschooled through Visions in Education, so I totally get small class sizes and lots of one on one time with other students and professors. However, I can’t help feeling like it might feel a little claustrophobic after a while. Perhaps its just who you are and what you like?
Is there anyone else out there who has gone to Soka or who is currently attending Soka who can give me their input? Again, I can’t stress enough how much I love Soka! I absolutely fell in love with it when I went to go visit. Just a little worried about the small size…

I applied to SOKA last month. Still waiting for a decision. Anyone gotten a decision yet? I know it says decisions are posted by March but there aren’t that many people applying.