HPU - In Consideration...

DD has been accepted EA with a small merit scholarship and an invitation to the Presidential Scholarship Weekend(s) for High Point University’s Class of 2022.

We visited HPU this summer, eager to check HPU out. We expected it to be very similar to other good, regional, united methodist affiliated LACs that we are familiar with like Baldwin Wallace, Mount Union or Southwestern. We definitely came away with the impression that is was an academically typical school of that caliber, maybe a bit more innovative. We were astounded by the lovely campus. We had an eager tour guide, who did a solid job of selling us on his experience at HPU. DD was warmly welcomed by the admissions staff and they certainly went out of their way to make her feel wanted and comfortable. However, there were little things on the campus tour that make you scratch your head and go “hhmmmm” such as: the fact the campus is entirely gated and guarded, the reception/common areas in classroom buildings feel staged, there are copies of President Nido Qubein’s “book(s)” strategically placed on end tables throughout the campus, the library is seriously lacking and weirdly, HPU has already named one of its schools for the current sitting President. Even more strange, the unaffiliated to HPU bed and breakfast we stayed at, near campus, had several Nido Qubein books and a large commemorative 10 year anniversary book detailing Qubein’s contributions to HPU’s success on the desk in our room; not unlike the ubiquitous Gideon Bible found in the night stands of many hotels. We came away from our visit with some hesitations, but DD was still interested in applying, after all who wouldn’t want to attend such an attractive college. It seemed clear that HPU is definitely working in the Field of Dreams vain - “If you build it, they will come”! It is a hands on, experiential kind of academic environment and if your kid needs a little hand holding before taking flight as an adult, HPU might just be ideal.

Today, however, High Point University put the last nail in it’s self-built coffin, for our family. Our DD will be declining her offer of admission. Here is the main reason why… the cult of personality around Nido Qubein (The President) is seriously out of hand. Since our visit this summer HPU has sent no less than 4 of his “inspirational” coffee table books, a CD of Christmas music from the school chorus (sadly, it was so bad, DD said that CD alone was enough to convince her she didn’t want to attend HPU, no matter how sweet the dorms and campus) Today HPU’s swag was a DVD biography about President Nido Qubein. We get it, he is a hands-on, get it done, great guy who can best be described as a force of nature. Undoubtedly he has single handedly turned the school around, but now the fondness for him has moved over into the realm of self indulgence and just plain creepy, for us. HPU may well be a good regional LAC, but their reliance on and adoration of one guy is worrisome. What are they going to do when he retires? He is 70 years, anything could happen at any point. I liken it to Jim Baker and the Heritage USA debacle or even, and I know it is extreme, Jim Jones. It’s like they keep selling us Nido Qubein and not HPU.

We tried really hard to keep an open mind about the school (it gets lots of hate on CC), but we are so not going to drink the Kool-Aid on this one.

Wow, that is Nido Qubein overload! Thanks for your honest review. We are touring HPU over spring break and it’s good to have this feedback. Bad Christmas music would be a turnoff for my DD as she’s a singer & musician. She’s not the kool-aid type either. But she does like nice dorms and excellent food! It will be an interesting visit.

No kidding received two more Qubein books from HPU today. Enough already.

LOL wonder if he gets royalties on all those books!

Same. My daughter loves HPU, and I’m hesitant because it has a bit of a cultish feel. We are visiting in February for the Presidential Scholarship Weekend - I’m eager to see the campus since I was not with her when she toured last summer. I’m trying to stay optimistic about the academics, and also trying to let my daughter form her own opinions, but this feels so weird.

@jbsanderlin i hope that your D and your family find the fit you are hoping for, we know people who attend HPU and love it. It was just not our cup of tea. I wish they would let the school shine and not just shine the light on Qubein.

Now I am convinced someone from HPU has read this thread, figured out who we are and is playing a game…today brought yet another book. DD declined the acceptance two weeks ago.

At this point I would recommend to HPU, send one book to admitted student who have not committed and then give a lovely boxed set to those who actually commit. The amount of money spent on the printing and mailings would be so much better used channeled to the university, scholarships and community outreach/improvement.

I’m glad you figured these things out before DD attended the school. I transferred after my first year. The President DOES have a cult following on campus, he is in love with himself. The academics are lackluster and the kids act like they’re still in high school. I went to an all guys high school and there was 4 years with 0 drama. I experienced more drama in the first 2 months at HPU than I did in all my high school years - it was astounding. It’s not like I wound up being friends with drama prone people, the drama was everywhere and unavoidable.

I was the only one who didn’t seem to want to drink the kool aid. Many times I said that Nido is in love with himself and I was given weird looks for saying how weird it was to name a school after the current president! Every time I tell someone I went to High Point they had 1 of 2 reactions: “Oh isn’t the campus like a country club?” or “What’s High Point?”. I couldn’t take it anymore. I am now attending the dream school I never knew was my dream school and couldn’t be happier. Once I transferred out I realized what college actually is and High Point is not college!

The kids are all frat guys / girls who do not care about school or academics in general. The school says that only 30% are in Greek life which is hard to believe - I’d say the number is more like 80%. You can’t throw a rock without it hitting someone wearing Greek letters. HPU is a party school that just so happens to have some college classes too.

Also I would like to note that there are HPU admissions counselors in the High Point subthread on this website posing as normal users trying to correct the record on HPU and trying to manufacture fake statistics on the school so do not be fooled if someone comes into this thread and tries to refute everything negative said about the school.

“However, there were little things on the campus tour that make you scratch your head and go “hhmmmm” such as: the fact the campus is entirely gated and guarded …”

It’s gated and guarded for a reason: the surrounding area is not safe (I’ve been there myself). Students are told NOT to go walking outside of it’s gated community. HP truly has a cult-ish feel to it.

"Every time I tell someone I went to High Point they had 1 of 2 reactions: “Oh isn’t the campus like a country club?” or “What’s High Point?”.

BINGO. You cannot deny that the campus is beautiful. However you get the feeling that administrators push the idea that High Point has some type of national recognition, and it simply doesn’t. It’s a very popular school for rich kids from NE, NY and NJ.

Per USNews:

It’s rated #1 in Regional Colleges in the South. Look at the rankings and see the other colleges in the list. It’s hard to justify their tuition given the other colleges near the top of the list.

Wow, I’m sorry you felt that way. My daughter attends and we have been really happy. It really makes me sad to see people say the things they do in this forum, because it’s mostly not true. I still use the CC forum for my son so I felt the need to chime into the conversation. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of High Point either. We toured dozens of schools all over the East coast. We are a middle class family, kids in public school. During our tours, as a parent I noticed a lot of the 4000-6000 sized school seemed so academically dated to me. I was just surprised to see the same curriculum, same classes, same schedule and majors that I had in college 25 years ago. High Point seemed more innovative to me, out of the box and looking to the future with forward thinking majors. Again, personal opinion but I believe High Point views college for today’s kids and not for kids 25 years old. And also, after touring many Southern schools I realized most of the schools in the south have a lot of great amenities that never existed when I was in college. So you should expect to see lots of awesome gyms, rock walls, sorority/fraternity houses, pools etc in the majority of Southern schools (at least the ones we toured). So if you call High Point a country club, you really need to say that most Southern schools could also be classified as country clubs. And I’m surprised everyone says its for rich kids. Actually, its one of the more affordable schools. Tuition is probably 20K less then Northern schools. The kids I’ve met all from middle class families. Sure some of wealthy, but don’t all schools have wealthy kids? And yes I do get it about the books and gifts. They might get to be a little much, but this is mostly because Nido is a motivational, public speaker. My guess is he is trying to encourage the kids, I’m not sure. But who cares. The guarded and gated campus is pretty common to my knowledge, so I’m not sure why that is a surprise. My college campus was gated and guarded and that was in the 90’s. As far as the dorms, there is a Tiered Dorm System and if you want to upgrade you can live in the really nice dorm, but the Tier 1 dorms are like most college dorms I saw except they had drywall and not concrete cinder block. That’s my take and I don’t consider myself brainwashed or drinking the Kool Aid.

Can’t figure out how to edit. I meant to say " Again, personal opinion but I believe High Point views college for today’s kids and not for kids 25 years ago". not “old” as I typed above. My point is, it was nice to see a school thinking outside the box rather than the same old college curriculum with the same majors and the same classes that I had 25 years ago.

After visiting this past weekend, I get it more.I have a much better understanding of why my daughter is so attracted to HPU. It certainly wouldn’t be the right choice for everyone, but you can say that about any school.

HPU does not have a good reputation in the business world. Sadly, it’s a gorgeous campus and looks like “fun” but d decided against it after talking to those in her field. I think consensus from professionals is it’s gimmicky And not sure how to take it. Good luck to those going I’m sure they be happy.

HPU is not an academic institution. And I disagree that it is beautiful, it’s tacky and looks like legoland. We visited my nephew there who has since transferred out. I think it’s a place for north eastern parents to park their under achieving kids. It’s a shame because these kids typically do get accepted to real universities that. however lack 5 outdoor pools and a movie theater.

So many things stood out when we visited, the guards, the gates, the cultish vibe, the spotless Greek row area, the rule about no flyers, the fact that every car on campus was a $40+K car with NJ, NY or CT license plates. But the biggest thing that stood out, and proof of what a fraud the place is was the row of famous people statues ranging from Da Vinci, Einstein, Gandhi etc. etc. Don;t worry HPU, it’s clear you have no gravitas and no amount of statues will change that.

And then there is the President of the school. He a motivational speaker who apparently has given lucrative contracts on campus to his own kids.

I’m sorry to be so negative about this place but do your research wisely before sending your kids there.

Ego much?..it is just plain weird.


My DD decided yesterday to enroll as freshman at HPU. I have wrestled for a while with my conflicted feelings about the place. I completely understand the red flags other parents have observed —-the over-the-top promotion of the president, the statues on benches, the player grand pianos in the lobbies of several buildings, the uber color coordination of dang near everything, the spit-shined campus with no flyers taped to walls, the granite countertops (for crying out loud!), and more. It has to be seen to be believed! I kept thinking I was on The Truman Show or at a Disney property! HOWEVER, I am tremendously impressed with the support system in place for students and the exposure students have to incredible nationally recognized innovators and business leaders. I appreciate that students are surrounded with messages (both subliminal and direct) meant to inspire them to greater heights. Rather than comparing the campus to a country club, I see it more as a top-flight executive conference/retreat center campus. I have accepted the fact that HPU is not an ivory tower which “evolves” as most do; rather it is the deliberate embodiment of an aggressive and certain vision of a successful businessman. HPU’s next president, whoever that may be, will inherit an incredible and complete campus plan and a solid foundation upon which to continue building academic excellence and alumni, parent, and community support. The place is different, I grant you that, but I’m choosing to see the upside which that difference can mean to my child. Very curious to learn how others feel. Good luck to all you parents of high school seniors; I for one am glad DD’s decision is finally made!

@LEmom I wish your daughter the best. Everyone’s educational journey is there own. As long as your DD and your family are happy (that is half the battle!), there is no reason she won’t succeed.

LEmom……I have always had a hard time with the About Money/For Money approach to the transformation of the school (and I believe that the direct and subliminal messages that you mention relate overmuch to that).

Qubein also brought the student as customer model to the school and that concerns me because I think it is too reductive. It is inadequate to everything that a college or university ought to be. Choosing and attending a college or university is a much more nuanced transaction (with more stakeholders) than the purchase of soap. I also think that the student as customer model threatens to compromise the relationship between faculty/staff and students–and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that that is indeed the case.

Qubein says that he values liberal education (and good-on-him for that), but in practice he has given the school a two-handed shove toward the trade school model. The students get job training and a kind of corporate cotillion.

I am a parent and I absolutely understand the desire for students to find happy and productive employment after graduation, but I am actually more concerned that HPU risks producing graduates year after year who don’t have the critical capacity to see through a smarmy huckster exactly like Qubein.

Please, please, understand, however, that my criticisms reside solely with the president and those who applaud and encourage him. I know that there are many good students, professors and staff members who are doing good things and doing more of those good things due to the growth of the school. One person doesn’t define and control everything about an institution.

Good luck.

High Point University is not viewed favorably by employers. Most employers don’t even know what HPU is. It’s not complicated, HPU is a fraud, a daycare center. If your kids get seduced by swimming pools, and your expectation os for them to experience an academic environment, it’s your job as a parent to provide sage advice.

This is not about crapping on anyone, it’s about getting facts. Research this place very closely before handing your kids over to them.

Thanks for your input, byeretirement. Can you elaborate a bit on why you say employers do not view HPU favorably? Is there empirical data to confirm your comments? Is it a matter of name recognition which takes time to cultivate — or is the HPU graduate simply deficient and unable to consistently compete after graduation? I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a daycare or a fraud, nor would I call the president a smarmy huckster, but I do understand the unease many feel. I’m just trying to wrap my head around all these strong opinions. Thanks.