Just beginning to check out SLU

<p>My son is a junior in HS with an interest in BME. We are looking at UW Madison where he enjoys reciprocal in-state fees (we live in MN) but he has not applied yet, of course, let alone be accepted. He's not sure about a school that size, so in our search for other BME programs, I happened upon SLU, with which I was not familiar as it's geographically a bit outside our area. I like the sounds of the place as I see it on their website, and reviews here are glowing. I'm trying to place it in the context of "similar" schools and I wonder what those are considered to be? Marquette?</p>

<p>And vis a vis Wash U, I suspect it's easier to get in and more scholarship $$ are available?</p>

<p>Our D wanted to stay here in the St Louis area for engineering/premed track. That narrowed down college choices to WU an SLU. Either school will get the job done. The plan was to apply ED for WU - her first choice - and see what happens. If she did not get into WU, then with her grades, SLU would have been a guarantee for her. There is no comparison to the campuses. WU campus is drop dead gorgeous, while SLU is kind of like NYU where it's smack dab in the middle of the city, with a major highway intersecting it. WU has a higher level of academics than SLU. It's much easier for students here to get into SLU. (If I'm not mistaken, SLU offers a tuition scholarship or reduction with a certain ACT score - 31) You'd have to check into the details on that. Both WU and SLU have Medical Schools attached to them. My H visited Marquette. The academics are similar to SLU - the campus quaint, but nowhere near WU's.</p>

<p>kn, I'm sure the comparisons between SLU and WU are common. I'm guessing my son to be about a 50-50 for WU and a sure thing for SLU. Other posts speak favorably about the friendliness of SLU's students vs. WU's. And I can only suppose that scholarship money for a 31 ACT/3.6 GPA at SLU would be far more than at WU. So while the WU appears to be a prettier campus and has a greater national rep, it's hard not to wonder if it's worth the extra cash. And as concerns the campuses, didn't SLU just spend a ton of money on theirs? It doesn't look too shabby online, but I've never been to either.</p>

<p>Both Wash U and Saint Louis have extremely beautiful campuses, in my opinion, but in a different kind of way. The other big difference besides selectivity is the strong Jesuit influence at SLU - a plus in my book, but it is definitely there.</p>

<p>Over the last decade or two, SLU has spent big, big bucks buying surrounding land, building new facilities and working hard to polish their appearance. Still, there are many busy streets running through campus and the buildings lack architectural imagination. Though WU is close to a small blighted area located on the other side of Delmar Ave, SLU has A LOT more city blight to contend with. None of the glossy pamphlets are going to advertise this kind of stuff - for either school.</p>

<p>I know WU is expensive, but SLU is not that far behind. Knowing WU like I do, I would feel ripped off paying full price for SLU.</p>

<p>I'm not sure what you are basing the 50-50 chances on, but there is so much more that WU factors in when making admission decisions other than GPA's and ACT scores - and don't write WU off because of cost. </p>

<p>WU wants unique individuals who's character jumps off the application page. Request a copy of WU's scholarship book and get your S to wrap his brain around these this summer. If possible, see if he can tailor his summer activites to increase his eligibility. These are merit scholarships - and WU is EXTREMELY generous with them - they give out hundreds - full. half and partial tuition. (Don't forget the Danforth Scholarship - that one is not advertised in the book) Apply to as many merit scholarships as he possibly can!! WU wants students that want to be there. Consider applying Early Decision to show commitment and interest. They have waivers for the commitment if the financial aid package is inadequate - but you'll have to check into the details of that. The Early Decision applicant pool may have lower gpa's and test scores, but their commitment to the school factors in heavily. Many think that by applying ED they are ruining the chances of getting a merit scholarships, but this is not the case. Finalists are selected ED/RD blind.</p>

<p>I am new to this forum, but have found posts by ST2 and fallenchemist in the WU forum invaluable. ST2 works at WU and his/her post history contains a wealth of information. Fallenchemist has a strong St Louis connection and is extremely knowledgable. </p>

<p>Hope some of this helps. Sorry if it seemed to ramble. Good Luck.</p>

<p>We visited SLU for the first time on Thursday. The campus was BEAUTIFUL. Fountains, statues, lots of water and green space. We weren't prepared for this and were very impressed.</p>

<p>I think that SLU and Wash U are going to have very different emphases. I would visit both and see which one seems to be a better 'fit'.</p>

<p>Oh, and to answer your original question: Marquette and SLU are both Jesuit institutions in Midwestern cities and are of similar size so I think the comparisons are natual.</p>

<p>And, yes, SLU will be easier to get into and, Jesuit institutions are known for their scholarship money so I think anyone who is in a position to consider Wash U can expect some merit aid to come their way at SLU.</p>

<p>Just my 2 cents- in terms of prestige WU outweighs SLU. People regard WU as one step or two under the Ivies. We attended the tour and info session at Wu last summer. It was my daughters top choice at the time. From the admissions rep herself she had stated they do give merit aid but not alot of large awards. No one I know that has gotten into WU was been offered any Merit. Of course to be admitted, they all had great ACT scores/ECs/. She had decided to cross WU off her list for various reasons. We will be visiting SLU soon hopefully. I work in a hospital and the ID docs admit SLU has a great Pre-med program. We are looking for schools where DD's stats are in the top 25% so we can hopefully get some Merit money (knocking on wood). Giving up somewhat worrying about prestige. Trying to save on undergrad . God willing, Med. school will be right around the corner!$$$</p>

<p>Great observations, everyone! Thanks a million.</p>

<p>kn, I appreciate your local point of view about neighborhoods. I have never been to St. Louis but know that it's a big town that's got some tough parts. Clearly, the logical thing to do is go and see BOTH, as I'm sure many from outside the area do. And thanks for the tips on scholarships. If we visit and my son's hot for it, we'll do just as you suggest because at this moment I don't see him leaping off the page. He's an Eagle Scout but is otherwise lacking major commitment to any organization or activity outside of school. Except X Box, of course. Sigh.</p>

<p>jklm, my son goes to a Catholic HS, and while it's not Jesuit I'm familiar with their approach and like it. </p>

<p>spring, your observations match the general impression I'm getting WashU is in the Northwestern/Notre Dame tier and SLU is Marquette/Creighton/???. And that's fine. Everyone has their place. My reality is that if I don't get something in the range of 10-15k from the institution, it ain't happening. The money tree took a beating in the past 6mos.</p>

<p>kn12213: I agree with you that Wash U is an excellent school and offers outstanding opportunities to it's students. For students that have the qualifications, it is a wonderful choice. Glad to know it offers generous merit aid. If my son had the stats, I would have definitely encouraged him to apply to WU.</p>

<p>We have visited Saint Louis several times. There are busy streets surrounding the campus and ONE that runs through it. Yes, there is urban blight surrounding campus. But the campus itself is mostly a bubble and there are many beautiful old buildings on campus as well as one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever seen. Beastman, your son being a Eagle Scout and a student at a Catholic HS with 31/3.6 would definitely be attractive to SLU. They do offer several merit scholarships, my son was offered and accepted a merit scholarship for 13K/year. (Based on leadership and service in HS) We are grateful for the money, of course, but for us, the Jesuit emphasis on service and becoming a "man or woman for others" is priceless. Hopefully seeing some of that urban blight will encourage him to do his part to make the world a better place.</p>

<p>Beastman: Glad you found the post useful. Was a little embarrassed that I babbled so much about WU - it's just that we're very happy our D's going to be attending. I also wanted to clarify the merit scholarship numbers - HUNDREDS - is more between 100-200. But still, the amount they give out is a lot.</p>

<p>Something else I wanted to pass on for your consideration of SLU is that they have Pre-Medical Scholars Program arrangements with other schools. Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO is one that we found out about and Drury University in Springfield MO is another. I believe one or both also partners with Kansas City University of Medicine. Google "Rockhurst University Pre-Medical Scholars Program" and see if this is anything of interest. Maintaining a certain grade point average at these institutions insures early acceptance into SLU's Medical School. We considered this until our D said she wanted to stay in St. Louis. Rockhurst also boasts a fair amount of merit scholarships. Don't know about Drury U.</p>

<p>Hope this is helpful.</p>

<p>oh gosh, I goofed again. I just noticed your S is interested in BME - nothing was mentioned about Medical School. "N e v e r - m i n d" :)</p>

<p>Maybe someone else out there interested in SLU will find this info useful :eek:</p>

<p>..."Jesuit emphasis on service and becoming a "man or woman for others" is priceless. Hopefully seeing some of that urban blight will encourage him to do his part to make the world a better place. " Well put, HeartArt and thanks for observing that this isn't all about prestige and statistics and probabilities of acceptance and merit aid dough. 13k would get me within spitting distance.</p>

<p>kn, the babbles are great because they communicate that between-the-lines stuff to which I'm very sensitive and find valuable. The brochures and even the visits with the tours and discussions led by perky undergrads do not tell the whole story. As for the med school angle, it has come up but I'm not sensing there's much sincere interest or passion underlying; more an interest in a prestigious lucrative career. But I've got shadowing days planned with both a BME-ish friend and a physian friend so my son can get a feel for both paths. And of course should he change paths it's not a big deal except that if BME is the interest du jour we need to get him to a school with that major.</p>

<p>Beastman: You are to be commended for doing such thorough research on colleges during your son's junior year. You and your son will be way ahead of the game when you actually draw up his list of schools to apply to. </p>

<p>Here is my suggestion about applying for merit aid. His GPA will make him eligible for merit aid, you do not have to submit an additional application to be considered for most awards. You can check with an admissions counselor, but I think he would be offered somewhere in the ballpark of $10K/year. If he could get his GPA up to a 3.85, he would be eligible to apply for the Presidential Scholarship which is full ride tuition. That requires a separate app due by Dec. 1. (I think that is the date) The other option is the ML King scholarship which I think your son as an Eagle Scout might have a shot at. It is based on commitment to diversity and leadership in HS and community. (App is due Feb 1). This is the award my son received and it is open to ALL students regardless of ethnic background. You need a 3.2 to be considered and your essays and recommendations are important because it is based on character as well as scholarship. As an ML King scholar, you participate in certain activities on campus for the next four years. The best part (and this is true of the Presidential) is that you are invited for a wonderful few days on campus where you meet other applicants and professors, they hold a reception in your honor and you interview with other faculty, alums and current students. The parents have activities as well while the students are visiting classes etc. Whether you are awarded the scholarship or not (MLK replaces any previous merit aid), you REALLY get to know what SLU is about during your interview weekend. My son and I met so many incredible people and were inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of the students and faculty. It was a unique experience. </p>

<p>If you want to know even more, I would suggest contacting the admissions counselor for your state. Actually, I would wait until the May 1 deadline has come and gone and then get to know whoever this person is. (They are very busy right now!) Our counselor was really helpful and she went the extra mile to help us with our decision.</p>

<p>Martin</a> Luther King, Jr. Scholarship : Saint Louis University : SLU</p>

<p>Also, it is possible to contact current students via your counselor by email to ask about programs like BME. One student wrote my son a long detailed email about being pre med at SLU and applying to med school etc. There is a great community spirit at SLU with a brother's keeper mentality.</p>

<p>Good luck with your search!</p>

<p>That is great info, HeartArt, and I'm not even the one to whom you were replying!</p>

<p>Do I understand you to say that you cannot receive the MLK and other SLU scholarships? It's one or the other? </p>

<p>Thanks for all the great info!</p>

<p>Son got original merit aid upon acceptance of $6K/year and after he was named a ML King scholar, that 6K was replaced with $13K/year. There may be other scholarships that this rule does not apply to. Either way, it is nice to have the scholarship!</p>

<p>I should add a big * here since I am only the parent of a freshman to be this fall. There is so much I don't know about SLU and am just finding out as we go along. If you think your S or D is interested in attending, then I can't recommend the admissions staff highly enough. They are very accessible and the school will send you emails, mailings, etc if you get in touch with the counselor from you region or state. The reason my son even applied for the MLK is because we were contacted by SLU and invited to apply. He also went on the Billiken bus in where they bus you from another city to SL and then back home and did a Billiken for a day visit where you spend the night with a student and attend classes in you major. There are other great opportunities as well, really comb the website for info.</p>

<p>There has been a good deal of discussion about selectivity on this thread in terms of comparing WU and SLU. While it is true that SLU is not as selective (ie the admission rates are much higher than WU), it is important to remember that SLU is highly sought after by students who have attended Catholic/Jesuit HS who are looking for a similar environment for college and many are just the type of student the University is looking for. (Faith/Service/Leadership oriented perhaps). I personally don't believe that more selective and prestigious automatically equals "better" school. It is about what YOU are looking for in pursuing an education. In terms of USNWR, WU is ranked #12 and SLU is ranked #80 at the National University level out of the thousands of accredited institutions in the US. Honestly, that is selective enough for me!</p>

<p>HeartArt, thanks again for your info on the scholarships. We appreciate the benefit of your experience and insight. The MLK would definately be the goal for the heir to the family fortune. ;)</p>

<p>I agree with you entirely on the matter of selectivity and am dismayed that it's become so overemphasized and really reduces a fairly complex decision into a simplistic "which is better"/"who rates higher?" equation. Now with uber-competitive post-grad programs, maybe this is important (although there seems to be a lot of disagreement there as well) but for something like engineering, I think it's silly to worry when the outplacement rate for engineers at a non-elite school like Iowa is 96%+ and these kids are starting at 70k. Isn't that -- ummm -- pretty good? And I'm very concerned about the stress level that these kids encounter when they ARE admitted to the elites. You can see them panicking on other threads in CC. I personally made the mistake of going to a more presitigious engineering school as a freshman 30 years ago, only to hate it almost immediately because I ignored the other 2000 factors in the decision. I will not let my own kids do this. I can tell just by reading the WU threads here in CC that WU is probably not a good fit for my son, even if he were to get in. I get a much better vibe from SLU. I sent them to the middle-class Catholic HS rather than the elite one and they're both having a great experience without the elitist nonsense.</p>

<p>If I could just get over this Billiken thing. I mean, I read about what they are, but still.... It's a struggle :)</p>

<p>Want to say a shout out of congratulations to HeartArt for son getting the MLK schollie!</p>

<p>Beastman, our son attends an all boy Jesuit HS, and I can tell you, they truly do learn to be Men for Others. </p>

<p>My son is also interested in BME, but not as a prelude to med school, and he is a junior in HS as well. </p>

<p>Good luck in your search! I'm there with you!</p>