OOS Auburn University--looking for input

Looking for input on student life and general experience at Auburn University for OOS student. My son is considering Auburn and we are from Kansas. Would love some input on the general atmosphere. Our visit was great, but have only had one in the summer with no students on campus. We are planning to head back in February. Any input would be greatly appreciated. He plans to study Chemical Engineering.

Thanks for reaching out. Not to categorize, but the campus and the people exhibit small town, community, Conservative, sports-centric, friendly, southern and humble attributes.

Our son is planning on attending in the Fall and his reasons for choosing AU vs the others…

  1. Good solid academic reputation for engineering (Civil)
  2. Sports/Tradition/Football/Baseball/Family (SEC)
  3. Southern/conservative
  4. Close to home (~ 2 hours to ATL).
  5. Town size/quaintness
  6. Engineering Co-op program
  7. Attending alongside cousins
  8. Aubie; seriously.
  9. Navy and Orange
  10. Safe place to spend his next 4 years.

He has grown up attending football weekends since he was 2, spending time with his older cousins while there and hearing about AU from his old dad.

As a challenge, he spent a mini-semester @ UA in Tuscaloosa for Early College. The campus there is beautiful to say the least. Ultimately, he said he couldn’t go to school that hated “his” school so much. I would expect this be similar to having your child spend a month in Lawrence when his favorite place is Manhattan, or vice versa.

As Charles Barkley once put it, Auburn has had an inferiority complex to big Brother UA for some time, specifically mentioning the mid-20th century of sports. That has changed a lot since Bo over the top, winning multiple SEC championships, winning a NC and contending most years.

Take the last year in Basketball and Baseball (trip to the Final 4 and CWS), and add in Swimming and Diving, Equestrian, Softball and Gymnastics…being an Auburn student and fan has been a great ride the last 40+ years ( it will you give you a heart-attack most days when pulling for those Tigers).

To answer your question about atmosphere…

  1. Students are extremely casual (shorts and t shirts) simply because it could be 95 degrees the day school starts and remain warm until Halloween.
  2. Greek life is upheld as positive and represents ~37%.
  3. With Auburn’s renowned vet school and agriculture history, there will be an ample amount of cowboy boots, trucks and rural students attending that give the campus a slight bit of country cool and salt of the earth persona.
  4. Most, not all seem to enjoy nature with hunting, fishing, camping being very popular lifestyles to emerge into as a student.
  5. Auburn does embrace the “cow college” stigma that was given to us many years ago, so much, that my graduating son’s t shirt given to him by his older cousins when he was 12… needs to be replaced from wearing it with pride over the last 6 years.

Lastly, sports are a big deal. Add in Family, friends, tradition and southern hospitality, I couldn’t expect too many folks would have a bad time.

This is just my two cents, but it truly is a special place, especially if you happen to visit in February. You might get lucky and have it be 74 degrees, like it was today!!!

Good luck. WDE

Aubie, seriously! No joke, I’ll back that one as well. If the baseball team is in town, try to catch a game. They are pretty good and have a very nice stadium. I believe the season kicks off Valentine’s Day and tickets are relatively inexpensive. Stop by The Hound for Sat/Sun (casual) or The Depot (dressy/casual) for dinner (or Acre, dressy - but hard to get in these days). Auburn is a very friendly school.

Thank you both so much for your input! We are excited for our visit and look forward to learning more about the campus and Engineering Department.

WDE1994–I have an odd question. We are OOS and child is excited to attend Auburn. We are politically very conservative and love the country vibe. We were visiting (for the 3rd time!) last month. We are not religious at all. My child mentioned something about being Jewish (again, we are not religious/I am not sure how it came up) and was told by a friend that attends to keep that very quiet. Since then, I have been doing some research and notice a good deal of faith based posts from students currently attending and those looking for roommates. Do you have any opinions on a child attending a) who has no religious background/knowledge or b)whose heritage is part Jewish?

Hi Hardy8635,

In my opinion, being non-religious is a potential consideration but really not a big deal.

I would say that with anything, if you express your opinion about being non-religious and that religion is “bad” or other, you will bring up a hornets nest since most people highly defend their religious beliefs.

One thing potentially different at AU… there are no Jewish Fraternities or Sororities, like UGA or UA. Those young men and women join alongside their Christian, non-religious, etc peers, which I kind of like.

Auburn is extremely conservative, like most small southern towns will be. There are churches and programs and church social groups that do have an impact on the student body, but again, not being part of one in no way is reflective on your son. If any of his friends/classmates/roommates are members of these religious organizations, he will probably be invited to come along, as a kindly gesture and as a innate desire to help/love/recommend/“save”, etc everyone else…extremely normal.

I"m Catholic and had best friends who were Methodists and Baptists who invited me to their church EVERY Week, knowing I was of a different faith. I went along occasionally because they were my friends and I was curious. Great people. They never swayed me but glad I was able to see a different perspective. Part of life.

On the basis of having a Jewish ethnicity, I would highly doubt that would ever actually come up in any college setting. I don’t think kids today really care about someones’ nationality, which is a great behavior to exhibit towards fellow students and people.

My recommendation is…if your son doesn’t want to be around a majority Christian student body and doesn’t want to see/hear Christian conservative values often discussed - a non-southern campus may be the way to go.

Religion is personal involvement. Participate or don’t. Again, IMHO, being secular on AU’s campus should not be any hand-waving, flag-raising, noticeable event.

For the roommate profile, yes, the religious affiliation is typically listed. I would say there is two-fold reason for mentioning it…
A) Saying you’re religion A, or religion B is a good way to express to other folks that I"m honest, won’t steal your diet Coke from the fridge, care about you as a friend and have grown up in a way that is renowned as trustworthy and nice.
B) With so many people having a religious affiliation, it is another way to potentially meet another person who believes what you also believe and may help them stay focused in their faith, or potentially have someone to go to church with for weekend service.

For my son, his future roommate is a Christian, but he has no idea to what affiliation he belongs and may not ever even ask. It may come up, but for my son, he wouldn’t care either way.

I hope this helps in some way. Good luck.
PIng me if there is a way for our boys to connect prior to the Fall.


Thank you for your prompt, comprehensive, and kind reply. Your answer is extremely helpful. We are not anti-religious at all; it is just not something that ever comes up. 95% of our friends are Christians, but not necessarily church-goers. An emphasis on Judeo-Christian conservative values is exactly what we are looking for. From your response, it sounds like students are welcoming and ethnicity and religious affiliations are mostly treated as personal issues. I was just concerned that dating/receiving a bid from a fraternity may be impacted. Did you find, as a Catholic, that other Christians typically dated people from their own branch of Christianity?
Thank you again.

Bids from fraternity at Auburn…might need to address this separately.

Most, not all, bids to incoming freshman young men are done over the summer. The Fraternities typically have multiple rush parties over the summer in/around Auburn and various brother town locations…Auburn, Montgomery, Birmingham and even Mobile. These have typically been band-mixer-social events where the fraternity is trying to get an idea of the men attending before school starts. Bids will be given to the guys at these events. For these “bigger” fraternities, a majority of the men pledging are coming from ~ 200 miles of Auburn and can attend these parties.

This is not to say that the standard rush week is not heavily attended.

Can you call me, to discuss? I don’t feel extremely comfortable discussing further race, ethnicity and religious conversations on this thread, and I don’t want my personal experiences and or recent observations while on campus with my future Tiger, my family (nieces/nephews) to come across the wrong way to the overall forum, since at the end of the day, it is my personal perspective that I’m trying to summarize.

I’ll send you message.

@WDE1994 You’ve represented your alma mater and yourself/opinions with the utmost respect! Your posts about Auburn make me smile because you describe exactly what my junior daughter is looking for (especially how many times you mention that sports are a big deal, that is tops on her list for finding the right fit!). I almost don’t even want to let her go visit, because I know she’ll fall in love with it even more and I have heard there are not really OOS scholarships available besides the automatic merit levels for GPA/ACT numbers. :frowning:

Hi Hokiemama24…thanks for the feedback. No reason to lie. The town of Auburn, the University and the atmosphere, are sincerely life-changing. Living in AL for HS and then attending there as a student, was so normal and matter of fact.
Now, coming from OOS like yourself- as a parent- you truly recognize how lucky the kids are that get the opportunity to go there and pay the ~ $12k tuition.

Pertaining scholarships - you’re right. AU doesn’t offer a big package like some of the other SEC schools have, like UA, LSU and MSU. With AU changing the academic scholarship “offer” this year, it costs us $12k in $$, plus with the amount going up another $1k/year it stung a little more.

Hopefully your daughter will find her place, her campus and great history and wonderful legacy to call her own. In the meantime…take a little trip to Auburn; have a lemonade, laugh at Aubie and watch the sunset. One doesn’t have to athletically pull/root for the Tigers, but take in a little southern hospitality that offers a truly AUsome experience.

Good luck. Keep posting on your daughters next steps.

@hardy8635 I realize this thread is from a few months ago, and your son has most likely made his college decision, but just want to pass along my perspective for other Jewish or interfaith families considering Auburn.

We are a reform family from the greater Atlanta area. We are not particularly observant, but do attend services on the high holidays. My kids attended Jewish day school until high school, and both are adamantly pro Israel. My oldest son is a junior engineering co op student and is in the honors college. His religion or lack thereof has never been an issue. He has found the Auburn community to be very warm and welcoming and has NEVER felt that he had to hide the fact that he is Jewish. Like the vast majority of Auburn students and alums, he absolutely loves the school. He lived in a suite with three other engineering students his first year. One is Catholic,or the other two are evangelical Christians. All three of these guys are still among his closest friends.

Auburn has a small but growing Jewish community. There is Hillel on campus, and I would encourage anyone wanting more information about Jewish life at Auburn to reach out to them. I don’t really have any insight into the fraternities, but do want to note that there is one Jewish fraternity on campus (AEPi). Two of my sons’ friends from his freshman dorm joined. My son attends some of their social events, as well as those of other fraternities but did not have any interest in joining.

As far as the dating scene goes, I can only say that if you have a problem with your Jewish child dating a non Jew, don’t send your kid to Auburn.