Question about Elon

Hi all. My son has applied to Elon EA and he is very interested in their School of Communications. He was able to visit this summer and loved the campus but was unable to get a real feel for the school without students on site. His only hesitation is that he is worried that, in his words, it might be too much of a “country club” culture there (whatever that means?!?) He currently attends an all boys independent school that is VERY much a country club culture and he wants a different experience for college. He is interested in their Greek life options, as a side note.

Can any current students or recent grads or parents speak to this?

I do not have a ton of answers, but can give what I know. My daughter is a freshman and is most definitely not in the country club crowd. I think there are a decent number of wealthy students, but I don’t think it defines the campus. (High Point and Wake Forest both seemed far more “country club” to us). This year has obviously been a weird one, so it’s really hard to judge given my daughter’s one less-than-ideal semester. But, despite it all she is very happy with her decision, for what it’s worth. She is not in Greek (no plan to participate).

My son is a sophomore at Elon and I agree with @onemoremom12 's assessment. There is a large number of students from the NE area that seem to fit the preppy/wealthy stereotype, if that is what he means by country club. But I don’t think this makes the overall vibe or culture of the school that way, and my son easily found friends both within and without of that ‘type’ that he is very happy with (he’s a midwestern, not-country-club kind of guy).

If you can get more out of your son about what that means, let us know. Greek life is active but non residential…there are just small houses on campus for sophomores only. After that they tend to live together in apartments. My son is not interested in Greek life and in our research and his experience, it’s there and great for those who want it, but plenty of social life and experiences for those who don’t.

I don’t know what schools your son has looked at virtually, but University of Richmond and Wake Forest also had a bit more of a ‘country club’ vibe than Elon to us, if that helps. (not that it’s bad and these are two great schools).

Elon’s School of Communications is their real gem, it stands out as one of the top majors in terms of popularity and visibility and achievement. My son is not a Comm major but if he was, that would put Elon at the top of almost all of the schools I visited with both of my college kids. It’s very impressive. If he hasn’t already, your son should definitely check out Elon News Network, both for ideas for the Comm school and also would be a good look at campus since he can’t get there. Also, last I heard WAY back in late spring they were allowing private tours, so while I know travel is a huge concern, I do think the option is there if you can get there. Of course, there won’t be students back until February at this point (Elon has a J term but if your point in visiting is to see the students, wait until they are all back after J Term).

A bit late but I will jump in here and offer a little bit. I am currently a Junior at Elon and heard more people worrying about the “country club” vibe than I have ever run into people who actually have the vibe. The kind of people who want that kind of atmosphere usually stick together so unless you are a part of that crowd or go looking for them you almost never run into them.

In terms of actually seeing students, Elon isn’t exactly known for us just sitting around outside, even before the pandemic came around. I first toured on the day of Homecoming and I thought the campus was empty. If you ever visit and want to see what the Comm School is really like send me a message and we can try to find a way to get you to you can sit in on an ENN show. If either of you have any other questions about the Comm School feel free to message me about those as well.

Greek life is also very big on campus. It’s possible to not be in it, as I am, but I would go as far as to say the majority of students are in Greek organizations so that should be no problem for your son.

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D accepted EA and wants to study Sports Management in the Comms school. We couldn’t visit in person, but have participated in tons of their virtual sessions. Their content and delivery is really impressive, the best of any of the schools she has applied to. It might be just good marketing, but I have the feeling it’s rather an example of their practical and real-world approach to learning. We’ve loved everything we’ve seen and learned via the virtual channels.

I agree that their Comm school is fantastic and know of at least one student who is having an excellent experience so far in the Sports Management program. We had your same impressions (in person, fortunately), and, with a son 1.5 years in (not Comm school), can say that the experience truly does live up to the marketing.

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sent you a direct message

Do any of you with daughters at Elon ever hear them discuss the predominance of females over males on campus? If so, is it a concern at all for them?

Our other daughter is at Tulane (which has a very similar male/female ratio (and is a similar sized undergrad population)) and our Tulanian thinks it’s a bit of a negative. Creates even more of a hook-up culture than exists at other colleges with a more balanced gender breakdown.

Elon is topping our D21s list and that is the only aspect that gives me as a parent a bit of pause.

@Rivergirl1313 maybe it’s Covid related, but my D is a freshman at Elon and it seems like the opposite of a hook up culture. She has a great group of guy friends (and she barely talked to guys in HS) and they are all just friends. Her roommate and best friend are both dating freshmen boys they met there and are definitely not just “hooking up” with them.

My D dresses pretty quirky and she has made great friends that are very different from her (very mainstream) and they are all very accepting. Although we are upper middle class (or lower upper class?), she is definitely more thrift store than country club and she loves the vibe of the school. She has friends of all socioeconomic groups and no one seems to care.

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@MAmom111 So good to hear! And if I’m reading your name right, we’re from MA too. Regardless, so happy your D is happy there - that’s all that matters. If I had to guess, I’d say we’ll be joining you there for the class of '25!!!

Yes we are. Let me know if you have any additional questions. Good luck!

Hi! Elon is in my top 2 right now and it is probably where I will end up going but I do have some concerns. I am really nervous that there won’t be anything for me to do there or I will not have a regular college experience of going out. I went to visit and the campus was beautiful but what took me back was how there was nothing to do outside of campus. I am also concerned about the size because I always thought that I would go to a big school with lots of sports games. Elon is the best school for what I want to do as my career but I also do have concerns that I will be miserable there because my friends will be living on big campuses.

I have some of the same concerns @izabellaz but my daughter doesn’t seem to! She knows quite a few people there who all rave about the community on campus, the myriad ways to get involved and how much they love Elon (which is why it’s likely she’ll end up there too). I have heard from others that there’s so much to do on campus you don’t really notice that there’s only a small town nearby.

Hi @izabellaz and @Rivergirl1313! So here are my thoughts on the whole downtown situation. If you are worried about parties or such going on (when COVID is over), that’s not really anything you have to worry about here. I would venture to say that if you know the right people there is a party probably every night here, yes even the school days. We arent going to throw the huge block party ragers of WVU but we do have a pretty big St Patty’s day party (darty). Even if we don’t have a “downtown” you can walk off campus to get to, give it a little bit of time and you learn a lot about Burlington and the surrounding area and how many things are hidden around (such as a crêpe place and quite a few coffee shops. Also we are right between Greensboro and Raleigh, allowing for many easy access to both of those cities.

Sports are obviously not going to be as big here as it would be at a larger school but we still have football games and tailgates and stuff, just a little smaller. If you really want to get involved in school spirit we have the “Phoenix Phanatics” who go to every game and are like the hype students.

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There are several restaurants just across the street from campus next to the bookstore. And Burlington has a lot of shops and chain restaurants as well as some local ones. Kids are allowed to have cars freshman year so my D goes off campus a lot for food and shopping, esp since there is not a ton to do on campus due to Covid. My D has also gone camping for a weekend (the school loans out free equipment) and has gone on several nearby hikes. And the campus is so beautiful to just walk around. They often go to other dining halls just to take a nice walk around campus. We know a couple upperclassmen and none of them have ever mentioned being bored there.

Try not to worry about what your friends will be doing on their campuses. People can be happy or unhappy at any size school, just focus on what you what for your college experience.

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My son is a sophomore and I agree with what @Rivergirl1313 and @JustHelpingOut20 say. I was a little worried about that tiny town too (although not the size of the school, my son wanted a medium sized school), but there is plenty, plenty to do. Campus life (including party life) is active and just like any “college experience of going out.” Yes the football stadium is small, but there are sports and school spirit there, it is just a much smaller scale than the big schools (and our local college is Ohio State U, so I know what that looks like!) My son has a car and has gone to things like concerts in Raleigh or the NC state fair, or hiking, but mostly sticks to campus. I think that many incoming college students might overestimate the time they will spend leaving campus, especially in the first couple of years.

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