St. Lawrence University- ok for a non partier?

Hello! My daughter is in the midst of researching colleges and going on visits. St. Lawrence seems to check many of the boxes she has- outdoorsy, equestrian team, small class sizes, internships and travel abroad opportunities and sociology major. The boxes it doesn’t check is that it is far from home (5 hours), no “cute town”, and many reviews we have read label it as a “party school” which isn’t her style. She prefers hanging out with some friends, having dinner, watching movies, doing something outdoorsy, like hiking and spending lots of time riding or helping out at her barn. She doesn’t want the pressure to drink and party. Any opinions on St. Lawrence as a non- partier? We are heading up for a visit in February, but I’m sure if you ask a college tour guide or administration they will tell us what we want to hear, so looking for some honest opinions.

Also looking at roger Williams, Marist, UNH, Uvm, new paltz and Siena if anyone has anything to add about those schools. Thanks so much for any help. Truly appreciate it!

Very interested in this, too.
Also about the “no cute town” remark!

1.Canton is a combination of cute and authentic, which is probably more interesting than cute alone.

  1. St. Lawrence's campus itself is beautiful and, again, interesting in a way that other schools mostly cannot match.
  2. The party reputation may be deserved, but the atmosphere would be unlikely to create direct pressure to conform to what may be a minority -- even if a large one -- of the students anyway.
  3. SLU, though less selective than some of its peers, is still easy to recommend for top students who don't feel the need to choose the most competitive environment into which they could be accepted.

Canton is pretty darn “cute” in my book, there are a couple of neat food spots, there is a movie theater right there, 2 blocks from campus, and some great B&Bs (check out Litengard, walking distance from campus). Also, you wouldn’t expect it, but the campus bookstore is basically an all-purpose boutique in addition to being the typical student bookstore with spirit wear etc.

Can’t speak specifically to the non-partier culture on campus, but there is such a strong outdoorsy element to the school, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a strong minority which chooses not to partake. Greek life is actually fairly small and contained, and is non-residential, I believe, so there are no frat houses etc. to dominate the party life. The kids we met on two visits to campus were genuinely decent, engaged kids. It is a long trek for us so fell off my kid’s list as he realized he preferred to be within about 6 hours of home, not 12. I really do think St Lawrence is a great find of a place. Enjoy your visit!

Thank you so much for the responses. No offense on the “not cute town” comment- I haven’t seen it yet, I was just going by things I’d read. So I’m happy to hear that it is a cute town! I live in the 5 college area of Mt. Holyoke/Amherst/Northampton so I’m used to that kind of college town- this might just be a little smaller. Love the comments- keep them coming! Thank you so much!

I would echo the cute and authentic comment. Also, there are three schools in the general area. SLU, Clarkson and SUNY Potsdam about 10 miles away.

In terms of partying, the reputation comes from the fact the school has a very good D1 hockey team. I would say the reality is more narrow than the reputation.

Sports, you will notice immediately that the kids are very fit. A very large percentage play varsity sports and the sports facilities are to die for. The machines all have the SLU shield on them and no money was spared. When we visited we were told the equestrian facility was being moved on campus and was being built. This was fall of 2014 when we were there.

The bookstore, lord did they go all out on that. It’s the old gym and boy is it stocked with things.

Housing. The actor Kirk Douglas funded one of the most elaborate student residences I have ever seen, sort of like Bates 280 but much larger.

On to Siena. This school is very nice but it is part of a very upscale suburban part of Albany, very much like Villanova’s location. The location is by no means rural. It doesn’t have the charm or character of other Catholic campuses but it is very nice and very easy to get to. The student center has outdoor fire pits and a large outdoor grilling setup. It is really nice. Upper classmen housing is lovely, freshman and sophomore more basic.

Along the same lines are, Scranton, Bonaventure, St. Michael’s in Burlington, VT and St. Anselm in southern NH. All peer schools. St. Anselm is more strict when it comes to boy/girl stuff but the campus is first rate. The chapel is amazing.

If you want a shorter trip, St. Michael’s should be high on your list. St. Anselm is in Manchester, NH. If Siena interests your child these should as well.

It sounds wonderful! Yes, I’m not sure Siena has the environment she is looking for but we might visit after our SUNY New Paltz visit, since it’s not that far from there. Also, thank you for the other recommendations. I will have to check if they have an equestrian team- that is top of the importance factors on her list!

Gettsyburg College has an equestrian team. That is a terrific school located in a lovely historic town. Very sporty as well. I have been there but on a business trip to the area and I self-toured. Very strong academic school.

Will look into it, thanks! Any more St. Lawrence non party people info?

One of my best friends went there (obviously years ago, she gave me a tour last year when I was visiting her) and her D is a senior there this year. From what I know, it’s fine not to party, and there are a lot of outdoorsy healthy kids and partying a bunch just doesn’t fit into their lifestyle. That said, a lot of kids party too. IDK how different that is than most places, my D is at school in your area and reports weekends filled with party options.

Glad you’re going in February, you’ll see the coldest part of the school year. My friend from up that way loves it, they snowmobile and ski (cross and down), ride (my friend took her horse to college with her), and when the weather permits there is mountain climbing. It’s a shame they aren’t there in summer as much because THE St Lawrence is beautiful and I personally love to swim in it, and of course the Adirondacks are right there. Alex Bay has the 1000 islands…it’s a pretty remarkable area of NY State.

I also think Canton is a nice town. If one gets the big city itch, Ottowa and Montreal aren’t too far.

Friend’s D went abroad for just over half of her junior year, had a great experience.

Great to hear that. I know there is a party culture at every school, but with it being on the smaller side, I just want to make sure there are other options and not have her feel weird about not partaking. Outdoorsy, healthy kid definitely describes her- and I would imagine maybe others on the riding team would be similar. Hopefully???

Try to pm 5boys, her S is a pretty serious student and he is at St. Lawrence and last I heard loves it and is very happy there. If you do a search for 5boys click on her name and you can pm her.

I will second most of what scarednjdad says about Siena. I live in the area and to me it’s a very meh campus and very suburban. Not much to do around there, IMO, for college aged students. Not very walkable area either.

@5boys - there, tagged.

Awesome, thanks! Just contacted her, so hopefully will get some good info! And thank you for the Siena opinion. We looked at Stonehill, and while beautiful, she didn’t really like it. Wondering if Siena and Stonehill are similar in that respect.

Hobart also has an equestrian team. Does she have the stats to get into St. Lawrence it is much tougher than the other schools you have mentioned.

Not sure as she hasn’t taken the ACT yet. She does have over a 4.0 weighted average and was 9th in her class of 150 last we checked. All honors classes with a few AP’s. National honor society. Volunteer work weekly with kids with mental and physical disabilities and is on an equestrian team and dances. Sound possible?

Unweighted? Sounds fine but its good to make sure you are looking in the right places.

Fairfield also has an equestrian team.

To me it sound spossible, yes.

SLU accepted 40% of applicants last year.

25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 550 650
SAT Math 550 660
SAT Writing 540 640

ACT Composite 25 30

(plus they are test-optional)

Percent who had GPA of 3.75 and higher 42.0%
3.50 and 3.74 21.4%
3.25 and 3.49 12.1%
3.00 and 3.24 15.0%
2.50 and 2.99 8.9%
2.0 and 2.49 0.6%

Thank you!

HI- our daughter is a First Year at SLU and is loving it. After looking at 20 small-medium CT-NY-MA schools she fell in love with the campus and friendly student body. Visits to SLU are very personal. Your tour is one on one. SLU is big on Chips and Twigs. (sons and daughters and Sisters and brothers).

Our daughter participated in IEA Team in high school and did try out for the IHSA team at SLU but sadly did not make it. Lots of competition for few spots. She still took lessons but felt restricted in what she was allowed to do during the lesson. The team is considered a Varsity sport and they have claimed National Titles. There is no recreational Riding Club so if your daughter HAS to ride she might want to ask more questions about what the lessons involve. Other schools do sport competition teams and recreational riding. Or much larger teams. The riding facility is not being moved. It is on the edge of the 1000 acre campus. There is a really good riding barn in Canton. Look into that too.

Our daughter is excited by her courses. She has a 3.6. She has formed relationships with some of her professors and is already talking to the department about going abroad. She has applied to become a Community Assistant (like an RA)

She is planning her second trip to Montreal on a long weekend. She is eager to seeing Torinto and Ottawa. The train in Brockville, Ontario
goes to both cities. Lots of kids sport cars.

She attends hockey games, the theater downtown, charity events, and a photography club that uses college cans to get off campus. Peak week and their ceremonies are great traditions.

SLU has very good sports teams! Cross Country and Squash are leading the nation. NCAA Finals D3 were on campus. D1 Hockey. For the non varsity athlete there are except use rooms that are the envy of larger schools! Also the best looking rock climbing wall, golf course, canoe barn…trails beside the Little River!

They had a hot air balloon on campus this Fall. The “Java Barn” is a popular place for music and they have Fall Festival, Winterfest at Titus Mountain Sku area. The student center is the heart of the campus with its USPO, bank, ATM, ping pong, pub, theater, grocery store and multiple roaring fireplaces! Another building sports a great theater for dramatic productions, art and dance. Singing is always in Gunnison Chapel.

There is the “holiday bus” that runs to and from campus. Do you know about this??? ONG it is wonderful!! Mine takes it. Two buses depart campus. Canton-Stracuse-Rye-NYC. The second bus goes Canton-Albany-Springdield-Boston. $70 R/T can’t be beat.

The town of Canton is cute with a town green surrounded by banks, USPO, movie theater, ice cream, . Pizza, Mexican, Chinese, sub shops, health food, hair salons, ice cream. Down the road 2 grocery stores, dollar store, gas stations, Burger King, Pizza Hut, hardware, etc. A super duper Walmart is situated smack between Potsdam and Canton. Potsdam is Clarkson Univ territory! ( mine shops on the Internet!!)

Every college has drinking and as a First Year I think you see a lot. Our daughter suggests that she feels no pressure. SLU started the FYPs over 22 years ago. The First Year Program brings them all together quickly. I know she wants to check out the theme houses.

I graduated from a Catholic LAC school in the Boston area. Our daughter did not want a Catholic school. She wanted a tight community where the student body stayed on campus. She wanted a beautiful campus and smiling friendly students. She stepped on the Quad and inside Sullivan Center and fell in love! That was in September during Familt Weekend. We traveled back in -13 weather.

There are kids at SLU who didn’t want IVY or did not get into Ivy schools. The science center is pretty new. The library is terrific. There are lots of computers. They are updating the dorms. They just put up Kirk Douglas Hall. 40% of some First Year Dorms are singles. Printing and laundry are free. The campus feels safe to her.

The food is very good in Dana and there is the option to eat in the student center, and 3 other locations. I love their soups!
She lives the wraps and stuffed potatoes in the Pub!

The school owns the Best Western that sits on the edge of the campus. Next to it are physician offices. The closest hospital is in Potsdam.

I will tell you that our son will be attending SLU. He is an active Eagle Scout hiker-skier-camper-climber type. He wants to spend time in the Adirondacks and ski Whiteface. They have some wonderful courses in Ebvironmental Studies and Outdoor Education. Their PreTeip Orientatiin Trips have select students canoeing, camping, hiking and rock climbing!! Their Outdoor program is second oldest in the nation behind Dartmouth. The school also owns an old camp at Saranac Lake called Canaras. Students can do a semester program living in a community they call Arcada. It’s a bunch of students living in yurts near the Raquette River.

In conclusion-SLU is a spirited campus full of active achievers who like and love the outdoors. It may be remote but sits an hour from the Capitol of Canada and 3 hours from Montreal. It is a 1000 acre country club connected to the Canton Community. They offer great international programs. The school is rich in tradition and has a strong alumni.
The bookstore is to die for! Go Saints!!

It sounds like she needs to ride. If she did not make the team could she survive? Is her priority the education or riding. There are only 26 on the team. Will she board a horse? She might want to look at schools that have a less competitive team where she can definitely ride or hack.