Stetson University

Off topic from another thread so I started a new one.

Stetson University is a great small school in central Florida. My daughter loved her four years there. They are D1 so sports are big there. There is also tons of school spirit as well as lots of opportunities to get involved on campus. A great sense of community.

As for where it is located, DeLand is such a cute town with a main street within walking distance from campus. And when you go in the local shops and restaurants they have nothing but praise for the SU students. DeLand is also 25 mins from Daytona and an hour from Orlando so lots of entertainment is never too far.

I highly recommend a visit if you are in the area. If you can only do virtual, it really is as beautiful as it appears. :palm_tree: :sunny: :cowboy_hat_face:

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I saw you mentioned on another thread that Stetson was a dark horse for your D. Could I ask what other schools she looked at and how she ended up choosing Stetson?

We are from New England and she had never really seen herself going far away for school. She applied to all the typical state schools up here and a few others where she knew she would get decent merit being OOS. Stetson was one of the first schools to find her after PSATs and continued communication. After she finished her Common App and started clicking away at applications, I encouraged her to apply to Stetson just to see what happens as it was free to apply. Lo and behold they came back with a very generous package. Still, they were in FL and at that time her going there was as likely as sending her to the moon.

As it turned out, in Feb we were already going to be in FL for a different reason and she asked if we could attend their open house to justify why she was turning them down. After 20+ college tours I was getting good at finding red flags so I figured this would be easy and we prob wouldn’t even make it to the tour after the presentation. I was wrong. From the moment we stepped on campus we knew it was different from any school we had visited (the 60+ degree weather when it was below zero at home helped too :slight_smile: ) Campus is not huge but is not suffocating. Tons of opportunities for those that want to get involved. Everyone we met was genuinely happy and my daughter immediately felt comfortable and excited for the possibility of going there. That had not happened at any of the other tours we went on. Her greatest fear is that I would tell her that it was too far. I told her that she needed to go where she was comfortable and excited to be there. I told her that I would not miss her any less if she was going to the college in the town next door or 1200 miles away. But not taking advantage of an amazing opportunity because of fear of hurting someone else’s feelings is no way to live.

Could she have been happy at a school back in NE? Most certainly. She is the type of kid that would make the best of any situation. But your college years go so fast. Some opportunities only come around once. And I told her if it didn’t work out, there were several flights leaving Orlando everyday to New England. No questions asked.


Thank you so much for taking the time to write all that.

Can I ask what some of the red flags are you’ve seen on college tours?

I’d like to hear more also.

As for red flags for me, let’s see…

…freshman classes over 300+ students where you type in a code for attendance. Not good for either of my kids.
…one prestigious school had their student panel talking only about how hard all their classes were and their daily stress. A few had considered transferring. Not a good selling point.
…how many kids on campus are actually wearing their school sweatshirts or logos
…dorms that are dark, hidden by overgrown trees, worn down or out of the way
…at one school they told us it was a state law that they could not show us inside a dorm. (We had just seen dorms at their flagship?!?) Then my daughter pointed out to me the bars on the first floor windows :flushed:
…I like to ask the tour guides which other schools they were accepted to and why did they choose this one. One tour guide told me this was her last choice school but her dad promised her a car to attend bc it was the cheapest option for her.
…if you have time go into the local restaurants and stores near campus. If you tell them you are considering that school they will tell you their honest answer. At one school a shop owner told me that honestly she would not send her daughter there.

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@luvtoscrap23 My S22 and I are headed down in a couple weeks to tour Stetson, Rollins and U of Tampa. We can’t get an official tour of Stetson as they are full that day (although my son sent an email asking to be put on a waitlist). Anything that we definitely shouldn’t miss on campus and any favorite places to grab lunch? We are thinking about staying in Orlando but anywhere closer to campus your would recommend?? Just curious, did you also look at Rollins? If so, any obvious differences between the schools?

We did not tour Rollins but I believe they both attract the same kind of student. I have heard lots of people say they were choosing between the two of them. How long are you planning to stay? Orlando is pretty central for them all. (the hotel in MCO is really fun to stay in if you are able) I’d suggest seeing Rollins first then take your time walking around Stetson and the area.

When visiting Stetson, make time to get out and walk around the main street downtown. Lots of great food places here as well as small businesses and shops. If you come up from Orlando on I4 then 17 you will pass the baseball stadium on the right with the football stadium behind it. (can’t miss the giant pic of Jacob deGrom). Then you pass through downtown and then the school will be on your right. Park near the new Welcome Ctr so you won’t get ticketed.

I will ask my daughter for highlights on campus. I, for one, love the palm trees surrounding the fountain in the middle of campus. Can’t beat studying for finals in a hammock strung between the palms.

The Daytona Speedway is also only 20 mins away and the beach just beyond that. Worth a ride down to even just drive around if you have the time.

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Thanks so much for all the info. We were able to get a 10am tour at Stetson and then a 2pm at Rollins. Hoping we can finish the tour and then walk around downtown Deland and grab lunch. Then tour Rollins, walk around Winter Park and grab dinner. It will be a lot in one day but I’m just excited to get on some campuses. We booked a hotel in Orlando. Touring UTampa the next day so unfortunately no time to see the beach.

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So glad you got a tour! Hopefully they will let you get into Elizabeth Hall to see the Lee Chapel. A hidden gem :slight_smile: You can always get to campus early if you are able to walk around to get a feel for campus. (And a pic with John B. on his bench is a must.) Have fun and I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

Tours went great. We really liked both campuses and towns a lot. We went to a cute pizza place in downtown Deland and we really liked the vibe of the downtown. The only downside was that the Stetson campus was so quiet. I think we literally saw about 10 students in total and 8 of them were music students heading to a performance for an admitted students event. And our tour guide was a bio student who commutes to campus. So it was really hard to get a vibe for my business major son. Rollins had a couple of sports team practicing and just more kids out and about so it just seemed more lively. Both campuses were beautiful and as of right now both are staying on my son’s list. Thanks again for all the tips!

Unfortunately they didn’t take us into Lee Hall or any of the dorms. But we did get a pic with John B.

So glad you got to see campus! Sorry that it was oddly quiet. But at least you have a John B pic by the beautiful fountain :cowboy_hat_face: :fountain: Happy to answer any questions down the road. Good luck!