Hi my son got the Presidential Scholarship to St. Joes. He is comparing it to Penn State which would be the same price (almost to the dollar) I know they are SOOOOOO different. Trying to get a handle on whether or not St. Joe’s is a suitcase school since many kids who go there are local. Also are there enough activities to do? What are the advantages over a large state school?
SJU is not at all a suitcase school. There is always something going on there. If students do leave campus on the weekends, it’s usually to do something fun in Manayunk or Center City, not to go home. There are numerous advantages to a smaller school. There is a much lower teacher/student ratio, students aren’t so far from their classes on campus that they require shuttle buses, and the opportunity is there to get to know people better. There is no shortage of activities in which to get involved. Whether your son is athletic, artsy, etc., a club exists. The campus is electric during basketball season, and there’s nothing quite like a Big 5 game. The vibe is completely different at PSU. A student can literally be among strangers daily, because the student body (as you know) is enormous. It is harder to do certain things, like get your first choice of popular courses, or assume leadership positions (for example, in student government). The food quality is better at SJU, too!! That’s very important.
My son is a freshman and somfar he said there is lots to do on weekends and that pretty much everyone he knew stayed on campus the first few weekends.