the disadvantages and advantages of Denison university

What are the disadvantages and advantages of Denison university ?
I want to get a scholarship with full aid in computer science major

Could you be more specific about your financial parameters? Are you looking for need-based aid or merit (non-need based) aid? Denison is known for being fairly generous with merit based aid, up to about 1/2 tuition. When my kid was applying (he has graduated, so this was a few years ago), there were a handful of full tuition awards which went to the tippy top applicants – I’ve described that we met several of them at an admitted student event and they were choosing between full pay at Stanford and Columbia vs. full tuition merit award at Denison. The Stanford admit went to Stanford, the Columbia admit came to Denison and had a great experience. However, I don’t know if Denison still does full tuition merit awards, that would be a question to direct to the Admissions office.

The pros of Denison? Excellent academics, incredible performing arts and fine arts facilities, priority on mentoring and relationships so students really do get to know faculty and others on campus very well, excellent career development office with comprehensive programs for 1st year through graduation. Beautiful location in a charming village, but about 25 min from Columbus, the state capital, so good for political internships, plus range of corporate headquarters in the New Albany/Columbus area, so again, lots of internship opportunities. Economically diverse student body – the merit awards pull in more middle class/upper middle class students so, while there are certainly wealthy kids and low income kids, there is more of a “middle” in the student body than at some schools where there are mostly very wealthy and low income kids. Convenient travel since Columbus airport is 25 min away and an easy in-and-out airport, not congested. Student body comes from east coast – North Carolina to Boston – west coast, midwest (lots of Chicago area kids), though not as many from south/south east/south west.

Negatives? If a student is looking for a CS program like would be found at a major research university, the classes at Denison presumably won’t go as deep or as far as at a huge university. If a student doesn’t really want the small college experience, the 2300-2400 students could feel small.

1 Like

What is “full aid”? If you are accepted to Denison and have financial need as defined by them, according to their web site, they will meet that need 100%. They are not 100% need blind in admissions , however.

Denison has always been considered one of the more generous schools in giving out merit scholarships. However, they give out very few full rides. If you are a student that has the application where the most selective schools would be interested in you, you may have a shot at one of these few full rides.

I do not know how many full tuition awards they give. I’ve seen students in their upper 25% test score range, students with hooks that the school really want, get $20k scholarships, but full ride is hard to get anywhere. Why would a college pay all of your costs, including living expenses unless they benefit that much from you and that you are a rare find for them?

Also, this past year’s acceptance rate was 28%, with over 9000 applications. From our conversations with Admissions and the Administration, “fit” matters over stats. I’ve followed the admission cycle, and there are high stat kids who were surprised to be WL but then acknowledged they didn’t really learn about campus culture or show how they would contribute to campus. Denison students tend to be very involved on campus and beyond, and usually engage across “categories” of types – the athlete who does musical theater or has a fine arts minor etc.

I’m not sure how to show how you fit on campus. There’s no supplemental essay to write. Denison only gets your Common App essay.

1 Like

Applicants should express their fit in an interview with admissions, they are evaluative.

(1) Admissions interview. (2) Denison sends out an optional essay to some students, as reported over the years, though my kid did not get one. (3) Common App essay can demonstrate qualities which show fit, easier if a kid is applying to schools which may have differing degrees of selectiveness but share overlapping values.

From Denison’s Admissions site, on interviews:
“While optional, interviews are evaluative, so they are considered a part of your application to Denison. The admission officers who read your application will have the interview notes available to them as part of that review, and they will read those notes alongside the rest of your application. This is why it’s important for us to learn things about you in the interview that aren’t as prominent in your application. Throughout the application, our goal is to understand if you are academically prepared for Denison, and to understand what you will contribute to our residential community inside and outside of the classroom.”

Regarding #2, my son received a request for an optional “why Denison” type essay. They did not say why specifically they requested it, but made it clear they did not request it from every applicant. The request also said it was “not mandatory” but we proceeded as if it was mandatory. Our thinking was that if they did not want to learn more about him, they would not have asked.

Also, we were a family that needed a lot of FinAid. I certainly understand why a LAC like Denison would want to ensure the best fit possible for a student for whom they were considering providing significant FinAid.

1 Like

Hi all! I am a current International Studies Denison senior with a Concentration in Narrative Journalism.

I am currently writing a long-form article for my Narrative Journalism Senior Project about the effects of COVID-19 on the international students’ college admissions process. I am hoping to speak with some newly-admitted international Denisonians about their application process this past year.

I realize that this is a strange ask on this forum, but if you are a newly admitted international student and interested in being a resource for my project, please reply to this post or PM me, and I can provide my Denison email address for contact.

Thank you, and hoping to hear from some of you!

Sup yall! recently, I have received most of my college decisions, but I can’t decide between two of my top choices, St. Olaf and Denison. Can anyone who has experience with these two colleges give me some insight and help me make my decision.
P.S. I’m an econ major and I care about the quality of food and dorm a lot.

Thx in advance!

St. Olaf is #11 for best food on Princeton Review’s list and #19 on Niche. I don’t think Denison ranked if that’s really the decider. My son will be a freshman at St. Olaf in the fall and will likely take some Econ classes though major undecided. Good luck!

@JayGatsby3 For Econ – I encourage you to look at Denison’s Econ department site, including info about the concentration in financial economics. You might find the Organizational Studies concentration of interest as well – it is part of the Psych department but includes a small, intensive program in which students do consulting projects and travel to meet with folks from tech, finance, usually in NYC and San Francisco, though it was remote this year. The Red Frame Lab is another opportunity for those interested in design thinking and entrepreneurial skills. Knowlton Center for Career Development is fantastic, really engages with students to work with them on career development starting in year 1.

Apparently, Niche says food at Denison isn’t great. That wasn’t my kid’s experience – it maybe wasn’t the best he had out of all the schools he visited, that would have actually been Lawrence University – but it was fine and he was perfectly happy with it.