Think Elon is my son's first choice

Hello, I’d love any feedback about Elon across any topic. However, my main concern is that my son is an introvert. He is funny and quirky and super smart and great with people he feels comfortable with, but he’s shy when it comes to putting himself out there. I’ve heard Elon can be cliquey, high school-y and that the Greek system is very important (even though only 20% of guys do it). I’d love any thoughts about the social vibe on campus. I’ve also hear good things - that everyone is very friendly and it’s a collaborative feeling on campus vs competitive. Thoughts? Any would be appreciated.

Do a search, there are a couple of very similar threads…I think I started one of them! (Mom of introvert son, currently in his first year at Elon and loves it. Easily found his small group of close friends.)

In all of my research I never found people saying Greek was “very important” at Elon. Its only residential for sophomores in these very small houses. It’s there, sure, for kids who want that but participation is low overall and there just aren’t the party houses that to me make a Greek system an “important” part of the social scene.

Agree that the vibe is friendly and not competitive. PM if you want! But do a search for Elon you will find some other posts on it.

Thanks so much for your reply. I did search and had seen your comment, but it was the only one I saw that addressed the social aspect. I thought i’d fish for some more. I like to be thorough. :smile:

One of my kids attended and found it warm, supportive and caring. She didn’t do Greek and had a wonderful social life filled with interesting activities. Majored in business, which also provided a lot of social events.

thanks for your replies, very appreciated!

Hey, I’m a current sophomore business major at Elon. Like your son I am also the shy introverted type.

I felt I had to join Greek life because there wasn’t really another way to make friends. I have some friends from the LLCs and business organizations I joined but otherwise most of my friends are in sororities. With that being said, I would disagree with the aforementioned statistics on Greek life involvement. The school publishes incorrect numbers when it comes to that. I would say around 80% of guys and girls are in Greek life. I have a friend who is unaffiliated and she has very little friends and just buries herself in her school work to keep busy.

Elon is very cliquey and the vibe on campus is rich, preppy, play hard. The only people who really get anywhere are the Business Fellows as they get stuff thrown at them. Although I am not a communications student I would say around 30-40% of Elon is Comm majors. Academically, Elon is not the strongest and most students are particularly studious. They would much rather party than study for an exam. Thus, darty culture is huge.

I am towards the top of my class with a really high GPA, leadership positions, high club involvement, and lots of AP credit. These are just a few of the observations I have made. The school is not really rigorous and I don’t feel challenged or feel like I’m going to get a good job in the corporate world. The professors are decent but most of the ones in the business school went to a bunch of no-name schools and don’t particularly strike me as brilliant. I applied to transfer for my junior year but have ultimately decided not to because I would lose too much credit. I do like the school and I can see why certain people love it. It just doesn’t have the academic rigor I am seeking.

Keep in mind that a good 60%+ of students are from the northeast. This explains most of the vibe on campus. I agree it is not competitive. Campus is pretty.

Also do some research on finances if that is of concern to you. Elon’s financial health is not doing that good and aid is not the best. I don’t know where else you have gotten accepted to but PM if you want additional info.

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Well, my kid and all her friends got great internships and jobs in finance and consulting, and she knows very few people in sororities, so maybe that accounts for the difference in experiences.

@Lfriel No doubt, Elon can’t be a good fit for everyone and I’m sad for you that it has been so disappointing. For others reading this line of posts, I would like to respectfully point out that the criticisms are not what you typically hear from students and families from this school. That doesn’t mean they aren’t accurate, just not universal. By at least one source, Elon is ranked the top college in the state of NC for job placement after graduation and they are very respected for their push to get all students (not just fellows) hands on, highly engaged, experiences.

Alright well I am sorry for sharing an opinion that is different from most. I have received a lot of unwarranted flack for this. I don’t hate Elon. It just isn’t the best fit for ME. Others love it and I’m glad they do. I just thought I would share some of the reasons why I wouldn’t have chose it if I could go to a much better ranked school, that is all. If your kid loves it at Elon then simply don’t read my comment and move on.

It is not fair that you people on this site sharpen your claws and get ready to pray on young college students like myself. You see an opinion that doesn’t match yours and you chastise them.

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@Lfriel thank you for having the courage to speak up. My son had reservations about the rigor at Elon outside of the Honors program, and your input helped him decide to decline his offer of admission.

Thank you for appreciating my feedback. Glad to see that some people can read criticism @1stTimeThruMom

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While I don’t discount @Lfriel experience and think it is important to hear, I disagree with the statement that Elon is not in good financial health. Elon has posted financial information in their Provost report, in summary Elon absorbed all of the virus costs with their emergency fund and are planning a 5% budget reduction for next year to replenish and account for future lost income; and are putting a hold on groundbreaking of new buildings that were planned. All colleges have taken a huge financial hit from the virus and Elon is no different, but they are in good shape to weather it and were in good shape before.

Elon’s merit aid is lower than other schools because the sticker price is considerably lower, not because they are in financial trouble.

Geographic diversity can be found on Elon’s web site, adding percentages from NE states not including PA it is 47% from NE, including PA it is 51%.

@lfriel. I’m not sure if you are responding to my comments. I had hoped to respond with a respectful opposing observation and tried to make it clear that I don’t see your opinions as inaccurate, just not universal. I chose not to simply read it and move on because there will be many people who read these comments for the next several years and you made some statements that I personally believe were potentially misleading. That’s all. I truly wish you the very best and am sorry that your efforts to transfer were unsuccessful… what a frustrating process that must be!!

The things I say are from a student who actually attends the school and is immersed with the student body and administration. I’m not relying on data from the provost or what Elon provides on their website. However, I am not saying that what they publish is false. All I am trying to say is what I visibly see here on campus does not match up with the data that is released. Do with that information what you see fit. Additionally, those numbers about Greek life could be accurate but it is most likely taken from a sample in the fall when the seniors involved in Greek life have graduated and the freshman are not eligible to rush until the spring. I bet if you took a poll right now in May those numbers would skyrocket. It’s all about the context.

The statements I made about financial aid were accurate pre-coronavirus. Now circumstances have changed and they were supposed to have the innovation quad built by the time I graduate in spring of 2022. Now that will most likely be finished after I graduate. Y’all will get a nice new building to enjoy.

If this helps anybody that will not slap me across the face I am paying half the cost of attendance to go here. I have significant financial need and a very very low EFC. Again, do what you want with that information because I’m sick of voicing my opinion and then I get yelled at by a 50 year old woman who’s kid attended five years ago. I am trying to help people and yes, I do have an opinion that is vastly different than a few. If you don’t like what I say then move on but freedom of speech still exists. I did not say anything hurtful I just stated facts.

OP, there will be a few unhappy students at any college. The vast majority of Elon students and parents are very happy with the experience it provides, and I have been pleasantly surprised at the very solid employment opportunities the students I know there have obtained. Good luck.

As a current student majoring in Finance at Elon, involved in a sorority, and low income (similar to Lfriel) I just want to address some of the points in this thread. I am going to be a senior next year so I have watched Elon grow for the past 3 years to a nationally recognized top 100 university. I am involved in Greek life, hold leadership positions, am a fellow, and have a very high GPA (I anticipate graduating summa cum laude).

I personally have loved my experience at Elon this far. It is true that nearly 60% of females and 30% of males are involved in greek life and it is prevalent on campus. However, if you chose not to rush there are many other social events and ways to be involved through on campus organizations, the student union board etc. I have a lot of friends who are unaffiliated including my freshman year roommate. This summer, I got multiple internship offers at wealth management, financial services, and law firms. The thing about Elon is, you must push yourself out of your comfort zone and especially in relation to career you have to be ready to network and eager to prove yourself. Nothing is handed to you (even as a fellow) and you must remain positive. Given, I am a business fellow but i have many non business fellow friends who have found similar professional success.

Elon is in great financial health considering the current pandemic situation and is one of the best run schools out there. Given, they have been investing a lot of money into new academic facilities such as historic commons, McEwen, Schar and Sankey. I am a low income, first-generation, asian student with significant financial aid and merit scholarships. Sometimes the lack of diversity on campus fiscally and racially is difficult but I have never experienced racism or been excluded/ made to feel bad about being poorer than other students.

Socially, Elon is a work hard, play hard school. Many students can be found studying Saturday morning before the darties and equally as many do not go out on the weekend. As someone who is not crazy about partying I have not found this to limit my experience. My friends know that I will go out when I want but never push me. Many students choose Elon for the opportunity to have a holistic, well-rounded college experience, myself included. While I could have gone to a top 30 nationally ranked college, i choose elon so that my four years of college would not be consumed by anxiety and stress. I find that I am academically challenged in some of my courses so it really depends on professors.

Lfriel, i am sorry you have had such a disappointing experience. I understand Elon is not for everyone but sometimes, college is not for everyone. Remember that everything happens for a reason and that you will find professional success as long as you remain positive, work hard, and network!

@RachaelK
Did your son end up choosing Elon?

My daughter went back and forth whether Elon was the right fit for her. She was concerned with the rumors of it being a big party school and unsure if she wants to do Greek life. In talking with many people and visiting a ton of schools, she ultimately decided to pick Elon. She does have some social anxiety so we have talked about how important it is to put herself out there and join clubs & activities that interest her. By doing that she should be able to find “her people”. I think that is the key no matter where you end up. I have 2 nieces that went to the same school 4 years apart and based on their experiences, you’d never know they went to the same school. They each chose different paths that made it the right fit for them.

@Lfriel I am so sorry you are not enjoying your time at Elon. It sounds like you do have friends and are very involved at the school. Hopefully these next two years go better for you.

@Lfriel, I’m a disinterested party just browsing schools for my daughter entering hey senior year, so o have no dog in this fight. I don’t think anyone who responded meant any disrespect (at least I didn’t perceive it). I also thought your original post was very relevant and inciteful. Your subsequent posts come off as combative, however. I think you may be reading too much into comments that don’t agree with your original post. I don’t think anyone was attacking you. Good luck to you.

My sophomore son rushed a fraternity last year, kinda put all his eggs in one basket for one and didn’t get in. This was devastating as he even knew the boys and one was a “big brother” from another sport he was in and he knew the frat president from our home town. He is shy too and the judgment he felt was like high school all over again.It ended up being a terrible experience mentally for him and he didn’t rush this year- for fear of being judged and ridiculed again. Unless you are in a frat, not to much else to do in the small town. Some of his other friends transferred out already due to social life as a non frat guy.If you are not an extrovert, it will be hard. Beware. If I could go back, I would not have sent him there. I would have sent him to a school without frats so all are on an equal field.

one of my kids is an extreme introvert, and she found her tribe there, did not do greek, and was extraordinarily happy. I think it just depends on the child. As a group, Elon parents seem far more satisfied with the experience than parents at other colleges my other children attend.