My D was accepted and is interested but we haven’t been able to visit because of Covid. She has heard from online sources (lol) that the area around the school is sketchy. Anyone who has visited want to share their thoughts about the surrounding area or Tucson in general? TIA
I guess it’s a somewhat subjective opinion. We visited twice before the pandemic and really loved it. I actually thought the surrounding area was a selling point. There are older historic neighborhoods, lots of art and culture. It’s a bit rough around the edges in some cases but many of the older homes are being restored. Tucson is a bit too large to call a college town but it does have some of that feel as well. Some of the restaurants in the area are incredible amazing Mexican food, chili dishes, etc.
Hi. I live in Tucson and am happy to answer any questions. Tucson is a mid-sized city, probably 1MM people when you consider the entire surrounding region. Like any decent sized place, you have to be aware of your surroundings. That said, the area around the UofA is quite nice. East of campus is Sam Hughes, a very popular historic neighborhood. To the south is a vibrant downtown. And west is another historic neighborhood, West University, and then the mountains. A large hospital and science complex is to the north.
It is not a college town like Chapel Hill or Clemson or Eugene or Boulder. But the University is a central part of the city.
Tucson is a beautiful city with an abundance of outdoor activities. It is a charming town, without pretense. I hope you get a chance to visit before making a decision.
@eaorbust thank you for the info! It sounds like a city with a lot of perks (and the typical city safety issues) and I wish we could get out there and see it in person. They gave her such a great package!
Join the Facebook university of Arizona moms group. Fabulous info and lots of details on safety in it, I too was concerned about this but feel better after reading FB posts.
I second this! I think they are the best college moms page on FB and very active.
I took my S21 to U of A a couple of weeks ago. The campus is beautiful; there were kids hanging out, but it was pretty quiet. The campus was very clean–did not see one piece of trash when we were walking around. The size of the campus seemed good too–not too big and not too small. We were not able to go inside any the libraries or classrooms, but we did take a peek into the Rec center and the Honors Village. The person in charge of food services at the Honors Village gave us an impromptu tour of the cafeteria. She was really nice, and the food offerings looked great. Of course, with covid, there were no kids eating together, and the food was wrapped to go, but hopefully next fall the kids can start having meals together.
We didn’t have much time to explore Tucson; I understand that there are some very beautiful areas in Tucson, and some very good food. My impression of Tucson is that it’s a nice place to live, very down to earth. Because it is the desert, the area around the campus seemed a bit dusty and dry, but again, we only had time to drive around the campus area and a little bit downtown.
I have been impressed by the school’s outreach to incoming students. There are many opportunities to connect with the school, and I spoke to someone about a specific issue, and she was super responsive and helpful. U of A is a great option, especially considering merit and the honors village.
One thing that may dissuade people is the weather. I have a friend who has lived in Tucson for many years and she said that from May-Oct. it can be 100 degrees everyday. I guess you just get used to it, like people who live in cold, snowy climates do. She does everything before 9:00 a.m. when it is hot.
@MorseLewis Thank you for your insights! You’re right about the outreach. I feel like they’ve been the one school that’s really kept in touch with her. And the merit money is such a plus!
I’m hoping we can pay a visit soon!
So we are finally going in April to look at university of Arizona. My daughter is in at honors with high merit and I just want to make sure we have done what we need to. This is her back up school we are still waiting on her top choice. I paid the housing deposit ( but haven’t selected dorm or anything) do I need to pay deposit for school or do I have until May 1? Also do you know if it is easy to change major before you start or are you locked in major that you applied for? Thanks.
My daughter goes to U of A as a freshman. We are from NJ and she is having the time of her life at U of A! The campus frankly looks like a resort! Academically it’s been a little disappointing because of COVID but the administration there tried their best to make in class a reality. I have had zero regrets sending her away here and spending the extra money for essentially online classes. The friendships she has made, along with the socialization she has enjoyed at U of A is so much better than if I had decided to keep her here in this depressing, locked down, tyrannical state, this past year!
The 2020 kids had it rough this year. I am sorry. I am hopeful after a dismal senior year our 2021s will have a better 1st year college experience.
My OOS D18 applied last minute to U of A after receiving messages from them about their merit money and being concerned about the cost of the private schools she was admitted to. Within a week or so she was admitted with the merit money and a spot in the Honor’s college and after a quick visit, she accepted and has had no regrets. She is a Microbiology major with an Anthropology minor and has had great opportunities at U of A including starting lab research as a Freshman. She has great relationships with some of her professors, scored well on the MCATS and will be applying to med school this summer. We are very happy with U of A overall and are even happier that my daughter’s expenses are closer to $20k a year with housing etc. vs $40-$60k! My D21 wanted to choose a different path than her sister, but after looking at her acceptances and again the cost, she recently reconsidered and also applied this month to U of A. We are happy that she might also choose to be a Wildcat. Good luck with your decisions!
@Momof3plus1dog thanks for sharing your older daughter’s experience and the factors that went into her decision. My D is currently weighing the private but pricier vs. great merit money options.
The other issue besides the money is the size of the university. The private school she’s considering is smaller and she’s worried the larger student body and campus might be overwhelming.
She was accepted into the Honors program at Arizona so I’m wondering if that might make it s seem like a smaller school within a school.
Any advice would be appreciated!
Is there special Honors housing?
Can you talk about what other bonuses is involved in being UA Honors?
And…do you think that applying now and receiving good merit money would also result in an Honors invitation?
Hi! We were worried about the same thing. My daughter is friendly, but can be a bit shy at first, so we thought a smaller private school would be better, but she was willing to try new things, which made it easier to find her place at U of A. She is pre-med and joined a premed honor society and became activity in that group. She also applied for a position with student government that does programming and provides health resources on campus. In the beginning she tried the ballroom dancing club, which she had never done before, but just didn’t end up working with her schedule. She has also been able to form relationships with some of her professors, which I didn’t think would happen at a large University. She is not a partier, but has been fine finding friends. The campus size hasn’t been a problem. She has a bike, but doesn’t use it much. She walks a lot and sometimes takes the school shuttle/bus that loops around certain areas. She has a major advisor and a pre-med advisor that she goes to whenever she has questions and has found them helpful. The Honor’s classes are smaller, but my daughter hasn’t seemed to mind her other larger classes. Having priority registration has definitely been helpful being at a large school. Also, U of A accepted almost all of my daughter’s AP classes which almost made her a Sophomore credit wise. She could have graduated a year early if she didn’t have extra medical school class requirements, plus we didn’t want to rush her through. It will definitely be a different experience than a smaller, private school, but I think it can work if your daughter is willing to be a little adventurous. I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask if you have any other questions, I know how hard these decisions are.
There are quite a few things we like about the Honor’s Program at U of A. 2 years ago they build a brand new, beautiful Honor’s dorm with the only dining hall that is on campus. They also built right next door another smaller Recreation Hall, which is very convenient. The Honor’s students get priority registration, which helps at a large school. They also have Honor’s classes and a Senior project/thesis, which I believe is optional, but please check the school’s website to verify. I have recently heard that they admitted 1,000 new Honor’s students this year and that the Honor’s college is full, but again, please verify with the school. We are OOS, so the merit money really makes it affordable to attend. They very clearly list the GPA requirements for each scholarship amount, which is nice. Over a 4.0 gives you $35k/yr, the next range is $30k, then $20k, etc. I found the housing to be a bit on the pricey side when comparing to some other schools, especially the Honor’s college, but the merit money brought the overall price down to make the extra housing expense doable. It seems like there are also other merit scholarships available for specific students. There are also a lot of different dorms at different price points and interests available.
It can be hot, but much of the year is a lot more comfortable. But, Tucson does have some strange weather that we didn’t know about. Number one is the monsoon season with pouring rainstorms, sometimes with lightening and/or hail, that come on quickly and flood the streets. It can sometimes be sunny and stormy all in the same day. It has also lightly snowed twice in the last 3 years, which we didn’t expect and found funny since my D18 decided against going to school in the snow.
Thanks for these details. My daughter was accepted as a physiology major in the college of medicine and would like be a doctor. It seems like U of A prepped your daughter well for Mcat etc.
We wondered what their medical school acceptance rate was and couldn’t find that out on website. We would like her to live in HV first year as well. Any other advice? Also did your daughter do any study abroad? My daughter interested in that as well.
Hi, my daughter probably knows the med school acceptance rate, but unfortunately I do not have that information. She has known quite a few students over the past years that have gotten accepted, including a good friend who I believe is in her first year of medical school at Vanderbilt. My daughter joined AED, which is a coed premed/pre-vet Honor’s society, and they have had a lot of good medical speakers, volunteering opportunities, social activities, etc.
My daughter has lived in the the Honor’s dorm for 2 years and likes it there. It is a little farther from central campus, but she hasn’t seemed to mind. It is nice not having to deal with large communal bathrooms. We really liked the dining hall her first year living there, but this year they have been a lot more limited in options due to having to pre-package all of the food. The previous year they had some special dinners like a shrimp and crab leg evening, but this year has been a lot more basic.
My daughter was supposed to have a medical internship in Israel last summer, but obviously that was cancelled, which was very disappointing, so I am not sure what will be available in the coming year. I hope the students will be able to travel more soon!
My daughter is strongly considering u of a. As a mom, I am hesitant about crime and heard of a couple of possible fatal incidents(?) on campus earlier this year? This can happen anywhere I realize just nervous and wondering if you had any valued feedback.