What about Eckerd College?

I’d love to hear more about Eckerd. We visited last November and thought it was an interesting school in a location with lots of potential. Does anyone have experience with this college that they can share?

I don’t have direct experience, but my S applied and when he got into his ED school. Eckerd sure was a hard one to withdraw!

Was your son a Biology/ Marine Biology kid? Mine is not, and I’m wondering about the strengths in other departments?

He is interested in Biology, yes. Has not fully decided.

My 2 children went to Eckerd, one for marine science and is now in vet school and one for international business and ended up in law school. What is your student’s interests? We now live in St. Pete Beach and I am frequently at Eckerd for different events and programs. Glad to help out with any specific questions.

Thank you for your help! My son is interested in Poli Sci/ International Relations. He is involved in Model UN at school and wants to travel, see the world and continue learning languages. He is currently a Spanish student, but I think he’d like to add another language. He likes “learning for learning”, so he doesn’t yet have any long term professional goals. A path such as the Peace Corps sounds appealing to him. I’m wondering what the academic culture is at Eckerd. We could see that the Biology and Marine Biology students were very engaged, but we didn’t have as much of a feel for his areas of interest- although he did speak with one professor in the International Relations Department whom he really liked. Also, he liked the feel of the campus very much.

My son participated in the Model UN and they did well in competition. He felt very engaged in activities and special projects aimed for the International Relations/Business students. There are freshman research grants available to students. Eckerd is the youngest school to be granted a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter and has numerous honor societies. The winter term travel program and spring break service abroad trips are numerous and about 87% of the students take advantage of these programs. Eckerd is no.2 in the nation for short term travel abroad courses. The school is known for its collaborative learning and the professor/mentor program. The Peace Corps Prep program is a wonderful addition. There are special spring into summer courses that incorporate study at the Hague and the UN and there is always a winter term course at the UN. Mentors can also assist a student in self directed programs. My son loved Eckerd!

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Wow! I will share all of this with my son. Could you also elaborate on social/ party atmosphere?

As at most colleges, there is a group that parties, but it is very much a live and let live atmosphere. No pressure to party. Keep in mind that any given year has between 87 and 90% of the students living on campus, so you tend to hear about the parties. There are a number of clubs that are run by students. The waterfront has paddle boards and other equipment that are available for free once the student passes a very easy swim test. There are activities, movies, guest lectures, art, theater and music events held every week on campus as well as yearly scheduled special events. https://www.eckerd.edu/campus-life/


Thank you for sharing. My one concern about Eckerd was how rigorous the course work is and if one of your sons is now in Vet school it must be pretty good. Can you elaborate on merit and financial aid?

Eckerd has a number of honor societies, including being the youngest college to be granted a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. They have the largest number of Hollings Scholars in the US. Students have been awarded Goldwater, Fullbright, and Fords scholarships. My daughter is the one in Vet school and my son attended law school.

Merit is generous as is financial aid. Financial aid: Financial Aid & Scholarships - Admissions | Eckerd College For students seeking admission for the Fall of 2021, academic achievement scholarships range from $12,000 – $22,000, awarded annually for four years. The highest achieving students will be awarded $25,000 per yr. You can also fill in your financial info in the net price calculator.

Do you have a child who has been accepted to Eckerd? If so, congrats! I would suggest that you join the Eckerd College Parent Facebook page, you can ask the parents anything! There is one for admitted students and an instagram page as well. Eckerd has some virtual Explore Eckerd College sessions planned for March that you may find helpful. You can registered on the admissions page. * Wed., March 10, 4 p.m. Guided Tour Eckerd2025

  • Mon., March 15, 6 p.m. Financing Your Eckerd Education
  • Sun., March 21, 3 p.m. Explore Eckerd College
  • Wed., March 24, 6 p.m. Student Life Panel
  • Tue., March 30, 6 p.m. Student Support Panel
  • Tue., April 6, 6 p.m. Financing Your Eckerd Education
  • Wed., April 7, 4 p.m. Guided Tour Eckerd2025
  • Sun., April 11, 3 p.m. Explore Eckerd College
  • Wed., April 14, 6 p.m. Academic Fair
  • Sun., April 18, 3 p.m. Explore Eckerd College
  • Thu., April 22, 6 p.m. President and Deans’ Q&A
  • Tue., April 27, 6 p.m. Outcomes at Eckerd Panel
    Feel free to reach out if I can help.

Thanks for sharing these. We have Eckerd in our top 4 schools (the others are Gonzaga, University of Redlands and George Washington University). From what we’ve researched, it’s hard to not like Eckerd. They gave my son an above average merit aid package and the study abroad, research opportunities, class sizes, campus life, etc. are all compelling. I feel like Eckerd is a school that’s a true hidden gem!

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Just chiming in as another mother of a happy Eckerd grad here. It’s a very nice school. My son wasn’t science, but some of his friends came here the summer before Covid and were talking about their intern experiences at a company. They were Chemistry grads and said they were amazed at what the interns had to be “taught” equipment-wise. It was something they had used enough to be quite familiar with in college, but their fellow interns hadn’t (they asked, it wasn’t just company policy to teach newbies).

If I’d known it would come up in a thread I’d have paid more attention to exactly what it was, but at the time I was casually listening. My impression has always been that Eckerd is very strong in the sciences. Marine Science it shines in, of course, but those students need the other sciences too, so it makes sense that’s it’s strong across the board.

Study Abroad there is great. My guy went to Greece (J Term) and Jordan (semester). Both were excellent programs.

Partying definitely happens. My guy was not a partier and said his fellow students were very “live and let live,” so he had no problems. Hopefully it’s still that way.

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Best of luck to your son. He worked hard to have such great schools to choose from!

Parent of a current Eckerd IR student here. He was a high stats applicant who had some pretty impressive schools he could have chosen to attend, but Eckerd somehow won his heart - and the merit aid was certainly attractive too! A big draw for him was the number of study abroad opportunities, though two of his opportunities were of course lost this year. He is greatly looking forward to going next fall, however. He also really was impressed by their Diplomat in Residence program and that has not disappointed - he has been able to take several of his courses and has learned so much in each one. In fact, we are very pleased with how engaged he is with his classes and with the relationships he has developed with his professors, often staying after class to continue discussion or dropping in to their office hours.
We have been slightly disappointed because he has not received any real guidance for internships. (For instance, nobody told him that State Dept applications were all due back in September for Summer 2021, so he missed out on applying to the most beneficial internships for his future career. He didn’t discover this until he began searching on his own for internships in December.)
There is a party element that he really dislikes, however, he has had no problem finding like-minded friends to hang out with. So far, I’m really impressed with the new President, how he has managed the campus during the pandemic, and his plans for the future of the college. I believe that Eckerd is definitely a college on the rise.