The last of the four Catholic colleges that I visited this Spring in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area was the University of Scranton. My tour guide was Sarah, from Basking Ridge, who writes for the college newspaper and runs the women’s weekend retreat.
General – The University of Scranton is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the United States. The 58-acre campus is in downtown Scranton with 88% of freshmen and 86% of all students living on campus. There are about 4000 undergraduates and an average class size of 20. About 62% of students are from outside of Pennsylvania. The most popular majors are business, biology and communications. The university also has occupational therapy, physical therapy, and nursing. About 200 students study abroad each year. They may study abroad for a short as a break and as long as a year. There are three honors programs.
Housing – Living on campus is required for freshman and sophomores. Housing is guaranteed for all four years. 87% of the housing is new or renovated. The bathrooms are in the hall for freshmen. Upperclassmen can live in quads, houses or apartments. I saw a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment with a kitchen and living room for 4 seniors. Here is a photo of the living room in one of the apartments.
Extracurricular activities – The school has about 80 clubs and students can start a new club. There are two theatre groups, performance music groups, an art gallery, a radio station, a TV station and 18 NCAA Division III sports; the school dos not have a football team. The strongest NCAA teams are basketball, soccer and swimming. There are also many club and intramural sports, including equestrian. There is a 2.5 year old fitness center, and an indoor pool. The students completed 180,000 hours of community service in one year. The school has a retreat center on Chapman Lake; some of the weekend retreats are faith-based. There is a campus shuttle and zip cars on campus.
Nearby – The Martz buses take students to New York and Philly. The surrounding area boasts skiing, a water park, minor league baseball, casinos, shopping, an IMAX theatre, and minor league hockey.
Religion – About 70% of the students are Catholic. Mass is available daily. There are Moslem services on campus. There are three synagogues within walking distance.
Applying – The school has a free on-line Common App application. The middle 50% high school GPA of accepted students is 3.2 – 3.8, with a middle 50% SAT score of 1050 – 1240 (two sections). The school is test optional under certain circumstances. Entrance for the nursing, occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) programs is more competitive, with a minimum GPA of 3.5 and a minimum SAT score of 1150 (2 sections). The school likes to see evidence of shadowing for nursing, OT and PT.
What’s new – U Scranton is building a new facility for OT, PT and exercise science.
Financial aid – The cost of attendance (i.e., tuition, room and board, book, transportation and miscellaneous expenses) is around $55K per year. Merit aid of $8,000 to full tuition is available and given to students in the top 30% of their class with a minimum GPA of 3.2 and a minimum SAT score of 1100 (2 sections). To get a full tuition scholarship students need to meet certain criteria, including a GPA of 4.0 and a minimum SAT score of 1400. Students who apply test optional can get merit aid of $8,000 – $10,000. The school is considering becoming a CSS PROFILE school.