Basics – Earlier this fall I visited Fairfield University, a private Jesuit University with 3300 undergraduate students on a 200-acre campus in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Academics – The university offers 41 majors and 16 minors. The average class size is 23 students. 96% of the classes are taught by someone with a terminal degree; there are no teaching assistants. Freshmen take a First Year Experience class one hour a week, with their summer orientation group, to learn about the school services. Students can double major or take a major and a minor. Students take 60 credits in the core and 60-70 credits in their major(s). 50 – 60% of the students study abroad and their scholarship/aid goes with them. There is a very high concentration of Fortune 500 companies within a commuting distance from the university.
There are 70 – 80 freshmen in the School of Nursing. The nursing students start their clinicals early and 100% of the nursing students passed their nursing board exam the first time. Nursing students can study abroad in Ireland or Italy.
There are 60 – 70 freshmen in the School of Engineering, which has five engineering majors. Students interested in other engineering majors can participate in a 3/2 engineering program. Engineering students can study abroad in Bolivia and often get internships at Sikorsky.
The students in the Dolan School of Business typically do two or three internships and can participate in a business plan competition. The competition winners get money to launch their business.
The largest school is the school of arts and sciences, which includes many pre-professionals. More than 96% of the pre-med students get into medical school.
Campus Life – 96% of the students live on campus. Housing is guaranteed all four years and is organized by the year of college the student is in. The dorms include a mini-frig/microwave. Juniors and seniors have options for apartments, townhouses or suites. Seniors can petition to move to Fairfield Beach, which is on the water, about one mile from campus.
Freshmen cannot have cars on campus. Sophomores cannot have cars on campus, except for the nursing students. There is a bus on campus, as well as zip cars. There are two train stations within walking distance of the campus. Students can get to New York by train in 1 to 1.25 hours.
There are over 100 clubs at Fairfield University. You can start a club if you have between 10 and 12 students and a club advisor. There are NCAA Division I sports, club sports and intramural sports. Basketball is the biggest Division I sport. The university brings in outside speakers.
Mass is available daily; there is no required chapel attendance.
Admissions and Financial Aid – Fairfield University accepts the Common App. The school offers Early Action, Early Decision, and Regular Decision. The school is test optional and there is an optional interview by a counselor or senior student. Most high school students accepted by Fairfield University had an A-/B+ average in high school.
The Cost of Attendance at Fairfield University is about $56K per year. The school offers both need-based and merit aid and uses the CSS/Profile. The largest merit aid package is $22K a year. It typically goes to students with an A/A- grade point average, who scored 2000 or higher on their SATs, and who had strong involvement in their high school/community.
What is your experience with Fairfield University?