Sarah Lawrence is a liberal arts college of 1300 students on 44 acres in Westchester County, NY that is unique in several ways:
· It is among the colleges with the largest percent of classes with fewer than 20 students.
· Students interview the professors for 30 minutes in order to decide what classes they are would like to take.
· The classes are modeled after the Oxford/Cambridge tutorial. The seminar classes include a round table discussion with a group of 15 or fewer where the students need to come prepared to reflect on their reading and have a conference with their professor every other week to go over their term research project/paper.
· The music, theatre, and dance classes are organized differently. Each class is broken into three-week sessions on a particular skill set. There are theatres, art and performance spaces, and music spaces.
· There are only 10 lectures courses offered each year and they are capped at 45 students.
· Professors give students a written evaluation of their work, in addition to grades.
· Their don (i.e., advisor) is also their teacher for their yearlong first year seminar. With the don, students create their own program of study.
· Students take three 5-credit courses a semester.
· Thirty credits are needed for a concentration (i.e., major). Many students take two or three concentrations.
· Many buildings contain teacher’s offices, classrooms and student housing. Freshman housing is not separate from upper-class housing,
· Sarah Lawrence is one of the most expensive colleges in the country.
The college is known for creative writing, visual and performing arts, history and international studies. The student body is 70% women and tends to be politically liberal. Eighty-five per cent of undergraduate students live on campus. There are six study abroad programs, including one in Cuba.
The school is located in an upper middle-class suburban area. There are some stores and restaurants about a 15-minute walk from school. Many students go to New York City, a 30-minute train-ride away, for pleasure, cultural experiences, or internships. A free shuttle to the train station is available after 5:30 PM. Those who stay on campus on weekends participate in dances, poetry readings, concerts, plays, or community service.
The school seems to be a good fit for an outspoken, well-written independent learner, interested in intellectual discussions in multiple disciplines and independent research in the liberal arts. The academic requirements include that students to take a yearlong freshman seminar, take a course in at least three of the four areas of study, and take 2 physical education classes. Students can earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in five years in Teaching, Child Development, or Women’s History. There is a 3-2 Engineering program with Columbia University. There is also a pre-med program.
The school has recently applied to join Division III sports. There is a nice gym and pool.
SATs / ACTs are not considered in admission. The college uses the Common App with a Supplement which includes the “Why Sarah Lawrence?” question. Students should submit a graded high school paper as part of their application. An interview is strongly suggested; seniors often conduct the interview.
The college is need-sensitive and uses the FAFSA and CSS/PROFLE for financial aid. Students are automatically considered for merit aid.