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2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Admissions

Thomas Aquinas College places a strong emphasis on essays and a classical education in middle and high school. They offer no academic scholarships, but the need-based scholarships and grants are pretty generous.

Level

4

Graduation Year

2010

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Everyone takes the same courses, degree in Liberal Arts, class size is 17, professors are very accessible.

Quality of Life

Excellent housing, campus, facilities, library all exceptional, campus is in the mountains, minimal or no crime, safe, overall happiness is great!

Graduation Year

2007

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Most classes are seminar method: after reading the original text, the class will discuss it led by a tutor. Each class is called a section (usually about 15 - 25 students). Workload, though mostly reading and understanding, is quite intensive.

Quality of Life

Room and board is included in your tuition, unless you live off campus (which is highly discouraged due to the nature of the learning atmosphere). A strong moral code is upheld. Most people are happy and I loved it.

Admissions

Send in an application answering multiple essay questions, and it gets reviewed by the board. Financial aid can be requested, though they expect the student and his family to contribute as much as they can. Average SAT score when I applied was around 1280.

Graduation Year

2008

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Everyone takes the same classes for four years (math, lab, theology, philosophy, Latin, music, seminar) which works out to 17-19 hours of class per week. Classes are conducted discussion-style, with 11-19 students per class. The faculty are called tutors to emphasize their deeply personal role in the education of the student. Faculty, staff, chaplains and students all dine together, encouraging communication on all fronts. Students aren't really competitive over grades, because they prefer to emphasize the overall effect of what someone is learning about the truth, realizing that letter grades (averaged out from papers, class participation and written finals) may not be the best reflection of that. About 70% of the student body is on work study (full time=14 hrs/wk), which means there's little free time for most people, especially when the readings start piling up.

Quality of Life

It's cozy, but very accessible and very happy! The campus is in a valley of the Los Padres Mountains, accessible to the local towns by means of treacherous mountain roads...which makes for gorgeous but remote quarters. The buildings are beautiful Spanish-mission style, well-maintained, very safe, virtually no crime rate. The rules and general morale of the students take care of that!

Admissions

There were very particular admissions questions because of the unique Great Books program at Thomas Aquinas College. They don't offer scholarships, but they are very generous with their financial aid.

Level

3

Graduation Year

2013

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Thomas Aquinas College offers an incredible program that takes the student on a journey through the philosophy of the western world, from Euclidean Mathematics to the development of Calculus, from ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato to modern philosophers such as Kant and Descartes. I found nothing like it anywhere else, and this is what most drew me to the school. Class size is generally fairly small, usually at about 15 or so students in a "section." Grading is somewhat subjective, and a syllabus is not offered in most courses, but this is more than made up for by the overall experience. Any "tutor", as professors are known, is very open to student inquiry. There is a close-knit community where any students feels right at home approaching any member of the faculty. The workload is heavy, but the reward is great. The professors are all incredibly articulate and intelligent men, probably the most intelligent men I have had the honor of knowing.

The program of study is the same for all, which is appropriate since the founding statement and mission of Thomas Aquinas College considers man's unchanging nature, his desire to know, and gives him a sampling of the sort of inquiries that enhance the mind's ability to reason and analyze complex argumentation, skills that are well-suited to any endeavor in life.

Quality of Life

The quality of life is hard to describe and quantify. We are one family, and we all care for one another. The facilities are beautiful. The

Graduation Year

2008

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Admissions

School has a rolling admissions system, its own application, with numerous essays

Level

2

Graduation Year

2013

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

There is only one major, Liberal Arts, and all of the classes are core classes, none are electives. Classes are conducted in the Socratic (discussion) method, with only about 15 to 20 students per class. The professors (who are called "tutors" because they lead discussions and do not give lecture classes) are very available outside of class. Many of them eat meals with the students, and are happy to discuss class material. Grading is based on class participation and final exams, sometimes with quizzes depending on the class. All class material is "Great Books" material - original works by great authors. There are no textbooks. The classes include Language, Mathematics, Laboratory (science of various kinds, including biology, physics, and chemistry), Music Theory, Philosophy, Theology, and Seminar (a longer class in which students read and discuss mostly literature). There is no study abroad program, due to the nature of the course of study and the small size of the school. The workload is largely reading, and is fairly heavy, especially sophomore and junior years.

Quality of Life

Because the education is so dependent on discussion among the students, the college requires that all students live in on-campus housing, making exceptions for married students and some other cases. The one meal plan, three meals a day, is included in the main sticker price, along with housing. The food is comparatively very good, and much healthier than most other schools. There are workout rooms in every dorm, with treadmills, stationary bikes, and other equipment. They have an extensive and beautiful library, open to all students. The center of town is about a 10-minute drive from campus, and it is a relatively safe area. The closest major shopping center is about a 20-minute drive from campus. The students are exceptionally happy and content, and everyone knows everyone else.

Admissions

The school has "rolling" admissions, as opposed to an early action vs. regular admission program. The application questions include one about your family life and the way it has affected you, an essay on a book of your choice, and an essay on why you want to attend TAC. There are no interviews required. There are also no academic scholarships offered, which is off-putting to many. However, what people fail to realize is that the college offers generous grants on the basis of need, so the average student will graduate no more than $14,000 in debt. Compared to most colleges, this is a tiny amount.

Graduation Year

2010

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Each class is about 100 students, broken up into sections of about 17 people. The tutors (professors) are very available to students.

Graduation Year

2010

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

It's an integrated program; all students work through the same material in the same subjects. Class sizes are about 15-20. Professors are easy to talk to. Grading, as far as I know is standard.

Quality of Life

It allows one to focus on the study.

Admissions

It's been too long to be helpfully specific, I'm afraid.

Level

4

Graduation Year

2010

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

The liberal arts program is intense, comprehensive, and tough, but I think its really worth the effort that it requires. The small classes sizes are great, and the professors (we call them tutors) generally, with a few exceptions, seem to go out of there way to make themselves available to help anyone. The one thing that is a bit frustrating is that the grading often seems a bit arbitrary.

Quality of Life

The living situation is great on campus. We have a beautiful and comfortable dorms, a pretty decent cafeteria, a nice library, and virtually no crime. I have nothing bad to say about TAC's campus.

Admissions

The number of essays required and the uniqueness of the essay questions made the admissions process take a fair bit of work. Other then that, it was pretty straight forward, and the admissions office and the financial aid office were always easy to work with and eager to be helpful.

Level

4

Graduation Year

2011

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