University of St. Thomas - St. Paul, Minnesota Visit Report by billyjoejimbob
Admissions Interview: No - None scheduled, just kicking the tires on the first visit.
Campus Tour: Yes - Student tour guide was courteous & very informative. Presentation style was a bit too scripted, void of personality & warmth.
Campus Visit Notes for University of St. Thomas - St. Paul, Minnesota
As this is the first review of St Thomas on this forum, I’ll offer a brief summary, as there’s probably not much awareness of this university outside the upper Midwest. The University of St. Thomas is classified as a third tier national university in the US News & World Report College Guide. This Catholic university has about 6K students. It's not considered to be overly selective, as statistics report it accepts 81% of candidates. It also draws over 80% of its students from Minnesota, so the diversity level is low. Only 20% of their incoming freshmen were in the top 10% of their graduating class. The other interesting statistic is the fact that over 40% of students pursue a major in Business/Management/Marketing, so there’s obviously less of a liberal arts bent to this institution. The school has an additional off-site campus located in downtown Minneapolis that apparently serves students pursuing Business & Education degrees. A shuttle bus will transport students to this campus, as needed, for academic classes and/or recreational trips to downtown.
The main campus in St. Paul is divided into a north/south arrangement. Most buildings, (library, student center, majority of dorms, etc, are on the north side). Academic buildings for Business, and the Science facility, are both newer in appearance and are located on the south side of the campus. Access from one side of the campus to the other is a reasonable distance that students will no trouble navigating quickly.
As mentioned earlier, St. Thomas is putting final touches on a brand new multi-million dollar athletic facility that I believe is scheduled to open later this year. Also, demolition is just beginning on the old athletic building that will eventually be home to a new and impressive student center to open in late 2011. Once these two facilities are completed, the quality of life will improve dramatically for students. At present, the student center is adequate at best. The current cafeteria looks like something out of a typical high school, and will invariably improve big time when the new student center opens next year.
St Thomas, as it exists today, is remarkably average. Its facilities are average, students are average and its reputation average. I don’t think the school can possibly attract the elite high school graduates of today, or is in any position to recruit a lot of high quality out-of-state students. This said, however, it fills a nice niche for a select group of kids in the upper Midwest that are attracted to a nice urban setting and pleasant campus environment. If you’re a nice Catholic kid from Sioux Falls, SD that dreams of going to school in the “big city” of Minneapolis/St. Paul, have a 3.4 high school GPA, scored around 25 on your ACT and want to play college football while pursuing your Business degree, this might be the perfect place for you.
As the school continues to evolve with the opening of two new facilities, it will become more and more appealing to its target audience.
Hotel/Lodging Recommendations or Comments:
Stay downtown Minneapolis
Dining/Restaurant Recommendations or Comments:
Lots of options on Grand Ave.