The professors here definitely know your name. The classes tend to be pretty small, and they're even smaller if your in the honors program. I don't personally find them particularly rigorous, but I know there are many who would disagree. Academic conversations do not take place outside of class, and the students are not at all competitive.
St A's does have a reputation for grade deflation (hence the nickname St C's). It is not something I have experienced, but I have heard professors talk about it. All the professors I have right now do not go along with it.
Something that is very important to realize before you go to St A's is the requirements. You have to do their 2-year humanities program, which consists of 2 lectures and 2 seminars every week (for a total of 4 days a week of humanities). You are also required to take 3 semesters of philosophy and 3 of theology. One of your theology classes has to be Biblical Theology. Yes, Bib Theo is a REQUIRED class. You are also required to take at least 2 semesters of a foreign language beyond elementary level. As a senior in college you are still taking classes to fill these requirements. And then you have any requirements for your major.
Politics are important here, and I think there are a lot of opportunities for politics majors. But I wouldn't say the students are politically active.
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