Sarah Lawrence College Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of Sarah Lawrence College?

Is Sarah Lawrence College a good school?

What is Sarah Lawrence College known for?

Lydia

I'd say the best thing about it is the individual freedom to create your own academic structure and schedule. That freedom definitely starts to ripple into other aspects of your life. SLC kind of launches you towards creating yourself. If I could change anything, I'd add a little bit more diversity to the school. I LOVE having so many likeminded and engaged people around, but we can kind of lose touch with the real world when so isolated. I'd also want to be able to take more classes, but that's more a function of hours in a day, because as it is, the academic structure is perfect. Three classes allows enough time to focus deeply on conference projects and classwork. Too much more and overload would surely occur. I'll never know how music/theatre/dance thirds manage their 5 components AND conference work. Time management must stop eluding you at some point... As far as size goes, the campus is a little small for my taste, but the student body is well-sized at about 1300 undergrads, I believe? When I tell people where I go, if they're at all familiar with it, they're generally very impressed and interested to hear about the academic structure and my experience here. Like I said though, when they ARE familiar with it, otherwise, I get a vague look and asked, "Where is that, exactly?" Those two reactions occur probably equally... I spend most of my study time in the library, classrooms, or Heimbold Visual Arts Center. Otherwise, when the weather is good, I'm out on the lawn or else in the Teahaus or the Black Squirrel. I like the charm of the places on campus and definitely appreciate the spaces we do have. There isn't much of a college town atmosphere. While I've heard that the locals don't like us much, I haven't noticed any hostility. Bronxville is pretty nice, but there's definitely not much to do. New York City is definitely where it's at for entertainment. But I enjoy hanging out in Bronxville during the day to study in Starbucks or go out to lunch with some friends at one of the local restaurants. I also LOVE the health food store there. As far as I know, the administration is wonderful. It's largely democratic wherein the faculty and students have a LOT of input as to what happens policy wise. I get the feeling that we could be a little bit more fiscally savvy as far as fundraising goes, but I really appreciate that we continue to value our virtues and mission above fiscal security. School pride is come and go at SLC. It depends on the time of year, time of month, and time of day. Sometimes it gets a bit too cramped and claustrophobic and people lash out and grow apathetic about the school, but I think when it comes down to it, most people are really glad to be there and I know that last year was the best year I've ever had and that it wouldn't have been so if I were anywhere else.

Tsebiyah

I love my school; I can't say that enough. It's small, which is something I enjoy, especially in the classroom. After transferring from a school of over 20,000 students, it was refreshing to be in an institution where my professors knew my first name, and I knew and addressed them by theirs. The one-on-one relationship established between a student and their professor proves to be fruitful because they are often still active in their fields. At SLC, the classrooms are full of talent, skill and intelligence, which makes for stimulating discussion and a smooth-moving and effective curriculum. My first semester here, I was in awe at my peers, who all have something to offer- and I still am. It’s a very motivating and inspiring environment to be immersed in. SLC is very encouraging of one's individuality. It is a haven for the free thinker and someone who hates being told what to study and how to study it can really thrive here. For this reason, among many more, Sarah Lawrence pride is abundant. Many of the students love being here because of the professional and educational opportunities it provides, as well as the welcoming environment. Although not in a college town, however, the school’s surroundings are perfect. The train to NYC’s Grand Central Station is a ten-fifteen minute walk away in either direction. Sarah Lawrence is perfectly tucked away between the quaint town of Bronxville- with its boutiques, coffee shops and incredible dining options –and Yonkers, home to the Cross County Mall (Forever 21, H&M, Macy’s, Sears, etc) and a wealth of community outreach opportunities (such as America Reads) for a student of virtually any field of study. I honestly think that Sarah Lawrence is a beautiful place to spend my undergraduate years, and I don’t think I’d be this happy anywhere else. As a theater student, I remember the moment I knew that I would be just fine here. It was a late, light-homework night toward the end of a week in my first semester after I transferred, and it was the first time I had hung out with the girls that I can now say are some of the best friends I’ve ever had. At about 1am, after celebrating one girl’s birthday, we headed to the music building, settled into a classroom and sang together for a few hours. This may seem like nothing to some of you, to others this may sound just right. I will never forget that impromptu late night jam session, because I found myself surrounded by a group of exceptionally talented, encouraging and open-hearted people who are just as passionate about music as I am. And that was just one of the many amazing music-related experiences that I’ve had here.

Ryan

It is so different that all the normal aspects of a school aren't important. If what others think about your school, where you are physically on the map and on the campus, how the administration is, campus controversies, school pride - if these things matter to you more than what you can create for yourself here, then just don't think about attending. There are pros and cons everywhere in every one of these aspects. Students will complain about anything just like anywhere. You can turn any corner and discover a conversation or happening that could not occur anywhere else.

Kim

The campus is beautiful (except the New Dorms, which are mainly freshman housing) and is actually rather large for New York, with a few fun spaces to hang out (The Blue Room and the Black Squirrel are my favorite). Bronxville, the town we're closest to, can be rather hostile, but there are many stores that welcome students by giving discounts (including a phenomenal coffee house). The administration can be less than helpful sometimes, but they're fairly pleasant--don't be put off by them. This year, the food services have been a point of contention. A new company took over services this year, and since then, there have been many complaints about worker treatment. The student body, faculty, and staff have been behind the workers from the beginning, encouraging unionization and regulation of the managers, as well as organizing protests. The issue still isn't resolved.

Robin

I’m $30,000 in debt thanks to Sarah Lawrence. Would I do it again? Without question, I would. I arrived at Sarah Lawrence as a curious, scattered, excited teenager; I left as a focused adult able to apply my intellect to the real world, to go forth into that world strictly on my own terms, to affect change, to be creative, and above all to be capable of processing what is supplied by the world into a clear understanding of who I capable of being therein. You’ll hear occasional complaints from SLC students, but when you listen closely, you’ll realize that the downsides are rarely consequential: the tofu at the salad bar is too soft, the walk to Bronxville train station is too steep, damn it’s expensive, where did all the testosterone go, etc. There’s no question that SLC doesn’t have the quality-of-life perks that you’ll find at schools that throw hundreds of thousands of dollars into climbing walls and watergun parties. But there’s a reason for that: every other week, you get to sit down with your brilliant professors in one-on-one meetings and talk about your ideas. You’ll never hear SLC students complain about what really matters: their intellectual experience on campus. If you let Sarah Lawrence do what it's designed to do (offer personalized, rigorous education centered on the cultivation of an idea on the student’s terms, rather than on filling in blanks on a test), you will thrive. Coming from the dusty corners of Texas, I can't say that Sarah Lawrence has an international reputation that will open doors for you in every side road of America. When people have heard of the school, however, their reaction is overwhelmingly and almost universally ecstatic. People believe in Sarah Lawrence's model, its potential, its effects. They respect its students and their intellectual independence and they understand that the SLC method of training students is far more effective a training tool for the workplace than some silly list of lecture-hall courses that add up to a major in four years. So what will life be like for four years at Sadie Lou? Ou get a gorgeous campus of shade-trees and Tudor mansions, thirty-minute access to New York City, and a student body filled with smart, active people. Nobody will hand anything to you, though. There are no keggers or drunken wheelbarrow races, so making friends tends to happen on your own initiative, but that’s how the real world works, so welcome to it. There will never, ever be a shortage of activities. The school calendar is filled with readings, guest lectures, music performances, theater productions, film screenings, etc., so all you have to do is pick. You can expect a campus that is buzzing with dialogue. You can expect to talk about the Palestinian Question, the Academy Awards, James Joyce, and pornography in a single conversation. You can expect to get hit by a snowball at least once. You can new music, new ideas, new authors, and new friends to come charging into your life. You can expect to be forced to be your own person, to do things on your own, to define yourself under your own steam. At SLC, you sink or you swim.

Lauren

My overall experience at Sarah Lawrence was somewhat different from the "traditional college experience", due to the fact that I did not live on campus. I was born and raised in the city of Yonkers (which is the actual city SLC is located in, it just has a Bronxville mailing address), and as a result of my home being the city I went to school in, I didn't forget as many relationships as my peers who lived on campus. I was also not as active in campus activities as I might have been if I lived on campus. Sarah Lawrence is the kind of place where you can be whoever you are and your differences are embraced. Being unique seems to be a prerequisite to going to SLC. My brother is one of those 19 year old kids who wears the big, loose, white t-shirts and baggy pants, and when he came to a school event, security picked him out in an instant. There is definitely a "look" associated with the college. Whether it's preppy, or grungy, or frumpy, or plain ridiculous, and SLC student can be identified by looks alone.

Sarah

Sarah Lawrence has a wonderful campus, and while some of the buildings may be in need of repair, the school knows this and is working to improve every year. The school is at a defining point - many of the great and more liberal traditions have been lost or outlawed by the administration, but the student body is inventive and there are always new ways of expressing the campuses liberal nature. While students will but heads with the school in the next several years, I think the mindset of the student body is more long lasting than the current administration. While it takes four years to be awarded the opportunity - senior week is the perfect conclusion to life in the Sarah Lawrence Bubble. In includes time with the President, Faculty and Staff for an informal send off that is a better celebration of students time on the campus than commencement.

Lily

I am transferring from Sarah Lawrence after my first year, so be aware that all my opinions are that of someone transitioning on.

Ryan

It's like a college for students who don't want "the college experience." There is no school team to root for, there is barely school pride, unless maybe you get past freshman year when everyone at some point remarks, "I want to transfer." ( I will note I did not make it beyond my first year and transferred, so for older students, I don't know.) I was told that all first year students say "I want to transfer," when I went to the accepted students day, and when I started at SLC, it was actually very true, and very depressing. Students at Sarah Lawrence are all ironically conformists in their non-conformist ways. In my experience, if you did not match the single personality represented at Sarah Lawrence, you were not going to fit in. The school is so small, it felt like high school. There were cliques, and people trying to impress each other, and would only talk to you around a crowd if you were worth being seen talking to.

AMY

SLC... Administration- generally disorganized College town- Bronxville...not so much Extracurriculars- do exist, can be fun, but are generally unpopular Campus life- Insulating, interesting at time though Social scene- Small, and the self-selected population makes it a bit too much at times. People are generally unwilling to be outgoing, and cliques are unfortunate yet all too common