Schenectady, NY
Union College-Schenectady


43 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Adrianna
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Union College is an amazing school with a lot of opportunities for all of their students. There are always activities for all...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Union College is an amazing school with a lot of opportunities for all of their students. There are always activities for all students to participate in and the life on campus is great since it's a small campus, so everyone knows everyone. Union makes you feel at home and if a school is able to do that, then it is one heck of a school.

Rebecca
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I loved my time at Union as a student and as an athlete. Every class I took was interesting and my professors made it fun. ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I loved my time at Union as a student and as an athlete. Every class I took was interesting and my professors made it fun. Hockey Games were a highlight and campus down time there was always something to do. It really felt like home.

Meghan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I decided to come to Union College for a variety of reasons: financial aid and the promises that the admissions office made i...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I decided to come to Union College for a variety of reasons: financial aid and the promises that the admissions office made in terms of academics, social life, and so on. Considering how expensive college is these days, I knew that I needed to be able to get a great education at an affordable cost. I pay a large amount of money to attend Union, but I felt that it would be worth it considering all of the things that Union promised me. One of the things that Union prides itself on is its academics: it was named a 'Hidden Ivy' by a magazine once. Union is one of the oldest colleges in the nation, but it has not progressed to the level of a Harvard. I thought this was because the college cared more about its students than the bottom line, but my experience thus far has made me question this. The admissions office promises a number of things such as small class sizes, competitive academics, research opportunities, and so on. Class sizes are certainly not as large like at the huge state universities, but Union's classes vary from over 100 students to 5 students which is how they are able to present such a low class size average. In terms of how competitive the academics are at Union, I was sorely disappointed to realize that it feels like most of the students don't care about their studies. They seem to care more about drinking and partying for about a minimum of three or four nights a week. As a part of Union's 'prestigious' Scholars Program, I expected the caliber of Scholars to be much higher. However, the students in this program have also disappointed me in terms of their drive and dedication to their academics. It must be noted that I speak about my impression of the majority, and that there are a number of motivated and highly intelligent students at Union College. Regarding social life, the admissions office places a great emphasis on the Minerva House Program, and severely deemphasizes the Greek life on campus. Unlike what admissions wants its prospective students to know, Greek life is extremely popular on campus while the Minerva Houses are virtually void of life. The Minervas are given a huge budget of about 23k per house per year. With seven houses, this equates to over 160,000 dollars a year. As one of the few active members of my Minerva House, I know from experience that this budget is never exceeded and each house typically has several thousand dollars left over at the end of the academic year. Minerva House events are hosted by students and are only well attended when food is involved (well attended is relative and typically means a maximum of 35-40 students attend out of 2200+ students). The school appears to waste money on the Minervas and attempts to suppress the Greek voice on campus. Granted, Greek life carries the stereotype of hard partying, but it must not be forgotten that the fraternities and sororities do philanthropy and community service work and contribute to the Union College campus community far more than the Minerva Houses do. The college seems to have its priorities backwards in this aspect, as well as in terms of financing. While the college is generous to its students in regard to financial aid, there is a lot of waste and expenses that are unneccesary that end up costing the students far more than it should. The food on campus is absolutely terrible and drives many students to seek elsewhere for sustenance, while still having to pay for an incredibly expensive meal plan. The college also likes to renovate and construct many buildings - they brag about how often they update their structures on campus, but to me this means that my tuition continually goes up and my struggle to finance my education increases. Overall, I think that Union College is a good college, but I feel that I could have gotten this college experience at any other small, liberal arts college. When I sent in my deposit to Union, I thought that I would be getting an amazing education and experience and that the high cost would be worth it. Now after experiencing Union, I find myself questioning whether or not the cost is worth what I am getting out of my time here.

Gerardo
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Union College is a truly hidden gem in the Upstate New York area. Classroom sizes are smaller ranging from 20 to at most 40 s...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Union College is a truly hidden gem in the Upstate New York area. Classroom sizes are smaller ranging from 20 to at most 40 students with some of the most accredited professors who's passion for their subject material will almost always encourage their students to study harder. It is also very easy to get to know your professors who will likely become your friends. I formed lots of great bonds with professors from all different fields from sciences, arts, philosophy, dance and even mathematics. This is largely due to the Liberal Arts curriculum that requires students to study a broad spectrum of academia. Also a large option of extracurricular activities for out of classroom experiences. Although be prepared for smaller sized clubs and events as this is a smaller campus. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Union and after graduation reflected on how much I loved my time there.

Abby
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Union is an amazing community of highly motivated students who are all working toward making a difference in the world.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Union is an amazing community of highly motivated students who are all working toward making a difference in the world.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Before I came to college, I thought I knew what I wanted to study and how I wanted to use that in a future career. I was very close minded on any other options, and disregarded them without ever giving them a chance. After spending almost a year at college, I have come to realize there are so many different choices available to make for my future. I am discovering interests I never knew I had, and trying new areas of study that I now may want to persue. When I was a high school senior, I could have never imagined all the amazing and diverse areas of study and careers I could persue when I got here; so I chose one and promised to stick to it. If I could go back In time, I would tell myself to go into college with an open mind. It is so important to try new things and to keep making new discoveries along the way. College is all about finding yourself and what contributions you can make to the world, and this can only be done if you are open to all the possiblities.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I would have known how acedemically challenging it can be.

Alicia
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I know this is your last year of high school and you and all your friends are catching serious cases of senioritis but don't ...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I know this is your last year of high school and you and all your friends are catching serious cases of senioritis but don't let this effect your grades. It may seem too early to you now, but don't procrastinate, start applying for scholarships online and even locally. Look up colleges you are interested in and write down application deadlines to keep yourself notified (take advantage of those free college applications you get in the mail). You are in the top ten percent, you can get into good schools and have a variety to choose from, see how much financial aid you could get from each school and think about mom and dad. I know we never wanted to be buried in student loans but we also don't want mom and dad paying off loans years later because of us. Also, remember it’s not just you anymore; we have a little brother and sister that still have to go to college too. Take advantage of this whole year and please don’t save it for last minute because you will end up getting into a great school but not having enough money to pay for it.

Justin
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I am I outgoing person who would love to take a second chance at college. I simply wished I took the time out to study more a...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I am I outgoing person who would love to take a second chance at college. I simply wished I took the time out to study more and not go through rough life experiences in order to land where I am today. Although I am happy where I am, I could be in a completely better place and with you guys help. I hopefully plan to be.

Maishka
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now about college life and making ...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, I would advise myself to read more and participate in a summer program between senior year of high school and freshman year of college. In terms of read more, I mean everything. Read more novels, short stories, different genres, and at a fast rate. When I came to college I was immediately assigned many chapters to read in short amounts of time. I wasn’t only assigned readings from novels but textbooks as well. I was told to read and understand, which seemed like forever for me to do, but eventually I adapted. What I think could have helped me transition quicker and better was if my mind was in an academic mode. I was exercising my brain for years getting it prepped for college and once it was in shape I took a break starting in late April of my senior year and relaxed over the summer. During these four months my brain fell out of shape. My transition to college could’ve been much smoother if I exercised my brain.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

I would consider the Wnter time the worst thing about my school. I love it here by the winters are extremely cold. I am from Boston so I know winter weather, but it is almost always 10 degrees colder and so much more windier than Boston is. At times you feel almost like a slug becuase you;d rather stay in bed all day than face the harsh winter cold. It also snows almost evey other day, which can at times bring you down. Overall though I love my school, and the spring and fall time is GORFEOUS!!

What kind of person should not attend this school?

The type of student that shouldn't attend this school is one who is a slow learner. Becuase Union is a trimester school, where you take 3 classes per trimester with only 10 weeks per term the classes go by in the blink of an eye! It's very hard to adapt to and if you are a slow learner, by the time you would have already learned one thing you will have needed to learn 5 more things. Our classes also require much more out of class work becuase we only have about 50 minutes of each class.

Jennifer
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Being a small school Union becomes very family oriented. You can eaisly find yourself feeling "at home" whether it be talking...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Being a small school Union becomes very family oriented. You can eaisly find yourself feeling "at home" whether it be talking with a professor in their office, meeting friends at the small friendly cafeteria, doing work at the "house-like" minervas, or even listening to a lecture with a small group of students (since Union has small classes). The thing that attracts me the most at Union is by far that even when I feel homesick, theres outlets everywhere on campus to make me fell right back at home.

Tell us about the sports scene on campus.

Being that all the other sports are D3, students rarely go to see those games. Hockey is a big deal on campus and you are bound to visit at least one game in your time at union. Its a fun activity to do before going out on the weekends and a great place to scream your lungs out with other union friends.

Tell us about your professors.

The professors are genuinely loving and caring about you as people. They are all there for you whether it is about your class, confusion about your life choices, or just someone to be a parent for you when you are away from home. They are extremely understanding (of course given you should your dedication and commitment) if things go haywire during the term. And they will help you achieve the grades you want, if you are wiling to put in that extra work.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

The architecture of the school is very historic (being that the school is over 300 years old) so the school, does, at first glance appear gorgeous and old. The campus is very well maintained. If you have an 8AM, then you will see the campus services raking leaves and cleaning up the grounds every morning so that it can be just as gorgeous every day.

What are your classes like?

The greatest part about Union College, and in my opinion why parents keep on sending their children back to the place they went to college, are the academics. The professors and classes are really incredible. You learn so much. You definitely get your moneys worth of it. And not only are you lectured in small sized classes where you are thrown into exciting material, you also given the opportunity to form incredible bonds with loving professors. The academics are the greatest attribute of Union College. And shouldn't academics be the reason you go to school ;) .....

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Being a smaller school the policy on greek life is that rushing/pledging occurs delayed- the fall of your sophomore year. However, after Freshman year most people who are not in sports or heavily involved in organizations on campus do tend to join greek organizations. Nevertheless, you do have all of your freshman year to try out and dable in various sports, academic clubs, intramural, newspaper organizations, social clubs, and minerva events. You come on campus in the fall and you join tons of those groups during Fall Club Expo. Then you receive a plethora of emails inviting you to attend club events. You go to some, skip others, and then you make tons of friends and realize what areas are of interested to you. Coming back for the Winter term (2nd trimester) you get back into the rhythm and continue with the clubs you liked, getting back with the friends you made in the groups, or you go ahead and join in on more different groups to make new friends. You've got the Spring term (3rd and last trimester) to enjoy the warm weather, and meet with even more people since everyone tends to spend spring term studying outside and being more friendly and social. Then coming back your Sophomore year you are more than acquainted and comfortable deciding if you want to go greek or if you are happy with where you stand.

Describe the students at your school.

The school is mostly liberal, in that most are open to all religions, political views, socio-econimic backgrounds. It is a liberal arts school so everyone comes in acknowledging that they will be immersed in a wide range of knowledge, fields, and types of people. I find that to be one of the highlights of my experience at Union. With so many different clubs, I am able to experience all different personalities, religions, groups, and cultures of the world without leaving foot off campus.

What are the academics like at your school?

The school and its alcohol/going out policy very much follow on the idea that students should work hard and be allowed to party hard. Being trimester, and having smaller sized classes you have to attend all classes since your professor will notice and you will easily fall behind (in the 10 week term). However, to me that became quite appealing. You are paying a lot to attend this school, so why miss any classes? Its also nice to have most classes filled with all of its registered students as that livens the classroom and enhances the class discussions. The party hard policy is what made Union one of the top party schools a few years back. But dont take party hard to mean students are not as smart and all they do is party. This mentality toward going out runs quite in conjunction with the study policy. The school simply understands that if you work hard Monday through Friday (excluding for some the "wasted" Wednesday night) then you should be allowed to enjoy your time on the weekend. If you're one who wants to study you're butt off, enjoy classes, and not be pressured to party throughout the whole week, but then dance yours socks off on the weekend- then this is the school for you.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The college is one of the more expensive ones in America, and with that comes stereotypical people. Although it may be true that many people are well off, many are also on financial aid. Keep in mind that there is and EOP (education opportunity program) at Union College, which gives less priveledged students a special opportuntity to get a Union College degree. So overall, although you may see your fair share of Uggs, Northfaces, and Longchamp bags- don't stereotype the school to being snobby, rich, and spoiled. There are plenty of students who are on budgets, taking out loans, and do also feel the pressure of money. So when you look at someone wearing Uggs, consider the fact that they got them on sale and they aren't necessarily condoning the stereotype. At Union, being a smaller school, you learn to asses people individually and overtime become blind to the stereotypes. So as a Union student myself, I can say that the stereotype isn't accurate. Everyone is really friendly- so just get to know people individually and you will learn about them and how no one is really a stereotype person.

Jaclyn
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Union is a small liberal arts college with a strong emphasis on academics. The professors are accessible and you will defini...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Union is a small liberal arts college with a strong emphasis on academics. The professors are accessible and you will definitely have a strong bond with many of your teachers. The Minerva system contributes to the overall community of the school with cultural, social, and academic events. Greek life is a strong presence at the school, but it is not an overwhelming force and there are many alternatives for those who do ont want to get involved. The campus is beautiful and because of the trimester system, we get to enjoy it when it looks best. The trimester system allows students to focus on their three or four classes a term while still being apart of athletic teams or extracurricular activities.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not necessarily. They are definitely present, but they are not overwhelmingly apparent.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors are directly involved with students. Small class sizes promote an environment based on personal contact, open discussion, and careful study of the subjects at hand. Undergraduate research is highly encouraged and is readily available. Students learn both inside and outside the classroom, especially with the help of the Minerva houses. While the General Education requirements can be confusing, it really allows students to step outside of their comfort zone and study many subjects.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

As far as athletics go, hockey is the big seller. Students come out in full force for hockey games and the team is fantastic. Greek life is present but a delayed rush system (starting in sophomore year) allows students to get a feel for the campus and explore their options. Even though Greek life does compose a large group of students, it is not an overwhelming majority and Minervas provide a great alternative. There are a ton of clubs on campus and there is something for everyone- and it is easy to start a new group. There are always speakers, concert, meetings, and movies going on so it is pretty hard to be bored. Students are friendly and it isnt uncommon to see doors open at 2am and people hanging out in Minervas or academic buildings studying. There are a lot of things to do off campus as well but the best thing to highlight are the local restaurants which are awesome.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 2,203
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $51,696
  • Acceptance rate
  • 37%

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