College: Seattle University
Location: Seattle, Washington
Type of Institution: Private Jesuit university
Size: 4,800 undergraduates and 7,200 students total (including graduate and professional programs)
Admissions Advice: Seattle U’s application process is fairly straightforward, though students applying to competitive programs with direct entry (such as Nursing) will have a little extra focus on test scores in the review. This university awards merit scholarships in the $16,000 – 22,000 per year range, making SU a good financial option for families who won’t qualify for need-based aid.
Most popular majors: Nursing, Business, Engineering, Psychology
Words to describe students I met: Open-minded, friendly, progressive, savvy
Unique academic aspects: I got to learn a lot about the Honors program from my excellent tour guide. SU’s Honors program satisfies the core curriculum requirements and is broken out into three different tracks: intellectual traditions; society, policy, & citizenship; and innovations. All of the tracks start with ancient civilizations and work their way forward to modern society. They emphasize interdisciplinary learning and writing and are a great option for students interested in a rich liberal arts education. Note: Engineering students cannot complete Honors at SU, but all other majors are eligible.
Like many of the other west coast Jesuit colleges, the percentage of students who identify as Catholic is actually fairly low with only 25% reporting a church affiliation. The school does still require students to take two religion courses to graduate. One of them is a bit more centered around Catholicism, and the other focuses on world religions.
Unique social/cultural aspects: Seattle U’s location is pretty incredible. It is right in the heart of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, a short walk from downtown, and is surrounded by amazing food and nightlife. For students looking to attend college in a vibrant urban area with some traditional campus spaces as well, SU is hard to top.
SU also takes its Jesuit mission seriously. Social justice, activism, and community service are huge on this campus. For example, their annual dance marathon raises $100,000+ for Seattle Children’s hospital!
Colleges that seem similar: University of San Francisco, Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, Pacific Lutheran University
Concerns about this college: Though the student body is fairly ethnically diverse, the socioeconomic diversity is somewhat lacking. SU is launching a new program called SU Bound with the hopes of attracting and supporting more students from lower-income backgrounds.
Overall impressions: I thoroughly enjoyed my formal tour of Seattle U and had a really positive experience interacting with students on the campus. The admissions staff is great and really goes out of their way to make sure families have a wonderful visit. For students looking for an urban college environment with strong pre-professional programs, SU is a great option, a gem in the middle of my beautiful city!