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Shimer College Reviews

Check out reviews left by other students or leave your own review. You could win a free scholarship.

  • 09/26/2010

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 1 of 4

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Independent thinkers Free spirits Readers

    Tips for prospective students

    The only way to know for sure if Shimer is the right place for you is to attend a class (or several) in person

    Bang for the buck

    Needs more financial aid.

    Did enjoy being here

    There's no place like it.

    Did learn a lot

    More than in all the other years of my life put together.

  • 12/29/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 2 of 4

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who are self-motivated and who really enjoy reading, writing and discussing are really well-suited for Shimer. I would emphasize, however, that discussion is a two-way street, which implies truly listening to peers just as much as it does telling everyone else what you think.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit. Sit in on a class, talk to students and come to a Shimer party. It is exactly what it looks like after you do those three things, and if you like what you experience when you do those three things you will be a great fit at Shimer. Also, as you apply take advantage of what the people who work in the Admissions office have to offer. They are really helpful, friendly people.

    Bang for the buck

    Shimer is pretty expensive, but they try really hard to get your as much scholarship money as is possible, and they are small enough that what they charge is not a scam. Faculty and staff don't get paid as well here as they do in other schools. They are there because they love it.

    Am enjoying being here

    There is a bit of pretentiousness at Shimer, which is kind of to be expected when it is a great books school, but still hard to deal with. The education here is amazing. The books you will read are incredible and the conversations you will have are intense and usually in a good way. People, on the other hand, tend to be cold until you establish yourself as a potential Shimer graduate, because the drop out rate is abnormally high. Both of these trends, unfortunately, feed each other, which makes the social situation rough.

    Am learning a lot

    Not only does Shimer have a great curriculum, so students read truly amazing texts, it also does a great job of teaching its students how to interact with each other. Classes are discussion based, so we learn how to listen and discuss productively, which is great, because we are truly picking up life skills.

  • 06/08/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 3 of 4

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I always felt safe whenever on campus. There are plenty of patrols nearby, and they are willing to escort you if you ask. People are also often about, so it's as if you're never alone.

    Greek Life

    None, and very discouraged

    Clubs and Activities

    There are hundreds of opportunities for clubs and activities. I never really considered myself very active in clubs, though I probably helped out at quite a few. People are more than not likely to invite you to something. And the Shimer spirit is to be inclusive, always.

    Great for these types of students

    individualistic, free spirit, passionate

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Our mascot is the Flaming Smelt. I used to attend church in the God Box, and we meet quite frequently for artistic showcases (which are talent shows at Shimer).

    Bang for the buck

    I had to leave the college I loved because of financial reasons. Shimer College does provide a reasonable tuition for those who are in need, but if your parents are unwilling to co-sign your loan (and if they make good money), you are out of luck unless you take drastic measures to earn federal grants.

    What to do for fun

    video games, chess, talking, walking, visiting museums, exploring the neighborhoods of Chicago

    Food and Dining

    The cafeteria has decent food, but there are many grocery stores nearby if you decide to make your own food or live off campus, which tends to be the popular choice. I actually miss the food a lot now that I'm no longer attending Shimer.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is fluid. Each class is dynamically different because people who go to Shimer are often individuals.

    Academic Rigor

    At my previous high school, it was known for its high test scores and well-behaved alumni. I came from a really good school, and so I didn't know what to expect from Shimer. Shimer is book oriented. You read a classical book, and then people discuss it. I've done this before in high school and always was able to just say whatever. Later before my first class at Shimer I realized, there was a particular discourse that is established. You're often asked to cite your source, speak with confidence, and have thick skin to all criticism that goes your way. A lot of what is class feels like you're going backwards, but because you're struggling everyday, you begin to become more confident, more eloquent, and competent enough to listen.

    Tips for prospective students

    Talk to the admissions. They're very helpful, always willing to take time to show you around campus, talk about books, or talk about anything in general. The people hired to work at Shimer come there only to serve you, and they do royally. Just don't be shaken when they ask you question -- as if they really care about what you're talking about. If you are not used to people listening to your intellectual rambles, that will change.

    In three sentences

    Shimer College changed me from an arrogant high school with a narrow world perception into a better scholar, citizen, and person. I once thought I had all the answers. Shimer showed me I knew none, and it only gave me all the questions.

  • 07/03/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 4 of 4

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    A fairly safe school for the area it's in but student's should be carfeul were they wander.

    Greek Life

    Again available through IIT.

    Clubs and Activities

    You can be in any of Vander Cook or IITs clubs so there's a lot of options.

    Great for these types of students

    Academic, bookish, self-motivated.

    Bang for the buck

    A great education with very individualized attention for students. everything you could ask for from the price tag.

    What to do for fun

    To have fun you have to leave campus since the school is in a very slow part of the city. but the campus has a CTA train line which can get you around most of Chicago so there is always something to go do.

    Food and Dining

    Dorm food. Enough said.

    Dorm Life

    I don't dorm.

    Academic Rigor

    A difficult but manageable school. It may seem overwhelming but it's very rewarding to get through a semester.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you love to read even dry texts. makes sure you're a very self motivated person. make sure you always contribute in classes, that's were all the learning is done.

    In three sentences

    A wonderful space for avid readers. A school whose pace is set by the self motivated. A small school for those who want to genuinely get to know their classmates.