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St John's College - New Mexico Reviews

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  • 08/04/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 1 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Analytical thinkers, curious minds, passionate about learning itself instead of only learning about certain things, students passionate about communicating their ideas and hearing new ideas all the time, students who are good at reading and comprehending works (not to say that you won't improve a shit-ton on this if you come here), students who think it's better to have an exclusive and personal review of your performance rather than just getting grades based on tests and exams, students who believe in this sort of education

    Tips for prospective students

    Talk to the students and tutors; that's a great way to actually find out what you're in for here. Also, really explore the campus. Don't be scared. Wander around the classroom buildings if you get the chance. Check out the fine arts bulidings, cause every room has a piano and a few have sheet music laying around. Also, one room tends to have several other insstruments... not that I know that. Check out the library too, we have a pretty cool selection if you ask me. Admittedly it may not be the largest, but I feel it's pretty diverse. On top of that, I think a lot of the books in our library are representative of the types of topics that are focused on here at campus. Every program book is available in the library, and many books about topics related are there as well. If you like the books in the library, it could be a small sign that this campus has got the right vibe for you. But anyway, I really encourage you to talk to some students and tutors. Also check out all the buildings you can, and imagine waking up to this every morning for several months a year. Also check out the swing and lookout point.

    Bang for the buck

    Of course it's extremely expensive! You need to believe in this education to be here, and definitely to pay for here. However, if you really want to be here, there are a multitude of options to help pay. The financial aid assistance, from my experience, was very good. We're talking 30,000 grants. Of course, it all depends on your aid package. But the fin-aid office people WILL work with you. They try very hard to do what they can and work with you and your situation, and deadlines are importan of course, but (like the rest of the campus) they are human beings who consider you as such and don't just cut you off and give up on you if you miss some stupid deadline. They will work with you. Another thing, also, is that there are several short-term job opportunities, and so far, always some sort of job opportunity. Of course having a car is extremely helpful for keeping your job options open. Work-study is also sort of difficult to get since there are not that many students here. There are few jobs because of the size of the campus, so you have to turn your fin aid info in AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. But there is always a work option. There's tons of people nearby who offer really good jobs at their houses, watching their kids, dog-walking, cleaning, etc... and we live in one of the richest areas of Santa Fe, so we're talking a bunch of wealthy folks who can give you easy jobs for pretty good hourly wages.

    Am enjoying being here

    I mostly love being here; sometimes of course the campus can be overwhelming because of its size and the lack of nightlife in Santa Fe; but overall, it's not very difficult to get off campus. The bus is like 2 or 3 bucks for a round-trip into town and back. You can also buy monthly or yearly or poly-monthly passes. And as far as the lack of nightlife goes, the campus itself has its own sort of nightlife, since we are indeed one of the few places of concentration of young people here. Santa Fe is beautiful though; especially the sky is. Every night the sunset is just as enchanting and captivating, yet totally unique of the previous and the following day. Not to mention the air up here I think feels pretty comparatively clean from most other places. And mountain hiking is quite fun.

    Am learning a lot

    I'm ALWAYS learning... both the curriculum and the lifestyle of this campus are stimulating and dynamic. There is usually some sort of event going on; there are tons of options with intramurals, and there's a huge array of individuals. Classes always manage to turn over my brain-- the Dead Poets Society (film) standing on tables at the end is symbolic of the mentality of this campus. The idea is to look at things from endless perspectives and squeeze all the truth and growth out of them as you can. It's great. So far every tutor has been very good to excellent; they are all very intelligent, if I have a right to judge, if not brilliant.

  • 05/14/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 2 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Anyone who feels that math is there weak point: this is YOUR school. Also, anyone who likes to discuss and think and meet people who think radically, this school is perfect.

    Tips for prospective students

    Start getting to know the admissions/financial aid officers now, before you leave everything to the last minute and end up stressing over too much.

    Bang for the buck

    The school is very small, and if you don't have too much money to spend around, you should really work on what money goes into this school otherwise look elsewhere, because this education is very different from other schools, and I guess if you really feel like this is your school, apart from the money, you'll find a way.

    Will enjoy being here

    It is pretty far from where I live, I don't know how I will adjust to how far away from home it is, but the people there are really nice, and calm about everything that goes on. I think that I will soon learn to live comfortably there.

    Will learn a lot

    I think that St. John's has a lot to offer with its great curriculum it goes from Greek history up to modern history, and it links every form of study with philosophy which makes the learning there totally different from any other kind of learning elsewhere.

  • 05/17/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 3 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Talkative type, loves reading,

    Tips for prospective students

    Tour the college while it's in session and sit in on a few classes. DON'T SPEAK IN ANY TUTORIALS OR SEMINARS.

    Bang for the buck

    You can be a Classics major at most schools (or, even join a book club) and still read the same books we do at St. John's. Will you come to the same realizations and have an entire community with the same common ground, no. If finances are a struggle, you may consider another school.

    Am enjoying being here

    Priding itself on community involvement and communication, there are a lot of cons, namely an inflated ego as a result of esoteric readings. Sports and a lot of other extracurricular activities are not offered here, though the option to create a student group is encouraged (though funding may not always be available).

    Am learning a lot

    Despite no exams, text books, professors and grades being a selling point for the College, there is a lot to stress about. St. John's is a community of intellectuals, some pompous and overly assertive, some truly engaged in learning in a communal effort. It's what you make of it. There's enough reading each day that learning a lot is guaranteed.

  • 12/31/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 4 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    One who loves to read (and I mean loves as in does not go anywhere without at least one book). One who likes to think, but more importantly, likes to ask questions. Folks who take their education seriously; missing classes is a big no-no here. One who's smart, but not conceited about it. Curiosity is a big plus. One who's able to grasp (or at least grapple with) big ideas, even when uncomfortable. One who likes to think earnestly and deeply about difficult concepts, while still maintaining a sense of humor. And one who likes and agrees with the St. John's style of education (this is critical, hence the importance of the visit).

    Tips for prospective students

    Most importantly, visit! The college is unique enough that a visit while it is in session is, in my opinion, critical to deciding if you would like it there. Call the admissions office 2-3 weeks ahead of time to schedule. They put together a fantastic two-day visit package that includes spending a night in the dorms, an informal meeting with a tutor (there are no professors per se), and sitting in on three or four classes. (Tips on auditing classes: you can listen, but you can't speak or sit at the table. Read the assigned seminar readings ahead of time so you can follow the discussion.) The tutors and admissions folks are very nice and laid-back, so there is no need to be stressed about the interviews. Also, be sure to talk to as many students as possible. If you can, consider attending the Summer Academy for high school students. It's a good opportunity to experience participating in classes and living on campus for a whole week. Also, if you're a high school student in Santa Fe, you can attend any of their community seminars for free. (Those are mainly populated by older adults -- often veterans of the graduate program -- and the dynamic is a bit different, but they also let you get a feel for Johnnie methodology.)

    Bang for the buck

    Expensive. Very expensive. However, financial aid seems remarkably liberal and helpful, so don't get turned off by the sticker price, since you will almost certainly be paying less than that. Also, the college has just started a $7500 grant for all New Mexico resident freshman, regardless of need. Importantly, almost all of the seniors or recent graduates I have spoken to have told me that the experience was absolutely 100% worth it. Some have wished they could go do it all again, or that the program was longer than 4 years. Also: the college does not offer any scholarships or aid based on merit. If you think you will need additional aid beyond what the school and the government will award, you will need to find outside money.

    Will enjoy being here

    The campus is cozy, quiet, and in a great location at the foot of a mountain. The students, faculty, and staff are, in my experience, almost universally friendly and reasonable, intelligent people. Santa Fe itself is a beautiful, eclectic little city, with an extensive arts scene and activities for almost every type of person (though I speak as a devoted native :D ). It is NOT, however, your typical college town. Nightlife is generally nonexistent, or expensive beyond the means of college students. The campus social scene itself seems very nice -- though my experience in that field is limited thus far. Students I've talked to say that most people can find their niche, and end up with a group of close friends. (Roommate selection is excellently done from what I hear.) However, the report is that the campus can be a bit insular at times, so an occasional escape into town or beyond is useful for maintaining a sane balance.

    Will learn a lot

    The expanse of what one will study at St. John's is impressive by itself: ancient Greek, Euclidean geometry, Shakespeare, Greek tragedies, parts of Western history, French language and literature, Ptolemaic astronomy, calculus, great novels, seminal experiments in physics, biology, and chemistry ... not to mention almost every prominent Western philosopher from 500 B.C. through our own era. But how this study is conducted is probably even more important. Every current student I have spoken to has said that their St. John's experience has made them a far, far better communicator, in all four facets of communication: writing, reading, speaking, and listening. For me personally, I'm expecting to learn a great deal about what it means to be a human being -- far more than I would learn at any other college.

  • 08/30/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    5 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is safe. People feel at ease and comfortable leaving items out unattended. Campus security is present and competent. I haven't heard any complaints. People feel safe here.

    Greek Life

    There is no Greek Life as in sororities and fraternities. It's not really in the spirit of the community and the undergraduate class itself only have around 400 students, so it would be a bit strange. However the first year the freshmen all study the Ancient Greeks. Plato, Euclid, Aristotle, Socrates... Now that's some Greek Life!

    Clubs and Activities

    Rowing is popular but there are plenty of other clubs and sports to choose from. If you want to start your own club, this is also a possibility. They are however more keen on academics than say, football of course.

    Great for these types of students

    Inquisitive, intelligent, readers, interested, thinkers, philosophers

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Croquet and ultimate frisbee are the sports of St. Johns. There are other of course but Croquet is played there a lot for some reason. Every year there is a huge croquet match between the neighboring Naval academy and St. Johns. St. Johns has never lost of course because the Naval academy doesn't practice the sport. Another interesting thing: the unofficial mascot is a platypus. They sell little platypuses at the book store.

    Bang for the buck

    Read up on the list of suggested items to bring for your dorm. They warn to not buy all your books at once as they're all available at the book store and you'll need to have more info on what translation would be best to use. Coordinate with your roommate so you don't bring the same things. Basic bang for the buck advice.

    What to do for fun

    Read. Think. Discuss. That's what St. Johns is about. Visit the store, it's pretty awesome. Tons of books in a homely little nook. It's one of my favorite places.

    Food and Dining

    This is at the Annapolis campus not the New Mexico, same school, different locations: The food in the dining hall is varied and of good quality. It isn't gourmet but there is a wide selection. When I visited for lunch they were making Greek omelets on demand and had a nice selection of salads, pastas, fruits and veggies as well as main courses. Of course there are vegan and vegetarian options and the school can accommodate any dietary restrictions, as if the case with almost every school. You select a meal plan and receive an ID card that gets you into your dorm and into the dining hall. You can also charge to it books from their wonderful bookstore or at the smallish cafe they have. At the cafe there are smoothies, some pre-made sushi and sandwiches, etc. Annapolis is beautiful and right by the water. There are many nice restaurant there and a great town-like atmosphere to boot.

    Dorm Life

    I'm not attending St. Johns yet but I did the overnight stay, and stayed in one of the guest dorms. The normal dorms are average. They're just dorms. The official website of the college outlines what furniture is included and what one might bring. There are plenty of extracurricular to choose from and a diverse community to become acquainted with. It's a small community dedicated to bettering themselves through inquiry.

    Academic Rigor

    The mandatory programme involves the in-depth reading and discussion of the Great Books. Some of the most essential and difficult works ever written. The Great Books are read across the curriculum. French, Ancient Greek, music theory/composition, the sciences, Euclid geometry and other maths are all required along with seminar and the Friday lecture which basically everyone attends.

    Tips for prospective students

    Research the school well. It's a very small and specific school with an all mandatory curriculum and a high level of academic work expected. Therefore, research the school throughly before committing, so you know what to expect. There is a very interesting memoir called Racing Odysseus by a college president who spent a semester as a Freshman (at age 62) at St. Johns Annapolis. He writes from the unique perspective of a college professor amongst 18-19 year old freshman but provides insight into the academic and social lives of Johnnies.

    In three sentences

    A place to expand ones mind. To question every facet of our existence. To read, write, think, engage oneself and each other, asking the Big Questions.

  • 10/10/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    6 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    They give good packages for your demonstrated need.

    In three sentences

    An intellectual school filled with bright philosopher's. If you like books and seminaring, then this is for you. Although, it is a set curriculum.