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In my opinion PC's strongest point is its student body. I love going to school here because of the students. The academics here are great but the administration needs a lot of work. They are unorganized and are often very difficult to deal with. You will get a good education here and have the best time of your life without question, but be prepared to be very annoyed with the school's administration in general. They are beginning to fix some problems but they still have a lot to do. The big picture is that the benefits of going here outweigh the drawbacks without question.
Providence is a great place to attend school, but they don't accurately portray the housing or eating situations very well on campus. They bring you through the dining hall and then have you eat in Slavin which is the much more upscale place to eat on campus. Neither of these two eating facilities are open long enough either, but that isn't too big of an issue. More importantly, they never truly explain the severity of curfew in the dorms. I almost rather get caught binge drinking then having sex. That is one thing I never expected to experience on a college campus.
ADMINISTRATION / FINANCIAL: Providence College is one of the most mismanaged institutions I have ever seen. And you wonder why the endowment is so low, and why they must nickel and dime students, and why students turn around as alums, and (rightfully) give NOTHING in return back. Sure, it's fun if you're just up to go out and get drunk every weekend, but if you have any depth as a person, you get tired of that about halfway through sophomore year if not sooner. There is something hypocritical about a school that acknowledges a Òdrinking problemÓ, then turns around and offers Òwine tastingÓ and ÒIrish NightÓ on parents' weekends, and features mugs as the #1 giveaway by the school. A lot of PC's inattention to reality comes from the fact that it is managed by PRIESTS. This school will brag all day about how there are 2 more black students coming this year than last (ie, the basketball team expanded its roster), but yet when it comes to fostering TRUE diversity - diversity of thought, or diversity of opinion - the administration would rather shove the ÒONE TRUEÓ teaching (notice the quote marks) of the Roman Catholic Church on everyone. Likewise, the school KNOWS it is near the bottom in many key metrics, and it's only plan to bridge the gap is to continue to raise tuition (6-7% annually, at least) to obscene levels given the value of the education and services provided. Furthermore, it is dedicated to spendthrift, and lavishness in the halls of the priests who reside on campus, however few of these improvements are worthwhile endeavors, and few actually benefit the students themselves. While you or your parents are paying tuition here, this school will still call you and ask you for money. Additionally, they claim to plan to attract more Òhigh quality learnersÓ yet will be removing merit based aid. Everything done by the administration is a living contradiction, a study in mutually exclusive opposites. ATHLETICS PC has division 1 athletics, but don't expect to get excited for anything. Fans are passive, don't know much about the teams or players, don't make road games, and are generally quiet and unsupportive. Likewise the teams themselves continue to live off past glory and fail to achieve present day success, using the Òsmall schoolÓ excuse as the reason why. If you're contact with just making a conference tournament and losing, PC is for you. If you've been dreaming of being the guy on ESPN during March Madness deep into the NCAA tournament, forget about PC. You either take the sloppy seconds and be happy, making the playoffs and losing in Round 1, or you stop following PC sports seriously and just do something else. The one and only exception is Track/Cross Country, PC's strongest program, which ironically does not have a home track or course, so is rarely if ever witnessed in competition by the student body. HOUSING Housing is poor. Expect to have one person too many in your room as a freshman, and possibly even as a sophomore. On campus apartments are nice in terms of space, but the facilities are not. Six person apartments don't even have LIGHTS in the bedroom. Off campus offers freedom, but be ready to deal with petty landlords who won't fix anything and substandard housing that makes Section 8 seem like a good time. The housing selection process is also antiquated and ridiculous, as you will be picking apartment/suitemates for NEXT YEAR in the fall. Housing arrangements always change due to transfers, failouts, leaves of absence, and reorganizations, and this is a leading cause of frustration among students. Expect to be fined exorbitant amount for damages at the end of year, many of which won't actually be damages (ie a mess in the hallway = $150 charged to everyone). FOOD Ray food sucks. It's unhealthy, and meats are filled with laxatives so you won't get food poisoning if the food is undercooked. There are some alternatives, but you'll be sick of the same things over and over. Favorites like stuffed shells rarely appear on the menu, inexplicably. Come parents weekend, however, this dining hall will pull out ALL the stops to convince mommy and daddy its money well spent, and you will see stations open you've NEVER seen before... Slavin food is better, but you have to pay cash or charge card to eat there. My advice if you choose to go here, ditch the meal plan as soon as you can and cook for yourself in an apartment or off campus (or commute). You'll save you and your folks HUNDREDS of dollars.
D train Alum
The best thing about PC is the sense of community! It may come from having a lot of preppy suburban kids from New England. It may also be that every single student is a leader. A PC student is the kind of kid who was a president of a club, a captain of a team, and a national honor society scholar. Students are deeply about their community on campus: this year they organized protests for fair wages for our cleaning service and free concerts and festivals in the Spring! We may also be bonded from surviving two years of the Development of Western Civilization program together. While DWC may seem like a lot of work for a general education course (5 days a week for 2 years of Philosophy, Theology, History, and Literature), I really agree with what my teacher said: "After two years of DWC you will really see your world come together." Even after one year I find myself making connections from class to other classes and the real world. After graduating from PC you will be able to have an intellectual conversation on any topic! One thing I would change about PC is the addition of Greek Life. Even though it is against our school's mission, it would be a nice change from the bar scene. While other students pay $5 a night for admission to a party, a PC student may spend up to ten times that for drinks at and taxis to a bar. There are some big house parties, but you can't count on them for every weekend. PC is just right in size. You become familiar with your professors- if you don't come to class, you better email them or have a good excuse! Even for the biggest class (about 50 people) in DWC, students swipe their ID card at the door to take attendance electronically. Still- beware. If you do embarrass yourself on the weekend, a LOT of people are going to know by Monday! It may seem that you start to see one-night-stands EVERYWHERE you go. When I tell people that I go to PC, I always get positive results. It's either "That's a great school," or "That's a great school; my brother went there!" Providence is definitely a college town with Brown, JWU, RWU, and RIC being nearby. PC kids usually only associate with Brown students and turn up their noses at the others. We are not right IN the city and have a lot of good bars right around campus. The city is a 5-minute bus ride (which we ride for free with our IDs) and is frequented often for the mall, statehouse, or various clubs (although these are not nearly as popular as bars). When the weather is nice, we hang out on Thayer St on the Brown Campus. There are lots of boutiques and cafes there. PCs administration is usually very helpful, but they expect you to take the initiative. Creating your own major or finding an on-campus job is mostly up to the amount of work you do. One experience I will ALWAYS remember is the Civ Scream the night before the DWC final exam. At midnight, the sophomores go out on to the quad to mud wrestle, streak, throw water balloons and other things. Everyone screams at midnight to release the stress of finishing two grueling years of DWC. All the classes participate or watch as a much-welcomed study break. Campus security sympathetically allows the shenanigans for a certain amount of time before they shut it down. It seems like something you'd only see in college movies, but it really happens!
PC is a great size if you like to know all of the faces around you. It has a very large community feel, and the majority of the people are very friendly. Sports are a big deal, especially mens basketball and hockey. There is a very large bar culture at PC that makes every night of the week interesting. If you tell people that you go to PC, they generally assume that you are a very social person that likes to party and have a good time, but also has a strong sense of character and is well educated. Since PC is a Catholic College run by the Dominican Friars, there is a strong religious representation around campus. The College does not shun other faiths, and has a very welcoming attitude towards sharing faith with the campus community. The PC campus is always improving. There is a great gym, coffee shop, and they are working on a better student center. The housing is pretty good once you get to be a junior and senior, but freshman and sophomore year it is the luck of the draw. PC was the best four years of my life. There is a lot of support and guidance from faculty, and you will find yourself keeping in touch with your professors long after you have taken their courses and graduation.
The best thing about PC is the size. Each class is about 1000 students or a little under which is a great size- it's big enough to avoid the people you'd rather not see but small enough to feel like you know everyone around. Providence students can definitely be described as partiers but there is no question they also get their work done during the week. I think PC has a respected reputation as a leading school in the North East as well as one of the major Catholic schools in the country. Despite a great reputation and good students, I think the administration is often overwhelmed and not capable of dealing with the issues that arise on a college campus. Many of the rules on campus, like parietals, are outdated and just ineffective. Strange enough, PC is a "wet campus" and does have a pretty sweet bar called McPhail's. There are also a number of other bars all within walking distance from the school. Overall, the city is offers a lot to do and if you don't think so, Boston is under an hour away.
Bridget AlumReviews provided by: Unigo