College Spotlight: Loyola Marymount University
Every year, I visit a few colleges or universities around the country, so I can better assess the schools for compatibility for my students. The process I go through is not unlike that of a visiting high school student. I take tours, I meet with admissions representatives and I ask lots of questions. So, I thought I would start a Spotlight series to share what I have found at the schools I have been able to visit. This month, I will begin with Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.
LMU, as it is familiarly called, is a medium-sized school of approximately 6,700 students. It is a private, Catholic (Jesuit) University located on a bluff overlooking all of Los Angeles on one side, and the Pacific Ocean on another – beach and surf are nearby, but bring your wetsuit! It is about 15 minutes from the Los Angeles Airport, which makes getting to and from Maui a snap for holiday and vacation time. Approximately 56 percent of students are women, and 32 percent of students come from out of state. The most popular majors are business, performing and visual arts, and social sciences.
The university is organized into six different colleges offering a wide variety of majors: The Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, The College of Business Administration, The College of Communication and Fine Arts, The Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering, The School of Education, and the School of Film and Television.
While a student must apply to one of the colleges at application time, it is possible to change to a different college once there, and students may take courses in colleges outside of their own. Most class sizes are small to medium, offering students easy access to teachers.
Students frequently ask, “How Catholic is the school? Do I have to be Catholic to attend? Do I have to go to Mass? Do I have to take religion classes?” One does not have to be Catholic, nor does one need to attend Mass. Two religion courses are required for graduation; one lower division and one upper division. The classes can be about any religion, not just Catholicism. There may be a cross on the wall in a classroom, so if that is offensive, this is not the school for you. There is an order of Jesuit Priests who live on campus and are involved in the administration of the school and the campus ministry.
The largest building on campus is University Hall. It used to be Hughes Aircraft’s World Headquarters, and was transformed into an academic and administrative building that houses the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. It is an amazing site, as there are trees the height of the three-story atrium-like building inside, and it supplies a significant amount of the school’s energy with rooftop solar panels in place. There is a restaurant, cafeteria, bookstore and mailbox center in addition to classrooms and professors’ offices. The business school building was donated by the Hilton family, and there is a beautiful church in the center of the campus. Athletic facilities are nice, with a great student recreation center and access to the Olympic-size pool when athletic teams are not using it.
LMU is largely a residential college, meaning most students live either on campus (50 percent) or very near to campus in a widely known network of houses and apartments available to students to rent. Freshman housing is good, with large rooms where two students reside. While a dorm there is called “co-ed,” that usually means that men are in one part of the building, and women in the other, with a locked door in between. Social events, led by student resident advisors, bring the students together. On-campus dining packages can be purchased, and the food is average college food. Sophomores tend to also stay on campus in either suite or apartment-style rooms, with most juniors and seniors venturing out into the neighborhood to live. There are fraternities and sororities available, however they are social only and not residential.
LMU is not known to be a sports powerhouse, although their basketball team has had some success in recent years and was invited to the College Basketball Invitational this past season. Their baseball team just won the WCC tournament and will be headed to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000. The LMU Lions consist of teams of soccer, volleyball, tennis, baseball among others, in addition to having a very active club and intramural athletic scene on campus.
Financial aid is available, which is good since LMU is not cheap! Tuition for 2018-19 was $48,172, with room and board coming in right around $14,000. Most financial aid is applied for via your initial application, and work study opportunities on campus are plentiful. The College Board reports that 69 percent of financial need is met.
Like most schools, grades, test scores and application essays are the most important elements in the admissions process, with 47 percent of applicants being offered admission. Because of the huge overflow of students who are not being admitted to the schools of their choice in the UC system, more California students are applying to the private schools in California, making them more competitive than ever.
For a complete list of the schools I have visited, please visit my webpage, thecollegeauntie.com. If there is a particular school you would like to see highlighted in this series, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.