The “ACU difference” is a phrase that has become clichÃ© because of its excessive use on campus, but is rarely delved into with any depth. So, we present 10 things that separate ACU from state schools and vice versa:
- State schools have co-ed dorms: Just the thought of co-ed dorms is enough to make ACU alumni squirm in their chairs. Of course, Smith-Adams and Barret Halls have had men and women in the same building. Also, University Park puts men and women in close quarters. So, maybe ACU is closer to co-ed dorms that we think.
- State schools tailgate with passion: On Saturday mornings, college students across the nation roll out of bed before noon and purchase raw meat, charcoal and cold beverages of all types and head to the football stadium. Even if their beloved football team does not play until 8 p.m., the student body is wrapped up in an all-day celebration of their school. ACU tailgates pale in comparison to hundreds of grills and thousands of students spread across parking lots and parks.
- ACU’s student/teacher ratio is outstanding: In many institutions, hundreds of students pile into a cavernous lecture hall as a professor with little interest in the students drones on for an hour, three times a week. The professor will never learn the names of any of his students. However, ACU allows students and faculty to build a relationship that helps each student learn while teachers take an interest in the students intellectually and personally.
- ACU’s campus is pedestrian friendly: Students at ACU are able to walk all the way across campus in less than 10 minutes without encountering an intersection or bustling parking garage. Most ACU students take that for granted, but a relatively small campus that does not have a four-lane road running through it is a tremendous blessing.
- State schools actually know their fight song: “Purple white purple white fight fight fight.” What comes next? Nobody has a clue. In fact, many ACU students know the Texas A&M or UT fight songs better than they know the song of their beloved school.
- Many students at ACU actually know the president: Many, if not most of the ACU student body has or will have some type of interaction with President Schubert before they graduate. There is no way that the same can be said for larger state schools.
- ACU campus expenses are low: The school itself is far from inexpensive, but ACU’s events are downright cheap. Sporting events are free, many plays are less than $20, parking passes are only $10 and the general cost of living in Abilene is not high, either.
- ACU’s religious affiliation: ACU’s student body is predominantly Christian, which means that a body of believers surrounds the students. The entire faculty is also Christian, which means that ACU students will have a better opportunity to grow spiritually between classes, Chapel and a unique support system.
- Undergraduate involvement and experience opportunities: Because of the smaller enrollment at ACU, it is much easier for students to gain valuable experience working with faculty members in their chosen field.
- ACU students must live on campus two years: The requirement for ACU students to live on campus their first two years has both pros and cons. The meal plan and convenience of being on campus are certainly benefits, but the uneasy feeling that Big Brother is watching you is hard to shake.
The four years that students spend at ACU is different from the college experience at a state school. The real question is whether or you rather know the faculty and staff better and be able to walk to your class across campus, or know the fight song and be able to walk to a girl’s dorm across the hall?