Xavier U

I visited Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio for three days in February 2010.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati is a medium-sized city home to U of Cincinnati (Big East) and Proctor & Gamble.  It is located on the Ohio River and borders Kentucky. I noticed that there are lots of places dedicated to chili.  Cincinnati has some run down neighborhoods, but also plenty of neighborhoods with shoppes, boutiques and beautiful homes. There are large homes along the river. U of Cincinnati is closer to downtown in the hospital area on a hill overlooking the city. UC is a state university with 40,000 students. Cheverus graduate Matt W is their soccer goalie. UC is known for their music conservatory and engineering programs.

Size and Campus
Xavier is a Jesuit university, a medium sized school with 4,500 students. They plan to grow to 5,000 in the next few years and are building a new dorm. The business college is getting a new building, and a new Learning Commons will open in fall 2010. There is an academic quad, where many building face each other, and a residential quad.

Residential Life
Only half of the student body live on campus, and freshmen and sophomores are guaranteed housing. Most juniors and seniors live off campus in neighborhood homes nearby, perhaps a 5 minute walk to campus. 20 years ago, Xavier used to be a local commuter college. It is now a nationally recognized university that draws students from all 50 states. Our tour guide grew up in Ohio and says she goes home every 2 months. I asked her how often she went home because I wanted to know if it was a 'suitcase school' where the campus is a ghost town on weekends.

We attended the Xavier - St. Joseph's University basketball game. The fan section was huge, with a pep band, lots of school spirit, and cheerleaders. Xavier plays in the Atlantic 10 conference, and the girls basketball team is #6. Their Cintas Center holds 10,000 fans, and it felt like the Cumberland County Civic Center, a huge venue. They have 2 mascots: the Musketeer and the blue blob. Students get into games for free, and there are only 2 games a year that are difficult to get tickets to: crosstown rivals UC and nearby Catholic school U of Dayton.

  • 19% are the first in their family to go to college.
  • 12-18% are students of color, a number that varies each year.
  • 54% are female
  • 90% come back after freshman year
  • 11% are from Jesuit high schools
  • 16-23% double major and graduate in 4 years
  • 80% graduate in 4 years
Student Panel
on many campus visits, Admissions assembles some tour guides to answer questions. The panel was mixed: boys and girls, white and other races, from Ohio (3/5), many majors. They were all involved in different clubs and sports on campus. They were well spoken, focused and having fun while earning a great education.
  • One student said "I am comfortable here, and challenged." She also applied to Loyola Chicago, Fordham, Loyola MD and the merit money at X was superior.
  • A freshman finance major also applied to Marquette and St Louis Univ (other Jesuit universities), found the merit money similar, and enrolled in X where his brother is a senior.
  • Another student, from NC, applied to Wake, Emory and Villanova. She is a pre med major who took a scholarship exam on campus before making her decision to attend X.
  • A sophomore phyh major joined the fencing club and loves the change from his home in NYC. He applied to Sacred Heart and Fordham.
Class Size
50-75 is the largest class size for freshmen. Most classes are 25 and below.

Business School is #1 (largest ) with 800 students and 9 majors. They are AACSB accredited, the internationally recognized accreditation you want in any business program. The largest major is marketing, followed by accounting, finance, international business and management.  Each semester, business majors take part in extensive career development such as resume creation, interviewing skills, networking. Anyone can minor in business. Business majors run these businesses on campus: DVD rental, coffee shop, laundry service.

Top employers are Proctor & Gamble, Target, Enterprise, Cintas, Kroger, Wells Fargo, Deloitte. Math courses you'll take as a business major: Stats 1, 2, and Calc.

Communications is next, with 4 majors (advertising, organizational communic, public relations, and electronic media)

Education: Montessori, pre K-12, special education. Begin observing and student teaching early on in order to determine if it is indeed the major for you. (same with nursing)

Natural sciences is the pre-med track. While the national average for getting into med school is 50%, approx 80% of Xavier's students are admitted. Pre med students have extra advising to ensure students have the right classes to become a med school applicant.

Nursing is a super competitive program to get into, and students earn a BSN and have the advantage of 8 nearby hospitals and a sim lab. (simulated robots that breathe, cough, have heart attacks, give birth). Direct entry, with no quota of students they need to weed out but you must earn certain grades in some classes.

Occupational Therapy majors can earn a masters in 5.5 years. OT majors are in demand in the job market. They average 7 job offers and get signing bonuses!

Athletic Training majors require more hands-on clinical hours than nursing. Anatomy & Physiology course determines who will stick with the major (it's a difficult class).

Health Care Administration: their program is #1 in the country.

Psychology and Social sciences are also popular majors, especially for pre law students. Classics majors are also known to go to law school and grad school after X.

I was surprised that Sports Management and Sports Marketing were not under the business college; rather, they are in the Social Science, Health and Education college along with psychology, social work. The Cincinnati Reds and Bengals are the local teams, along with minor league teams. Sports Mgmt and Sports

Mktg majors do event planning, plan marathons, and work with a variety of sports. One project that students worked on was using social networking to get more people to attend games.

Social Work majors earn a BSW.

Courses Everyone Takes
X is well known for its Core Curriculum. Students take 63 credits, over half of your education, in various departments such as math, science, writing, philosophy, history. If you take pre calculus in high school you will be in good shape. At X, you have to take 2-3 math courses. X has the largest core course requirement of any Jesuit university. This curriculum is a good match for students who want to sample everything and earn a broad based education.

Admissions begins reviewing applications in October and there is a 12/1 deadline for scholarship consideration. Some scholarships require a separate application, so check their Admissions page. Cheverus students who are admitted usually have above a 3.1 gpa, and at least 1050 on the SAT (CR + M) or 23 on the ACT.

Honors Admission
Three honors programs at Xavier provide an enriching experience including national and international study and travel. Usually 3.7 GPA and 1300 or 31. More scholarship money for Latin or Classics majors, since there are so few of them. Students get to live in honors housing and have an extra advisor in addition to their major advisor.

Nursing Admission
23 ACT subscore in math, or 500 on Math SAT,  is required to be successful in the major. Need a C or better in high school Chemistry. Yes, you can be a nursing major and a D1 athlete. (Nearby, you could apply to U of Cincinnati's nursing program which has more spaces available but is not direct entry, meaning you have to apply to get into the nursing program after completing some courses at UC like A&P)

Xavier can become an affordable education once you add up the scholarship money. X offers 10 full tuition scholarships (St Francis Xavier, usually 3.6 and 1460). How about a service scholarship for$18,000? The scholarship recognizes students who go above and beyond what an average teenager does. Not for your average Key Club volunteer. X sees 120 applications, narrows it down to 40, and chooses 10. There are scholarships that recognize diversity, and range from $3,000-10,000 as Xavier seeks to bring a variety of students to campus. You will earn an easy $2,000 for being a Jesuit high school graduate. That award can be added to others, except the full tuition one. There are audition-based performing arts scholarships whether or not you major in music.  Some academic departments offer exams (on campus) for scholarship consideration.

Financial Aid
  • Only the FAFSA is required (not the CSS Profile).
  • Army ROTC is on campus. Combining that with a nursing major is popular. ROTC covers tuition.
Cheverus students
Matt B, Cheverus 2009 is at Xavier. I had lunch with Kate B and she loves Xavier. She is a computer science major, one of only a few girls in that major. She liked her housing all three years, and thought the doubles for freshmen were spacious. This year, many were forced triples. Kate now lives in a suite with several bedrooms, a couple bathrooms, living room. I asked about the party scene and she says there aren't many on campus but off campus, Fri and Sat nights are popular for parties. She said the campus gets together for 10pm Sunday mass. Kate is training for a half marathon, a major event in Cincinnati.
2013 Update: Kate B, Alex K and and Lauren B recently graduated from Xavier & have jobs.

Campus Services Panel
various departments that help students make the most of their college experience:
  • Career Services: they also focus on volunteering and making you aware of other possibilities like Peace Corps, Teach for America.
  • Study Abroad is also service abroad, semester long or year long.
  • Financial Aid helps you try to pay the $38,000 bill
  • Learning assistance: if you have a documented disability, or want tutoring
  • Sexual Assault Response Services: date rape with alcohol involved is the #1 crime on campus.
  • Campus Safety focuses on education and awareness rather than enforcement and ticketing. Parking is the major issue.
  • Parent Relations: a 10-year old initiative to keep parents informed about campus happenings.
We took a hard hat tour of new construction, mainly the new student center next to the library:

Xavier hard hat tour
Xavier hard hat tour

links updated 4/2013