Why Pick St. John's College? 9 Compelling Reasons

Maybe you’re considering a liberal arts college instead of a large university — you have more than 250 to choose from. Have you thought about becoming a Johnnie at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico?

St. John’s College isn’t new to the education game. Established in 1696 as King William’s School in Maryland, it’s the third-oldest higher learning institution in the United States, following in the footsteps of Harvard and the College of William & Mary.

Awards for the Santa Fe Location

Inaugurated in 1964 with a freshman class of just 81, the Santa Fe campus of St. John’s has garnered high praise. Inside Higher Ed dubbed it a “jewel in the crown of U.S. higher education,” while the Los Angeles Times praised the college as an ” hovers like a high-achieving angel above the landscape of American higher education.”

The Unique Academic Approach at St. John’s

Education at St. John’s is not just about lectures and exams. Class sizes are capped at 21 students, often facilitated by two faculty members. Rather than traditional lectures, classes consist of rich, interdisciplinary discussions revolving around classic texts and seminal ideas, helmed by faculty who go by the title of “tutors.” These tutors don’t just impart knowledge; they work collaboratively with students.

The academic experience is profound. Students delve into over 200 seminal works that span 3,000 years and numerous disciplines — from philosophy and literature to math and science. In this close-knit academic setting, students scrutinize, debate, and expand their own viewpoints. They gain insights from classmates and learn to reevaluate their own ideas, contributing to both personal and scholarly development. At St. John’s, the objective isn’t about acing tests; it’s about intellectual achievement.

Summer Programs

St. John’s presents an array of summer programs centered around the Great Books curriculum. The Summer Academy targets high schoolers aged 15–18 who want to gauge if St. John’s aligns with their educational aspirations. For adults, there’s the Summer Classics, as well as the Teachers Institute. Lasting one to two weeks, these programs allow participants to sample the campus life and partake in the college’s hallmark seminar classes.

For incoming students, the Pritzker Promise Bridge Program serves as a preparatory step. It helps freshmen hone their academic aptitude and study routines while fostering connections with instructors and classmates before they officially arrive on campus.

St. John's students on a ski trip
St. John’s College students on a snow adventure in Santa Fe’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Active Campus Vibes

Life at St. John’s bustles with activity. Numerous clubs, events, and organizations are available for student involvement, paving the way for enduring friendships. The college is famous for its extracurricular activities, like its Outdoor Program, intramural sports, ceramics studio, archery squad, and a well-regarded bookstore alongside a coffee shop. Check out this video for more information.

Santa Fe’s Unique Charm

Santa Fe, a cultural hub of the Southwest, boasts a rich tapestry of Spanish colonial and Native American history. It’s a city alive with a vibrant arts scene, dynamic film industry, innovative scientific research, and alternative medicine sectors. Plus, its culinary offerings are second to none. Sitting at an elevation of 7,000 feet, it’s America’s highest-altitude city, offering easy access to outdoor activities like skiing, cycling, and hiking. In fact, from the campus, you can access 400 miles of interlinked backcountry trails.

Affordable Education

St. John’s extends significant financial assistance, including $13,000 grants for every accepted student from New Mexico. Pell grants are fully matched, adding nearly an extra $10,000 for the most financially challenged students. Additionally, merit scholarships and funded internships are available. If you live in Ruidoso and are considering going to a liberal arts college, that grant is a great feature to take into account.

Networking with Alumni

Active students and alumni form a continuously expanding network. Numerous alumni invest their resources to guide students professionally, aiming to prolong the college’s three-century heritage.

St. John's College students taking part in senior oral exams.

Further Studies

After completing a Bachelor’s in liberal arts, you have options for advanced degrees—either a Master of Arts in liberal arts or a Master of Arts in Eastern Classics.

Application Process

The college encourages prospective students to engage in discussion-based interviews with admissions counselors and faculty members, emphasizing the importance of dialogues around literature and ideas. Alternatively, traditional written applications are also accepted. Scheduling a campus visit is advised for those still unsure if St. John’s is the right fit.

If you’ve thoroughly investigated St. John’s College, you might feel your decision is settled. Yet, keep in mind, this is merely the starting point of an extraordinary journey.

Story Sponsored by St. John’s College

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Posted by Ruidoso.com

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