SLC is a magnet for students who want, above all other things, to be well-educated. Careers, money, and business are seen as secondary in comparison to the joy of learning. The one-of-a-kind curriculum gives you the freedom to choose what you want to learn and how you want to learn it. Many students come to Sarah Lawrence unsure of their futures, and many graduate feeling no less disoriented. Yet, it’s agreed that the SLC program, with its distinctive philosophy of academics, is a life-changing experience. After all, being a student here equals spending four years immersed in a community of intellectual young people and world-renowned professors.
What students report as the biggest setback is the anemic social scene. Nightlife is nearly nonexistent. Traditionally, SLC students are introspective, private, and socially-awkward people. Loners are abundant, as are small, insular cliques. The severe lack of ethnic or political diversity means that there may be too many like-minded people for the College’s own good. Further complicating the situation is the often unfriendly off-campus neighborhood, which causes many students to feel trapped on campus. And it’s hard to dismiss the staggeringly high tuition prices. Still, the retention rate is high; students seem determined to manage with the College’s weaknesses for the vast benefit of its unique strengths.