As I currently attend Fairfield University myself, I am definitely a tad bias in this debate. However, Fairfield University is an amazing school and I feel privileged to be able to attend such a beautiful and well-rounded university that has so much to offer. I wrote this article as a direct response to the recent one from Sacred Heart because I do not feel it accurately represented Fairfield and wanted to showcase all the amazing things about FU. Both schools are similar in many aspects but Fairfield definitely stands out.
1. Location, Location, Location
Possibly one of the most common reasons everyone loves Fairfield University is its proximity to the beach. I know for me it was the main reason I choose Fairfield. Being less than a 10 minute drive from the CT coast is a huge plus. It's an easy walk if you don't have a car and many people get their weekly exercise going on runs to the beach. Downtown Fairfield is also such a charming, upscale suburban town with amazing restaurants and shops to eat out and explore. With multiple Sound beaches to choose from, Fairfield easily wins on location hands down. Fairfield is in the top 10 schools for beach lovers according to Money Magazine.
2. We have Senior Beach Houses.
Another huge plus from being so close to the beach is that seniors have the opportunity to live in beach houses their senior year. With over 100 houses up for rent, Lantern Point and Fairfield Beach Road becomes a senior paradise. Where else would you be easily able to live on the beach with all your best friends, and go to school at the same time? While Sacred Heart also offers nice off campus housing it can't even compare.
3. Graduation and Student Retention Rate
Fairfield students have a 78 percent chance of graduating in four years while Sacred Heart students are 20 percent below at 58 percent. Fairfield also has a much higher student retention with almost 90 percent of freshman students returning for their second year while Sacred Heart's is around 79 percent. This shows how happy FU students are!
4. Our Jesuit Values
Fairfield is a Jesuit school that totally encompasses the Jesuit values of social justice and the betterment of mind, body, and spirit. With over 40 service learning classes available to students, Fairfield truly tries to pair education with helping those in need and bettering the community around them. Mass has even been hosted at the beach. While Sacred Heart does have greek life, Fairfield does not as it does not coincide with our Jesuit values and truly, no one misses it here. You don't need frats to be a good party school.
5. Beautiful Campus
Fairfield campus is gorgeous and although both schools are around the same acreage, Fairfield's is much more spread out and and feels bigger with more open space. Sacred Heart has a more condensed campus that is confusing to navigate. Highlights of Fairfield's campus includes The Quad, the pond, Bellarmine Hall, and the big library hill where students can sled when it snows. SHU is mostly parking lot.
6. Dolan School of Business, Nursing & Engineering School
Fairfield's top notch schools are consistently rated as some of the best in the nation. The DSB is one of the top business schools in the nation with Fairfield's undergraduate accounting program awarded No. 1 in CT according to Accounting Degree Review. It's also in the top 2 percent nationally for accounting. The Egan Nursing School and engineering school also gave us the acclaim of No. 6 Best For STEM by Time's Money Magazine. In addition, The Egan Nursing School was ranked in the top 10 national best nursing schools. Sacred Heart didn't make it.
7. Brand New Gym
Fairfield recently opened a brand new state-of-the-art gym for students to use on campus and it truly is amazing. The two story facility provides anything an exercise junkie could want, with a full indoor track and an array of free classes to take.
You might not understand being a stag until you become one but trust me, no one is unhappy with our mascot. Everyone knows you have to ride the stag by senior year and then we get to say fear the deer as a joke. We don't take it too seriously. Stags up!! Plus cute baby deer run all over our campus.
9. Presidential Ball
Every fall, Fairfield hosts Prez Ball at Bellarmine Mansion for its students to have the opportunity to take pictures with the President and have a great time. It's fun to dress up and go every year.
10. Weekend Day Drinks
Fairfield is well known for its weekend day drinks at the beach, and for good reason. Whenever the weather is nice, you can find students partying beachside. Our day drinks are famous for Clam Jam and Sham Jam, as well as our own Santa Con that takes place at the beach. These are long standing traditions that FU students look forward to every year. Sacred Heart tailgates definitely don't live up to partying on the sand.
11. Free Cable
Thanks to trustee Charles Dolan who owns Madison Square Garden and founded Cablevision all FU students get free cable.
12. Smaller Class Sizes
Although Fairfield and SHU are similarly sized with both being medium sized universities, Fairfield prides itself on its small class sizes and 12:1 student-professor ratio to provide important hands on learning and help students develop personal relationships with their teachers. SHU has an average of 15:1 student-professor ratio.
13. More Majors
Fairfield has much more choices to choice from in both majors and minors, constantly adding new options such as Public Relations and Digital Journalism.
14. No. 2 in Northern Regional Universities
Finally, Fairfield University ranks No. 2 in Regional Universities in the North, in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings among institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs. In comparison, Sacred Heart University was well below on the list at No. 44.