“Education should help students make both a living and a life.” This is the guiding principle of Oglethorpe University, which was founded in 1835 and named for the founder of the state of Georgia, James Edward Oglethorpe.
Oglethorpe’s 118-acre campus is located in Brookhaven, a popular inner suburb of Atlanta. If you think you may have seen parts of this picturesque campus with its Gothic architecture before, you probably have – Oglethorpe has been the backdrop for several movies and TV shows. Students will enjoy walking (or going for a run) through its beautiful, wooded terrain.
Here are a few quick facts about Oglethorpe:
Freshman retention: 77%
Freshmen out of state: 13%
Most popular majors: business administration, psychology, communications, biology
4-year graduation rate: 39%; 6-year: 50%
Student Community Diversity: 26.5% Black, 12% Latino, 9% International
Housing: Fifty-nine percent of all Oglethorpe students live on campus in one of seven residence halls. Most rooms are large suites with private bathrooms, but some singles are available. Many students live in Atlanta and commute to campus. The dining hall offers a variety of standard options like pizza, burgers, sandwiches and a salad bar, as well as Mongolian grill and some vegan options.
Academics: All students take the interdisciplinary Core Curriculum program – all classes are sequenced and taken at a specific point in a student’s college career. This program provides a model for integrating information and acquiring knowledge. Students must take several liberal arts and sciences courses that help further develop students’ ability to reason, read and speak effectively. Classes are rigorous and generally small in size – 55% of classes at Oglethorpe have fewer than 20 students.
Engineering students can take advantage of dual-degree programs with Auburn, Georgia Tech and several others. Oglethorpe’s Compass advising program guides students through all aspects of their first year. A_LAB (Atlanta Laboratory for Learning) coordinates many opportunities for students, including internships, research, service and study abroad programs. Ten percent of Oglethorpe students sign up for one of a variety of study abroad programs.
Similar colleges to consider: Berry, Agnes Scott, Birmingham-Southern, Emory
Social: Some weekends students stay on campus and other weekends the campus is pretty much deserted. When students are on campus, there is a strong Greek life scene, with 41% of men and 59% of women pledging, respectively.
Oglethorpe Day is one of the most popular on-campus events, where the college celebrates its origins with activities such as a tug-of-war between students and faculty. There is a strong nightlife scene with plenty of bars, clubs and cafes within 10 minutes of campus, and many students also frequent the other nearby college campuses to socialize. And of course, Atlanta offers plenty to do with arts, professional sports, and entertainment, including Six Flags theme park.
Popular road trips include going to Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day and New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Florida is another popular destination any time of year. For the outdoorsy student, activities include hiking at nearby Stone Mountain and boating and swimming at Lake Lanier.
Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels compete in Division III sports. The men’s golf team makes frequent NCAA Tournament appearances, and men’s soccer and women’s basketball are recent Southern Athletic Association champions. Basketball games versus nearby rival Emory are among the most popular.
Financial: Oglethorpe has strong socioeconomic diversity with 43% of students receiving a Pell Grant. Every admitted student who completes the FAFSA receives a $1,000 grant, regardless of financial need.
Oglethorpe offers both need-based and non need-based merit aid. The average percent of need met is 80%, with 21% being fully met. Although the tuition and fees are $62,600, the average financial aid package is $38,800. 90% of students receive some type of financial aid.