Sarah Lawrence College is a privately owned, independently operated, college of the liberal arts that is located in Bronxville, New York. The academic philosophy is that of deeper learning, and a focus on the success and understanding of each individual student. Classes are small, with a student to faculty ratio of 9 to 1, and are seminar-style gatherings that check progress with student-faculty meetings every other week.
A truly educated student can look at a subject in question with both reverence and skepticism. He/she can derive pleasure from knowledge and its endless pursuit. That student is set to transcend any creative or intellectual limitations. These are the beliefs of Sarah Lawrence College, that college should be an intellectual journey and not just a ticket to a nice starting salary.
At Sarah Lawrence, education lies much in exposure. Students are taken through intellectual thought, artistic expression, and scientific inquiry to build an informed and diverse perspective in their studies that breeds clarity and understanding. Students are directed by their own interests, impassioning them to push their studies to higher ground. This is how success should be achieved.
What is unique about the way education is structured is the system of donnage. A faculty member pairs with a student and teaches their initial first-year studies course, thereby getting to know them personally and academically. Together, the student and “don” (the faculty member) work to pave an academic path that is best for them. Learning is integrative; it steps away from the boilerplate, compartmentalized approach that most colleges go by to instill meaning.
Since the college’s approach to learning is so integrative and thorough, its hard for the college to offer this kind of education online. Aside from that, the experience of being on campus is like no other. A distance education offered at Sarah Lawrence College will take discreet and meticulous time in creating and, thusly, is not currently available.
Sarah Lawrence College has been named, by some publications, as the best liberal arts college in the United States. It is also the most expensive. Undergraduate students pay just a few hundred beneath $40,000 a year for full-time study; that’s for tuition alone. A graduate student pays $26,544 per year for full-time study.
For each student, the college assembles an annual financial aid package that can take away most of the cost of tuition — in some cases, all. 46% of the student body receives an average grant size of $25,827 per year. That, combined with federal, state, and local sources can cut the net cost down to around $10,000.
15% of the student body receives financial aid from federal sources, mainly Pell Grants, but also through Stafford Loans, and other federal programs. State and local sources reach a small portion of the student body, 9%. This leaves 60% of the student body to take out a loan for financing their studies.