Entering the Home Stretch: San Diego State University

It had been a long journey up to this point, as we’d already seen 10 schools in the past 6 days (excluding the weekend), but we had 3 more schools left to see in our last two weekdays in SoCal. Thankfully we only had one school to see on the first day in San Diego, and that was SDSU. Having grown up in Phoenix, my wife and I were both somewhat familiar with the school, or so we thought :).

The first item on the agenda after we arrived was the admissions presentation, which consisted on some of the same information we’d gotten at the other schools, with SDSU’s numbers plugged in, but what I didn’t realize up to that point was that SDSU is part of the CSU system. Since every other public school we’d looked at was either prefixed with UC or CSU, it just caught us a little off guard and showed that even by this point, the admissions presentations were still a valuable thing to attend. In this case, it was the only admissions presentation we’d been to that was done by a student. No disrespect intended here, but we’d have preferred that an admissions counselor would have done it. There were plenty of people who’d come in from out of state/country in the group, and it just seemed a little off to have a student giving the presentation, as there were a few questions she couldn’t actually answer.

On the walking tour, we got a welcome change in architecture. We’d gone from the standard Collegiate Gothic that many of the previous schools had, to a more southwestern style, as you’ll see below in the pictures. For any “Bring it On” fans, one of the movie’s scenes was shot in front of this spot on campus:

(Side note: my daughter’s a competitive cheerleader, so when the guide asked if anyone knew what movie was shot there, she was quick to answer :))

We got a pretty good look at the campus, and they’ve got some nice athletic facilities, including the gym (quite large), with the guide pointing out that gym access is “free” for students. That’s in quotes because all the guides who pointed that out were quick to fall back on the “nothing is actually free in college” disclaimer, noting that things like gym access are included in your fees.

Another thing he pointed out was that technically, SDSU is considered a commuter school, but he did say that it really does feel like a community on campus. I think something like 15% of the entire student body is housed in dorms currently, but if I recall, they do have plans on the books to build more. With the strength of SDSU’s athletic programs, which in turn means a lot of school spirit (which we all got a sense of), I doubt the smaller number students living on campus would be as big of an issue as it would at some of the other CSU schools we’d seen.

Near the end of the tour, he also showed us the SDMTS trolley stop on campus, which is a nice addition for those wanting to get away from campus for a while for whatever reason. I’m sure it also makes it easier for those who grew up locally and may be living with family, or even those who want to live a little further away from campus.

Overall it was a good tour, and one of the few times it was sunny in the 3 days we were in San Diego. Having been to SD a handful of times in the past, the lack of sun was a bit surprising :). My daughter’s still on the fence on whether she wants to apply here mostly because it’s not in L.A., but we’ll see what happens.

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