Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

RegGuheert

Trip Report - Liberty University

Recommended Posts

DS18 and I visited Liberty University yesterday. He is matriculating in the fall with a full scholarship. His sister, DD23, graduated from Liberty in 2014.

 

I believe either MomsintheGarden or I have written about Liberty previously, but the place has changed so drastically since DD23 matrictulated that I thought I should record some of my impressions:

 

Overall impressions:

 

We were impressed from the first time we stepped foot on Liberty's campus six years ago, but I have to say that I was more "blown away" by our visit yesterday. I will preface by saying that a big part of that impression was due to the VIP treatment that DS18 received yesterday. That was a combination of Liberty's excellent new visitor center and staff, good fortune, coming during a slow time in summer, DD23's performance when she was there (IOW: legacy), DS18's excellent scholarship and the many familiar faces that we have come to know and love at the school.

 

- Christ is at the center of everything that goes on at Liberty University. This truth is reinforced early and often whenever we visit.

 

- The staff at Liberty University makes up for many shortcomings in other areas. Over the years we have been quite frustrated with this or that IT system or rule or whatever-it-is. But we have learned that, with very few exceptions, the issue can be resolved by getting in touch with the human-behind-the-system.

 

- If I squint my eyes and ignore the sight of construction, I find that in six short years Liberty has transformed itself from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. (I really couldn't see this two years ago at DD23's graduation.)

 

- All new facilities being built are first-rate in all respects.

 

- Academically, Liberty has gotten stronger in areas in which they were already quite strong: nursing, biology, mathematics (and many others of which I am unfamiliar). I expect that areas where they have been somewhat weak are steadily improving (engineering).

 

- Within a couple of years, Liberty will have 20,000 residential students. (I don't know of Online has exceeded 100,000, yet.)

 

- It seems that more-and-more graduate opportunities are becoming available as time marches on.

 

The Tour

 

Since we were coming, we signed up for a tour through the visitor center. We were surprised to learn that DS18's tour would be provided by Terry Falwell, who is the first cousin of Dr. Jerry Falwell. He was giving a tour to an old friend who is a professional baseball scout (and former professional player) and DS18 was invited to come along. The tour focused largely on sports-related stuff, which I thought was great since it meant we saw many things we haven't before! Also, Terry Falwell was extremely personable and he had more anecdotes about the early days of the school and before that we simply would not have heard from anyone else.

 

Some new things we saw on the tour:

 

- A complete replica of the United States Supreme Court. (I'm not sure why I didn't know that was there.)

- Massive existing sports facility which used to be a factory. (I've seen it before, but it seems to have more stuff inside than I recall.)

- New indoor training facility for the football team - under construction.

- New academic and sports facility for various sports students.

- New olympic-size swimming pool and (something else) facility - under construction.

- The new golf course and facilities. Three years old and currently only three holes. I'm sure there will be 18 (or more) soon enough.

- The medical school.

- The airport (second busiest airport in VA).

 

Some other things I heard on the tour:

 

- Liberty Online now lives in the shopping mall Liberty bought a few years ago as well as in another building.

- Liberty owns several of the other shopping centers in the vicinity, as well.

- Liberty will spend $500M on construction over the next five years.

 

Lunch

 

The visitor center provided lunch for us and invited the head of the honors program to join us. He is a great person who is a big reason that DD23 ended up there. To our surprise, a professor of DD24's who really took her under her wing saw us and joined us for lunch. We consider her a good friend based on the many kindnesses she has extended to DD23 and our whole family over the years. An amazing woman!

 

Afternoon

 

I had a much better afternoon than DS18! :001_smile: Terry Falwell, the head of the honors program and DD23's former professor ALL escorted DS18 to the testing center. (Unbelievable!) Since it was closed, the honors program director left while we waited for the testing center director to arrive. She arrived and graciously allowed DS18 to begin early. She agreed to do this to allow him to take two ICE exams in one day, which is generally not possible.

 

While DS18 slaved away on his tests, DD23's former professor took me on a complete tour of the new science building. It was thoroughly impressive! I cannot tell you how many labs I saw, but they were all extremely well-outfitted. We also saw another of DD23's professors in his office while there. After the tour, I got to sit in on a screening of a new made-for-hollywood movie that will be coming out next year. I completely didn't consider the possibility that my phone would not ring in there! Poor DS18 had to wait for an hour and a half for me to come and get him! :blushing:

 

We then met one of DS18's future professors in the CS department and had an unsuccessful trip to the bookstore to try to get some custom texts. We even ran into a young lady on campus from our church who graduated from Liberty and now runs a business in Lynchburg.

 

I think DS18 came home with his tanks refilled! :001_smile: We had had an O.K. visit last time we came in January, but a snowstorm created scheduling issues and limited what we could accomplish. You simply don't have the time to spend with people during the busy school year. Summer makes it hard to see some (most?) professors, but allows more time to spend with those you do see.

 

Overall, this visit went unbelievably well. Kudos to Liberty University staff!

Edited by RegGuheert
  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read this with much interest, as I've always wanted to have one of my kids tour there. I've heard the tours are fantastic, and yours was even more special with the VIP treatment because of the special guest and legacy circumstances.  (Terry Falwell, had to laugh, because it almost sounds like a name out of a Liberty spoof, lol!)

 

But the "second busiest airport" in Virginia claim throws me. I am stumped as to under what category that could be possible. Did they clarify?

 

Wonderful to have such a great visit and for you as a parent to re-visit your older child's school and see such great growth and change!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But the "second busiest airport" in Virginia claim throws me. I am stumped as to under what category that could be possible. Did they clarify?

He said Dulles International is the busiest. I'm pretty sure he was referring to the number of take-offs and landings. I believe this airport is 100% private (no commercial flights) and with Liberty's flight school, I can see the numbers being quite high.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, my one regret with this trip was not taking DS16 along. He will be in a similar major to what DD23 did, so it would have been great to have him there for the tour of the science building. (DD23's professor practically saved this boy's life by pointing us toward Lyme disease when she saw his behavior. Did I mention how amazing she is?) Still, I talked up DS16 with her and let her know how much better he is doing and that she should expect to see him in a couple of years.

Edited by RegGuheert
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing your visit. My dc's have both done some online classes at Liberty but we have never been able to visit in person.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RegGuheert or Momsinthegarden, ds2 is interested in Premed. He is looking at Human Biology at NC state but we prefer a christian school. What percent of their students get into med school? Do they have research projects, medical mission trips, MCAT prep etc. that is needed to prepare for med. school admission? What about premed advisors? Thanks for any input.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So glad to here it went well.  My husband and I are both graduates but that was a lifetime ago... :p  So much has changed since we have been there.  I loved my time there but was worried of how big it has gotten and how "commercialized"  it seems.  I am hoping that their standards have not faltered.  We are planning on as a family going back and getting a new tour sometime this year.  My son is going to CFAW this weekend and is so excited.  Our church is heavy LU supporters and many kids end up attending.  Unless my son gets a hefty scholarship it isn't going to be happening here though!  :)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RegGuheert or Momsinthegarden, ds2 is interested in Premed. He is looking at Human Biology at NC state but we prefer a christian school. What percent of their students get into med school? Do they have research projects, medical mission trips, MCAT prep etc. that is needed to prepare for med. school admission? What about premed advisors? Thanks for any input.

 

I don't know the percentage of LU students who get into med school, but dd felt that she was given good advising and support as a biochem major.  Professors often talked about what they needed to do to get into a professional or graduate school.  I don't know of any MCAT prep classes at LU.  I believe the students signed up for them on their own (Kaplan, etc.).  Dd studied for the GRE on her own and did very, very well on it, but she was a double major in math and is an excellent test taker, so ymmv on that.  Mission trips abound at LU, but you have to be proactive in looking for them; early is better.  Research opportunities are readily available - dd did several, plus she did two summers of quality research at well-respected state unis.

 

The med/vet/pharm/etc. school process worked like a funnel, with the number of students still in the running narrowing every year.  In freshman year, the intro bio and gen chem courses were quite full, partly because they are service courses and partly because there were so many students who wanted to go into health professions.  Many students were quite challenged by these intro courses and dropped out or changed to other majors at that time.  More switched out after organic chem, calc-based physics, and cell biology.  By senior year there was a core group of about 30 students who were top notch.  All had worked hard; the courses were challenging all the way through.  Those students were all successful in getting postgrad opportunities.  One of them even got into three vet schools, which is quite an accomplishment considering that it's harder to get into vet school than it is to get into med school.  Those who go on to professional or grad school feel well prepared.

 

So I would say that your ds will have the opportunity to get into med school, but he will have to work hard, get top grades, and make the most of his opportunities at LU.  This advice holds for any undergrad experience.

 

For more information, I recommend contacting the Health Sciences department at LU.  Best wishes to your son!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So glad to here it went well.  My husband and I are both graduates but that was a lifetime ago... :p  So much has changed since we have been there.  I loved my time there but was worried of how big it has gotten and how "commercialized"  it seems.  I am hoping that their standards have not faltered.  We are planning on as a family going back and getting a new tour sometime this year.  My son is going to CFAW this weekend and is so excited.  Our church is heavy LU supporters and many kids end up attending.  Unless my son gets a hefty scholarship it isn't going to be happening here though!   :)

The school is beautiful, and becoming more so every day.  Some rules have changed - guys can wear shirts without collars to class now (no logos or writing, though).  No one at LU is perfect, but the atmosphere is amazing.  I hope your son has a wonderful time at CFAW.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, we thought that they do expert tours also. And, yes, you have to ignore the construction.

 

Now, all other college visits are compared to LU. 

 

If scholarships are readily available, it would be an option. Ds will apply, then we'll see what scholarships he gets.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are generous with scholarships and are very, very helpful in helping you find every last one. Dd's scholarship package from Liberty made it less expensive to attend there as a residential student than living at home and attending the local state school.

 

Dd raves about the professors and her classes, too. Liberty's rapid growth has in no way hampered the quality of education or student life.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The school is beautiful, and becoming more so every day.  Some rules have changed - guys can wear shirts without collars to class now (no logos or writing, though).  No one at LU is perfect, but the atmosphere is amazing.  I hope your son has a wonderful time at CFAW.

 

So my son had an awesome time and said he was definitely going no matter the cost.   :scared:   It is a good school, just don't want him having too much college debt!  He will have almost 2 yrs. done before graduating from high school so he shouldn't be there more than 3 yrs. if he doesn't change his major!  Still crossing my fingers for the merit but it's hard in the state of VA!!  

 

It is amazing how much they have grown and continue to grow.  Definitely worth trying to make a CFAW, they really mapped it out well for the kids to really get a feel of college life!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER & RECEIVE A COUPON FOR
10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.
0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin
×