I recently toured St. Louis University, known locally as SLU, during my time at the National Association for College Admissions Counseling annual convention. I was first on the SLU campus many years ago when I was a law student at Wash U and I hardly recognized the campus.
This is definitely an urban campus in an area of St. Louis that has undergone some urban renewal in the past 20 years. Although the campus is sandwiched between a major interstate and a busy road, there is a real feeling of tranquility on the campus. The upkeep on the campus looked good which is one of the things I look for in a campus. Although I was there in during the day, the campus felt safe and I observed numerous safety call boxes and security personal while I was on campus.
SLU is a midsized university with approximately 8,100 undergrads and 5,100 graduate students. It is a Roman Catholic, Jesuit institution so there is a faith based feel to the campus but not in a negative way. The Jesuits are more into social justice and service. From what I observed and from the comments of our tour guide, students who are not Catholic would be comfortable at the college.
There are a number of groups on campus that provide activities and there is a greek system that adds to the social life. It is not uncommon that older students will move off campus into a local apartment for junior and senior year.
Admissions is fairly open with about 70% of students who apply admitted. Like many colleges, SLU has about 60% women and 40% men and they would like to see that ration closer to 50/50. What that means in practical terms is that men may have an easier time with admissions. Midrange SAT scores are 540-650 critical reading, 540-670 math and 24 to 30 for ACT midrange.
SLU has a BS/MD program, the Medical Scholars Program, and I spoke with the program coordinator while on campus. Students apply for the program as high school seniors and are accepted into or rejected from the program at that time. However, it is not a true BS/MD program in that actual admission to the medical school does not occur until the end of sophomore year. I still consider it a BS/MD program because 98% of the students who enter the program are accepted into the medical school if they are still interested in medicine after the sophomore year.
The number of students accepted into the Medical Scholars Program is substantial so students interested in these programs should have this program as one of the schools to consider. Note that for students interested in medicine at SLU, the medical school campus and associated hospitals are located several miles south of the main campus.
SLU is a good solid academic school with relatively easy admissions. For the bright student that might have struggled some during their early high school years and that wants an urban campus, SLU might be a great fit.