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Throughout your Alfred experience, you or someone close to you will utter the phrase, "I've got to get out of here." Students at AU make threats to transfer at least twice daily. Still, very few actually do. Many students stay for an extra year. Some stay for grad school, and a good portion of the staff is composed of AU alumni. Why? Students are spoiled! It's comfortable here, the financial aid is great, and many professors are also great mentors. Who would want to leave all that personal attention and a close-knit group of friends to just be a number at another university with a better football team?
AU students will disparage their time at AU with venom. When asked to appraise their experience honestly, however, they'll shrug their shoulders and admit that Alfred has helped them to learn and grow as individuals. While some individuals transfer, the majority of students that chose Alfred knows deep down that they couldn't be anywhere else.
It is hard to tell where campus ends and the town begins. People of the town of Alfred are seen walking their dogs past the dorms and students spend lots of time in Terracotta (the best coffee shop ever). It is a small town, but it is beautiful. The residents are involved with the campus and student artwork is displayed in almost every local business.
The foundations art program is hard to get accustomed to, because the materials you use are reduced to cardboard and paper mache in many cases. The project criteria is hard to determine and it seems impossible to please the professors. However, now that I have completed the program I realize that my ability to experiment and problem solve has been strengthened. The program takes quite a bit of patience but with hard work it is very rewarding. The faculty and upperclassmen in the art program are very approachable and interested in collaboration, which greatly helps with networking.
Computer labs in the libraries can operate on both windows and Mac osx so any files from your laptop will be compatible. The school supplies you with $10 for printing at the start of each semester, and a page is only like 3 cents. The internet is pretty faced when you're plugged in, but the wifi is seldom reliable. It's nice to have your own computer because sometimes the weather is bad and the trek to the library is less than desirable, but if the snow doesn't intimidate you there are always computers open.
Parties outside of the dorms are very seldom broken up. If you're going to drink in a dorm be careful and as long as you keep the noise down you won't be bothered. If you do get caught you'll get a court date, a letter sent home and you can't have visiting students stay with you.
You don't need a car on campus if you plan on staying on campus, though to get any real stores you have to drive. Work out a good carpooling situation and you'll be set. There is lots of parking on campus, but sometimes it's at the top of a hill.
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