COMMENTS OF THE TOUR AND UNIVERSITY
Bradley is a private, co-educational university located in Peoria, Illinois. There about 6,000 students, approximately 5,200 undergraduate students.
Bradley University is an 85-acre campus located on Peoria’s west bluff, only a few minutes from downtown. The campus is very compact, most of the University’s 44 buildings can be reached within 5-10 minutes of any building on campus. Because Bradley is the only school within 40 mile radius of Peoria, graduating seniors and those interested in internships may find more opportunities in and around Peoria.
Even though there are a little over 5,200 undergraduate students, Bradley has over 250 clubs on campus. Therefore, there are plenty of leadership opportunities there. According to the admissions area, Bradley University looks at the entire person to fit into the whole student approach. That means, according to Admissions, not only do they factor in the students GPA & ACT scores but they look for previous awards earned, job experience, high school sports experience, intramurals, and club participation.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear only professors teach classes. Graduate students who are Teacher Assistants (TAs) will not directly teach the class. According to our tour guide, the TAs will help the professor in various areas and will answer students’ questions or tutor individual students. My sense is that many students have more in common with the TAs so often they’ll go to them for tutoring or questions they may have. Regardless, from an educational and personal perspective, there are many opportunities for individualized attention.
Most classroom size at Bradley are small, this means most are fewer than 30 students. There are a few larger classrooms, but those are an exception rather than the rule. Because of their history and because only professors teach, Bradley is considered a very important research institution. Overall, the average class is fewer than 25 students.
According to Bradley’s website, tuition for 2009-10 is $24,224. In addition, there may be some scholarships available. Some parents participating in the college search process may be less likely to consider private institutions because of the initial cost difference. Even though Bradley’s tuition is comparable to many public universities in Illinois, those making that claim fail to see there may be more scholarship opportunities with a private college. Therefore, you need to consider all possibilities and apply at both private and public schools.
We were fortunate to spend nearly an hour with the Vice President for Student Affairs. He spoke candidly about his school near and dear to his heart. He was personable, answered all our questions and gave us a nice overview of the history of Bradley and the current academics.
Bradley has built brand new sports facility. It is a modern complex and is free to all Bradley students. This facility includes basketball courts, a dance studio, jogging area, swim lanes, & weight rooms. We toured in the afternoon and our tour group was very surprised to see it only partly filled. Near the sports facility, there were a few other building under construction – this bodes well to the fact it appears to be a growing institution.
According to what I saw during our visit, Bradley has a very large presence of Greek fraternities & sororities. I heard that from Bradley alums, and there were many references to the Greek system during our visit. In addition, it appears the majority of leadership or club positions revolve around the Greek system.
FEW OTHER COMMENTS…
For those interested in studying abroad, Bradley does have a very strong International studies program. This could represent a brief study program of a few weeks to a yearlong international study at various locations.
Although Bradley has nearly 6,000 students enrolled, I saw very few shops or business immediately around the campus. Fewer than I would expect for that size university. Either Bradley is more self-contained or many students drive to other locations for necessary food and supplies.
According to their website regarding the placement rate, the five year average for graduates who started a career, graduate school, or other postgraduate experience within six months of graduation is 94%.
Peoria’s public radio affiliate, WCBU, is located on the Bradley campus in Jobst Hall. Even though I commonly listen to public radio, I did not have a chance to take a quick tour of the station.
According to some magazine surveys, Bradley University was named one of the most connected campuses.