Pros: personalized excellent instruction, beautiful small campus
Cons: growing pains include class/dining/housing size, no local hangouts, THE COST!
When I was a senior in high school, I just wasn't excited about going away to college. Friends were getting early acceptances but I hadn't even sent my applications away yet. I finally got a kick in the butt when everyone else had acceptances by Christmas, so I mailed all of the envelopes out.
To be blunt, it is a converted high school. There are a few dorms built on the campus. You also will find a football field and an athletic/PT learning facility with an indoor basketball court that is amazing. There is a very small and antiquated library and an even older administrative building.
Sacred Heart suffers from exponential resident growth while they struggle to keep up with housing facilities. They are resourceful. They have converted on-campus dorm rooms from doubles and triples to quads and quints. They removed all study and TV lounges from dorms to build more rooms per floor. They have rented rooms in shady motels (Hi-Ho), they have leased apartments in luxury developments, they have to resort to desperate measures often because they cannot seem to limit their residential students according to the housing they have available. BE FOREWARNED: You will pay just as much for student housing in an on/off-campus dorm as you will in their temporary hotel housing.
It may be a small school but their staff packs a punch. Students have the advantage of small classes so professors know your name, face, home state, career goals, etc. I graduated from the school almost 5 years ago but I can still email my favorite professors and they are very responsive and interested. I learned so much from them and remember many of their classes fondly. I teach my colleagues things as well as my students when I share my knowledge from SHU professors. I incorporate what I learned from them--as well as what they still teach me through our correspondence in many of my days at work.
Unfortunately, Sacred Heart University is surrounded by residential houses--which is not a big shock when we remember that its origin is as a high school. Students can't walk ANYWHERE which is very inconvenient since oncampus residents cannot keep cars there. If you are looking for exciting party life, you won't find it here on the very edge of Fairfield in suburbia.
I can't speak knowledgeably about this as I was never really a party animal in college. There is a totally scummy dive bar down Park Ave called The Sports Page (The Page) that allows anyone with something to show them in. There are other places to hang out in Fairfield and Trumbull but these are rich areas so bring a heavy wallet. Some people even travel to New Haven or Manhattan to clubs but, again, you have to worry about train and drink prices.
Sacred Heart has a very small dining hall but a generous dining plan. there are hot meal, grill, and deli options in addition to soup and salad choices. Late at night on weekends while students are "studying" and drinking "juice", they cook burgers, mozz sticks, etc. The food is plentiful and pretty good.
As someone who suffered through their first year of mandatory laptops, let me say they have come A LONG WAY! The computers students lease (so much better than buying) are top-quality with few tech issues. They have an amazing wireless network on campus for students. Their tech staff is very willing to teach students and help them maximize their technology experience while on campus.
Hell, if I knew back then what I knew now--ok who do I owe royalties to for that one? =) It was $25,000 per year 5 years ago so God knows what it is now. The cost is NOT worth it. I would have sucked it up and stayed home at a state university. I am still over $20,000 in debt from student loans b/c I decided to go out of state to a private university. I was the first child so we didn't know any better. While Sacred Heart provides wonderful education, unless you are a CT resident, and better yet--a commuter, you may want to find a school that is easier on the wallet.