Gordon College is a two-year residential school that is located in Barnesville, a smaller town in Georgia that sits in-between Atlanta and Macon. Although the school is smaller and in a more rural area of the state, Gordon offers a very good college experience for any who choose to attend. The campus is laid out nicely and definitely gives off the smaller campus feel. If you are the type of person who likes larger campuses, then Gordon is not the place for you. Gordon does have what a lot of the larger state schools miss though, and that is charm.
Gordon was founded in 1852 and became a part of the University System of Georgia in 1972. Gordon offers many two-year, associate degree programs in various areas such as accounting, english, history, and physics (there are many, many more that I am not listing in this article, but these are the more popular choices). Gordon also has a wonderful nursing program, which is one of the top reasons that many students choose to go there. The student body is made up of a little over 3,000 students and has a student to teacher ratio of about 25 to 1, making the learning environment ideal for access to instructors. The teachers are very willing to talk to their students too and all have very accessible office hours. A huge part of the reason that I like the school so much is that you can talk to the teachers easily and I also like how after a few semesters the teachers begin to get to know you more and then it becomes like you are part of a family. The whole campus actually gives you a more ‘cozy’ feel.
For the student on a budget looking to get a two-year degree before transferring to another institution, Gordon is a great place to go. Tuition prices are low (about $1,500 a semester for 18 credit hours and about $250 a semester for books) and yet you still get a top of the line education. Many students have gone on to more well known schools in Georgia after getting their degrees at Gordon, places like The Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory, and The University of Georgia are a few of the most popular schools in Georgia for students to transfer to after getting their degrees. Students also have gone on to a lot of other well known colleges and universities. Also, if you are eligible for Georgia’s HOPE scholarship, then your tuition is paid for by the state and you are also given some more money for books, making Gordon virtually free (unless you are living in the dorms or in the Gordon Commons or you have a meal plan with the cafeteria) or at least very inexpensive. Gordon also has a surprisingly nice cafeteria with lots of meal options, a fitness center with top of the line equipment, many extra-curricular activities, and comfortable dorms. The Gordon Commons offer apartment style living at reasonable prices and the campus security is always available to help, even to get you into your car if you are locked out or they will jump it for you at no charge (I’ve had both of these situations happen to me and they have been very friendly on both occasions).
Gordon also has many clubs and organizations and offers a whole collection of things to do both on and off campus over the course of each semester. There really is something for everyone, from the college student who just wants to relax to those who want to be more involved. I myself am a part of the literary club and every year Gordon publishes a collection of works in a literary magazine, titled Driftwood. Gordon also has a good soccer program and many other sports teams, including women’s fast pitch softball and men’s baseball. The students at Gordon are also very friendly and you get to know a lot of people with different backgrounds. It is a diverse campus. The town, Barnesville, is a very small rural town, but it offers a peaceful college setting and it has small town charm. You can also walk around the town from campus, which is nice to be able to do.
I have been a student at Gordon College for almost two years. I started attending in the Fall of 2005 and I will be graduating with my associate’s degree in Physics in December. My experience at Gordon has been beyond what I expected. First of all, it has allowed me to save a lot of money. I have been getting the HOPE scholarship and commuting from home, saving lots of cash in the process. I have only had to pay about $40 a semester, which is great when I consider that I will have no college debt after 2 years. Secondly, Gordon has given me a great education. The teachers have been great and have always been there to answer questions or help with the material outside of class. I will be transferring to The Georgia Institute of Technology after I get my degree and my advisor at Gordon has also been great with helping me get everything ready. Another thing I have liked about Gordon is that it is a smaller school. Your teachers know you by name and you get to know more of your fellow classmates. It’s very comfortable and laid back in that way.
Gordon is also good if you are still trying to figure out what you want to do because it offers many, many general classes that you can take without spending a lot of money. For the education, it is well worth the drive to commute if you do not live on campus. About 60% of the students at Gordon commute, some coming from the Atlanta area (Atlanta is about 55 miles north) and others driving as much as two hours one way to get to Gordon. I have been very impressed with the school and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a more laid back college experience, at least for the first two years. Gordon College is a smaller school that does not disappoint.