Saint Leo University is located in the rolling hills of central Florida in the small town of Saint Leo. It was established in 1889 by the Order of Saint Benedictine of Florida. It attracts students from across the country and world and currently serves 49 states and 86 countries. As a school and community, it is devoted to creating and contributing to a more socially just society.
Saint Leo University’s mission and values are rooted in its Catholic faith. However, it’s a liberal arts school, and, as such, it serves learners of all faiths. Its mission is to provide a practical, effective model for life and leadership in a challenging world. The school values steadfast moral consciousness and recognizes the dignity, value, and gifts of all people. Saint Leo University cultivates an on-campus and online atmosphere in which members of the community:
- Examine and express their own values
- Listen respectfully to and respond to the opinions of others
- Serve the community in which they live
- Welcome others into their lives
- Care for all of God’s creations
Saint Leo Core Values
For many students, Saint Leo University’s core values are at the heart of what makes it great. Rooted in Benedictine tradition, it strives to create a community based on the following values:
Excellence: The entire Saint Leo community strives to ensure students “develop the character, learn the skills, and assimilate the knowledge essential to become morally responsible leaders.”
Community: Saint Leo University develops Christian learning communities in the spirit of service. It fosters a sense of belonging, unity, and interdependence based on mutual respect and trust.
Respect: Saint Leo University values individuals’ unique talents and respects their dignity. The school’s strength is built by unity, diversity, and the free exchange of ideas. It believes in learning, living, and working harmoniously.
Personal development: Saint Leo University emphasizes the development of students’ minds, spirits, and bodies for balanced lives. Much of the character of the community comes from the school’s commitment that students devote themselves to personal development.
Responsible stewardship: Saint Leo University values its resources and asks that its community use them to fulfill the school’s mission and goals. The school fosters a spirit of service in using the school’s resources for University and community development.
Integrity: Saint Leo University’s faculty, staff, and students pledge to be honest, just, and consistent in word and deed. The school’s commitment to excellence requires it to live its mission and deliver on its promise.
Saint Leo University Ranking
U.S. News ranks Saint Leo University as #62 in Regional Universities South. The school is ranked #26 in Best Value Schools and received an overall score of 48 out of 100. Its bachelors degree programs tied for #59 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, and its graduate programs tied for #149 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs.
Saint Leo University Admissions
The admissions process for Saint Leo University applicants varies by program level and type.
First-time undergraduate applicants must submit the following as part of their application:
- An application form
- Official high school transcripts
- A letter of recommendation
- Standardized test scores for the SAT and ACT
- For students who plan to request financial aid, a FAFSA form
- An application fee of $40
Applicants to graduate programs generally must submit the following:
- An application form
- Official college transcripts
- Evidence of having earned a bachelors degree
In addition, graduate students must submit materials required by their particular program. For example, they might have to submit a resume, additional letters of recommendation, or other materials depending on the program.
Applicants to online programs must submit items similar to those applying to on-campus undergraduate and graduate programs. However, online applicants pay a $45 application fee and can submit professional training documentation to potentially earn academic credit.
Transfer, international, and homeschooled applicants need to provide additional materials such as transcripts from all schools attended, TOEFL scores, and additional letters of recommendation.
In most cases, Saint Leo University has a rolling application deadline.
Is Saint Leo University Hard to Get Into? Acceptance Rate & Retention Numbers
Saint Leo University might be hard to get into, given U.S. News’ ranking it as “selective.” To give you some idea, Saint Leo University had 3,865 applicants in Fall 2015. Of those applicants, the school accepted 73 percent. Twenty-four percent of those accepted students enrolled for classes.
Of Saint Leo’s first-time students pursuing bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of full time students who started in fall 2014 returned in fall 2015. The school has an overall graduation rate of 45 percent for students who started in 2009.
Saint Leo University Tuition & Financial Aid
The estimated tuition and fees for freshman undergraduate students at Saint Leo University in 2016-2017 was $21,440 per year. Books and supplies were estimated to cost an additional $1,720. The average tuition for graduate students in 2016-2017 was $9,630 per year.
Undergraduate students at Saint Leo University collectively received $96,446,161 in financial aid. Sixty-five percent of the population (8,161 students) received grant or scholarship aid. Of those students, 99 percent received institutional grants or scholarships. Sixty-one percent of the population (7,724 students) received federal student loans.
Saint Leo University Student Body
As of fall, 2015, 15,800 were enrolled at Saint Leo University. Of those students, 12,021 were enrolled in undergraduate programs. Sixty-eight percent of those students attended school full time, and 32 percent attended part time. Fifty percent were enrolled in undergraduate programs offered entirely online. The majority of the students, 70 percent, were aged 25 or older.
That same semester and year, 3,779 students were enrolled in graduate programs. Ninety-eight percent of those students attended school full time, and two percent attended part time. Eighty-one percent of graduate students were enrolled in programs delivered entirely online.
Saint Leo University Accreditation
Saint Leo University has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges. As such, it can award accredited associates, bachelors, masters, specialists, and doctoral degrees. Regional accreditation is the highest form of accreditation a school can obtain. It helps ensure that schools provide quality instruction and curricula. Earning a degree from a regionally accredited school can help ensure that students’ credits will transfer to other schools and more advanced programs. It can also help qualify students to apply for licensure and other field-specific credentials.
Some of Saint Leo University’s programs have program and discipline-level accreditation too.
Saint Leo University Faculty
As of fall, 2015, Saint Leo University had 187 full time faculty members and 935 part time faculty members. All but one of the full time faculty members devoted themselves to instruction. One devoted itself to research. All of the part time faculty members focus solely on instruction.
The average experience of professors teaching online courses is 22 years, and all of the school’s online instructors have doctorate or terminal degrees. Seventy-eight full time technical staff serve instructors in online programs.
The student to faculty ratio at Saint Leo University is 15 to 1. Fort-three percent of its classes have fewer than 20 students. Fifty-seven percent of its classes have 20 to 49 students.
According to Saint Leo University, exceptional professors are its lifeblood. The school prides itself on building a values-based, student-centered environment in which students love learning.