What is the value-add?

Ask an Aquinian: Charlie from Port Lincoln, Katelin from Whyalla and Tahlia from Victoria will tell you why they love Aquinas College, what it has done for them and that you should book a tour of the campus.
Ask an Aquinian: Charlie from Port Lincoln, Katelin from Whyalla and Tahlia from Victoria will tell you why they love Aquinas College, what it has done for them and that you should book a tour of the campus.

The young women and men at Adelaide's Aquinas College are only too ready to speak about the significant bonus they feel that they have gained from choosing the residential college option for their university years.

Second-year law (honours) student Riley, who is studying at the University of South Australia, feels that he would have missed out on so much had he have taken another option.

"The college experience has been just amazing," Riley said, "Friends from day one, great social life, and such helpful support for my studies. There's such a buzz in the place. I didn't realise what a tremendous experience it would be."

Riley explains that coming from rural Victoria and knowing very few people, he was apprehensive about the move to Adelaide and the transition to university.

"But it couldn't have made been easier for me. There's just such a culture of welcome, assistance and inclusion at Aquinas."

A proud boast of Aquinas is the consistently well above-average academic results of its students at Adelaide's three universities.

Additionally, their drop-rate is close to zero, something that contrasts sharply with the experience of many students from regional areas where it is usually greater than 35 per cent.

The academic dean at the College, Dr Sarah Moller, attributes the successful Aquinas formula to the College's investment in an extensive tutorial program, as well as peer support and professional mentoring from former collegians.

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"It all works to create an achievement-oriented culture here," Dr Moller said.

"Students here have a wonderful time socially, but they also really honour academic success in one another. And our strategies allow them to find that success."

Katelin, from Whyalla, studying pharmacy, also highlights the culture of the College.

"You could point to the facilities, the programs, the food, the staff - they're all great," she said.

"But for me, it's just the spirit of Aquinas. It's friendly, safe, fun, and you just feel that you belong. We like to describe ourselves as a family, and I think that's the best word for it."

According to College rector, brother Michael Green, the high demand for places at Aquinas is a testament to the massively positive experience of its students.

"While we invite people to read our promotional material and visit our website, we say that the best way to really find out about the College is to ask an Aquinian, or ask their parents. Let them tell you directly why they love Aquinas and what it has done for them."

Brother Michael says that applications are best made by September if students want to give themselves the best chance of securing a place at Aquinas.