After hearing so many positive comments about Providence College from our clients, I just had to drive the 1.5 hours from Marblehead to see it. I was assigned a private tour guide, Ryan, who showed us academic buildings, several dining areas, the extensive athletic center, and several dorms. I also saw the new Business School building that is opening second semester. There is a very positive vibe about the academics (the two year requires Western Civilizations course is a mainstay to PC academic life) and the sports teams at PC. The day I was there, the soccer team was playing at home for the first round of the NCAA tournament and most students planned to attend. And they all rally around the basketball and hockey teams in the winter, according to Ryan. I ventured out on our own after the tour to visit the Theater building. A student was happy to show me around and she had very positive things to say about the theater arts at Providence. PC is a college where academics, service, and school spirit come together to form a cohesive student body. I really enjoyed the visit!
Ben Franklin and John Marshall should be proud of their school! Twenty percent of the students are domestic students of color and one third travel more than 1000 miles to get to campus. That makes for quite a diverse student body. The average class size is 16 and the Intro to Psych class is filled at 40 students! Dinner with professors is common and the admissions directors and tour guides alike tout the one-to-one interaction between students and professors. Lancaster is an trendy and historic city with Gallery Row and Central Market close to campus. (Fun fact – Lancaster was the U.S. capital for one day in 1777.)
Drexel students enjoy both the educational and social benefits of attending college in Philadelphia. Most students that choose Drexel are professionally focused, and they do internships and coop programs that insure they have professional experience well before they graduate. The city campuses (there are three) are energetic and outwardly focused. The Main Building where admissions is located is the original building at Drexel. It houses a concert pipe organ and hosts many of the Drexel music performances. It is quite grand and deserves a much more distinguished name.
The small town of Carlisle is two hours from Washington, DC and many Dickinson students spend “study away” time on the Hill or working for various think tanks and NGOs. While on the Carlisle campus, everyone benefits from the historic, safe and very handsome campus. Dickinson students are global thinkers who take advantage of over fifteen study abroad programs run by Dickinson. Dickinson’s programs, including a speaker series and a big annual arts festival, bring the big city to this small town. One in three students is an international student or a student of color.
Even on a cold and blustery day, it’s easy to see why people love the University of Notre Dame, and by people I mean students, alumni, and an extensive Notre Dame community. The beautiful campus is surrounded by parking lots that must be full on game days and the huge bookstore sells all manner of “Irish” clothing. The stadium is being enlarged and new research facilities and residence halls are being built. One particular fact I learned and liked: the dorms are the centers of social life for freshmen with each dorm hosting several social events each year to which the whole campus is invited, one of which is the Fisher Home-Made Boat Regatta that takes place each spring on St. Mary’s Lake.
What’s not to like about Virginia’s flagship university founded and designed by Thomas Jefferson? The Lawn is probably the most beautiful college quad in the country. Instate students are proud to be here, and only the lucky out-of-staters get to join them. With an undergraduate population of 16,000, school spirit is huge and academics are excellent at this state university that feels like a private school. Charlottesville is a medium sized town that supports the university while not being overwhelmed by it. While it was a bit cold as we walked around campus, it WAS January. I hear most of the year is sunny and warm.
School spirit and an incredibly happy student body is my big take away from my visit to JMU, on the IECA Mid-Atlantic College Tour. As the line of tour guides introduced themselves to us, I couldn’t get over their enthusiasm. One called JMU her favorite place on earth! You just can’t fake this kind of stuff! Set in a small town, JMU dominates, with a huge football stadium the first thing you see before coming upon the beautiful quad. Known for their business programs, this state school is also strong in communication, science and education. The tour guide said the food is unbelievably good. (I looked it up – their food service is ranked in the top five in the country.) Another reason to be happy!
On a group tour with IECA in January, we approached the campus in the late afternoon. With the sun reflecting off the colonial buildings, it was a beautiful time to see this gorgeous campus set next to Historic Williamsburg. William and Mary is a proud, historic Virginia state school with top-notch academics and a ton of school spirit. With a student population of 7,700, it is in the sweet spot for many college applicants, definitely a school to check out if you are interested in studying business or liberal arts in a town surrounded by history. One perk to enjoy is the American Revolution re-enactment that takes place every spring.
This school is a great place for creative students who want to be part of a community that is dedicated to diversity and inclusion. Internationally recognized for its music conservatory, Oberlin is also known for the close, life long relationships students build with faculty, and it’s commitment to a green campus and world. I was impressed by the accepting nature of everyone I met. Two students were heading off to a swing-dancing lesson and were gathering others to take with them as they crossed campus.
CMC is part of the five-college consortium located in the happening town of Claremont, 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Students come here looking for professional majors and to take advantage of internships in LA, New York, and Silicon Valley. The campus has an energetic, entrepreneurial vibe, mellowed a tad by the expansive mountain views. On Friday night, it’s easy to find several street bands performing in town where the students find plenty of cafes, pizza joints, and ice cream. Trips into LA are always an option for more entertainment.