Over 18 months ago I wrote a post where I suggested four schools that should appear on more college lists. That’s been one of my more viewed posts. It’s now time to given props to four more schools that I have visited.
None of these schools are exceptionally selective. But each of them attracts very good to excellent studenst, and graduates at least two-thirds of them on time. A mid-pack prospect for Penn State-University Park or Rutgers-New Brunswick could receive a scholarship from any one of them.
Elizabethtown College (PA)
Located between Lancaster and Hershey, Elizabethtown College, aka ‘E-town’ is a small (1,600 undergraduates) school that admits over three-quarters of its applicants, yet graduates over two-thirds of the freshmen on time. E-town might also be one of the best buys among private colleges. E-town’s sticker price is actually lower than the non-resident charges for Penn State or Pitt. Generous scholarships will make this school an even better buy. Those who have a 3.5+ GPA do not need to submit test scores to qualify.
E-town stands out among liberal arts schools by offering over 90 majors and minors including accredited General Engineering and Computer Engineering programs and accelerated pathways into the law and health professions. It also offers unique majors in Media Analytics and Social Media and Music Therapy, among others.
Downsides? Virtually any college in Central Pennsylvania is considered to be isolated. E-town is no exception. If you are looking for a school in college town or close to a city, E-town is not for you.
St. Michael’s College (VT)
Located in Colchester, a close neighbor to Burlington, home of the University of Vermont (UVM), and one of America’s nicest college towns. St. Micheal’s will give you $1,500 for taking a visit, after you are accepted for admission. And that’s not all: the merit awards make the school a great buy vs. the state school. It’s not tough to get into this school, but it has a more nurturing environment than many small colleges I’ve visited. Over 80 percent who apply are admitted, and over 70 percent finish on time. Admissions are test optional.
Only three Catholic colleges in New England have chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, the prestigious national academic honor society: Boston College, Fairfield University and St. Micheal’s aka ‘St. Mike’s’, the smallest of the three (1,800 students). Like E-town, St. Mike’s offers General Engineering, among its majors but also offers one of the few Peace Corps Prep programs in the country. This school also offers ‘Degree in Three’ programs in nine majors to help you finish early and move on to graduate school.
Downsides? St. Mike’s will be a great school for someone who enjoys or is curious about the outdoors. If you want a city setting, it might not be for you.
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
It’s not as tough to get into this flagship state school as it is to get into UConn, UMass or UVM yet it graduates over two-thirds of its freshmen on time. This past year UNH (picture above) became the only flagship in New England to go test optional. While the cost for a non-resident can exceed $50,000, a New Jersey or Pennsylvania student who might be mid-pack for Delaware or Penn State can get an $8,000/year merit scholarship.
UNH houses over half of its 13,000 undergraduates, rare for a state university, and is only an hour from Boston by Amtrak train. If you like to go by rankings, and subscribe to Poet’s and Quants, you’ll learn that UNH’s business school is at least as good as its counterparts at Boston University and Northeastern. The school also has more than 57,000 alumni in the Boston area on LinkedIn.com, over 10,000 more than UConn, UMaine, URI and UVM combined.
Downsides? Durham is a quaint New England town, but it offers very little for college students to do. You need access to a car, or set aside time to commute to Boston, if you want more than a campus based social life.
University of Scranton (PA)
This 3,800 undergraduate Jesuit university accepts nearly three-quarters of the students who want to come, and graduates nearly 80 percent of a freshman class on time. Like the other three schools on this list, Scranton is test optional. Also like the other schools listed here, Scranton has some generous merit awards.
While Scranton has some nice liberal arts and business programs like the more selective Jesuit schools, Georgetown, Boston College and Fordham, it also has strong programs in the health fields. Scranton offers pathways to a Bachelors in Nursing, the Masters in Occupational Therapy and the Doctor of Physical Therapy. This school also has over 10,000 alumni in New York City registered in LinkedIn.com and over 4,000 in and around Philadelphia. This very nice residential campus is 2 1/2 hours from either city.
Downsides? The Scranton area has several colleges, but they are not close together. The surrounding area is not a place that students are likely venture beyond city-sponsored ‘First Fridays’. Like UNH the social life will be more campus based, unless you have access to a car to get to shopping or Montage Mountain for entertainment and recreation.
Everyone has their own opinions about colleges and college lists. If you have a comment about any of these schools that you would like to share, or have suggestions of your own, please let me know.
Sharing is caring!