Looking for Good Public College Values?
Since starting Educated Quest I’ve often given my opinion of “the good college.” To me a good college is does well by the students. A good college:
- Guides a clear majority of its freshmen and transfer students to a degree
- Helps them to set a direction for their future
- Provides a network that will be there for the rest of their lives
I’d like to share my thoughts about some good public college values among the schools that I have personally visited. The majority of college students attend publicly supported colleges, and quite a few do well by their students.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland is Maryland’s National Public Honors College.
A rare public liberal arts school, St. Mary’s was named for the city where it was founded, the first capital of Maryland. If you’re considering schools such as Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg, put this school on your list. It is a great small college option in many majors including History, Political Science and Environmental Studies, It also has one thing those schools don’t: a waterfront setting. St. Mary’s is less expensive than any of those private college options, and with around 1,600 students, has a smaller student body
The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) is a great mid-sized public alternative to schools such as Elon, Lehigh and Villanova.
TCNJ has about the same number of students as these schools, but undergraduates get the “lion’s share” of the attention from the faculty and administration. Founded as a teacher’s college, TCNJ offers strong undergraduate programs in business, digital media, engineering exercise science, nursing, and of course, education. TCNJ’s campus may look like a 19th century colonial school. But most of the buildings were completed during the 21st. Resident tuition and fees are high for a state school, but you’ll pay much more for a similar experience at the private colleges. TCNJ is trying hard to recruit from outside New Jersey, and is offering some generous merit scholarships.
Ramapo College of New Jersey is another great value among public mid-sized schools
This public college has fewer students than TCNJ, and has less selective admissions. But the college offers many of the same majors outside of engineering. The wooded setting is one of the nicest that you will find around a more modern campus, and parking is actually available to everyone. Ramapo has also some things that TCNJ does not. You can get to New York City from campus by bus to go to internships and co-ops. Ramapo students who are interested in the performing arts have access to more current facilities than they would at TCNJ.
Christopher Newport University (VA) is a cross between a liberal arts school and a mid-sized university, just like Ramapo
Being from the New Jersey, I think of Christopher Newport as having a campus like TCNJ with an arts center more advanced than Ramapo’s with fewer students (around 4,800 undergrads) than both. It’s one of the best educational buys in the country, and offers stackable merit awards. This school is in Newport News, close to Williamsburg. But it is far more affordable than the College fo William and Mary for residents and non residents.
There are also a bunch of campuses of the State University of New York system to mention, not so much for graduation rates, but for their value versus private alternatives.
Tops on my list: Purchase College, very strong in communications and the arts; Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, and Binghamton University. All of these schools attract interest from residents and non-residents alike.
Need help on the journey to college? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 609-406-0062.
Want to know more about me? Check out these podcasts!
Listen to my talk, College Is A Learning AND Living Community, hosted by Dr. Cynthia Colon from Destination YOUniversity on Voice of America Radio!
Listen to my talk, What Exactly Is a Good College? hosted by test-prep experts Amy Seeley and Mike Bergin on Tests And The Rest!