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  • Writer's pictureJulie Simons

Franklin and Marshall College

It's time for round 2 of my summer college visits! This time I'm visiting schools in Pennsylvania - Lancaster and Lehigh Valley. Today I turned the tables on the admissions officer at Franklin and Marshall College, a small liberal arts college in Lancaster, PA. I asked him for 3 adjectives describing F & M. Here's what he said:

1. Supportive

2. Individualized

3. Academically rigorous

When I asked my tour guide why he chose F & M, the first word he said was "friendly." And it's decidedly warm and friendly. The things I saw that make F & M stand apart are:

1. Its emphasis on community, which starts with its college house system and extends to faculty having students over for dinner during freshman orientation

2. Its emphasis on learning as doing, which leads to a tremendous amount of student agency and involvement - again as part of the college houses and also in clubs and research (F & M gives $500,000 in Hackman Grants for student summer research and internships every year!)

3. Its commitment to diversity and the success of its students - the university president sits on the White House Task Force for how universities can invest in students (& he also holds office hours with free ice cream for students)

On top of all that warmth and nurturing, it's a gorgeous campus with interesting majors like Animal Behavior (with their own monkey lab!) and Scientific and Philosophical Studies of the Mind and cutting edge community-based learning courses. They want their students to be happy, and it shows.


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