College trip #2, school #3: Muhlenberg College. Less than an hour away from Philadelphia, tucked away in the Lehigh Valley, Muhlenberg is a small liberal arts college of 2200 - with a real emphasis on the arts part of things. I had heard about the arts at Muhlenberg, and I was not disappointed. While some schools talk about the arts, Muhlenberg lives - and performs - them. Even over the summer, Muhlenberg mounts three musical theater productions. This summer's shows were Gypsy, In the Heights (which I was lucky enough to get to see!), and Growl (a children's show). And all this from a college that is not a conservatory - but that offers a lot of conservatory-like programs as part of a true liberal arts education. If you want to study the arts but earn a BA (not a BFA), if you want a small but diverse community, or if you are looking for a blend of quirky and traditional with easy access to Philadelphia and NYC, look at Muhlenberg. And when you go look, remember these things:
1. Muhlenberg is good eating! It's ranked one of the top schools in the country for food.
2. Muhlenberg is test optional - though you must submit test scores if you want to be considered for merit aid.
3. Muhlenberg offers merit aid - including arts scholarships.
4. Muhlenberg has dual degree programs with graduate schools where students can earn advanced degrees in physical therapy, medicine, and dentistry.
5. Muhlenberg has red doors :) Now a secular school, Muhlenberg was founded by Lutherans and red doors signify "welcome" in Lutheran tradition. It's a visual that sums up the school and community everywhere you go on campus (even the Hillel House has a red door!) and reminds you constantly that Muhlenberg wants you to be there.