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Colleges Are Not Created Equal

Colleges Are Not Created EqualLast month I spent some time travelling in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Rhode Island where I met some amazing students, faculty and admission counselors at several colleges. As much as I enjoyed the trips personally, it also brought to mind just how important it is to understand what a college is all about before you apply.

In a post from last year, I talked about some of the major distinctions that make a college who it is. However, it’s so important to get beyond the basics like size, geography, ranking and cost.


Because if you don’t understand a college’s personality, you may end up in the wrong place. End up in the wrong place, and you may be very unhappy.

For example, at Messiah College, a Christian college in Mechanicsburg, PA, everything is about meaning and faith. What does it mean to be me, what I know and what I believe in? What does it mean to be an athlete, a writer, a musician, a male, a female, straight or gay? Messiah encourages deep conversation about everything we experience in life and how it relates to our faith.

At Clark University in Worcester, MA, the student body is very liberal and very unique. Clark is a place where difference is celebrated as diversity and the more diverse, the better. Cliques do not exist at Clark as all students are involved in a little bit of everything; it is common to find a student who is a strong athlete and a great artist as well.

I walked around Messiah feeling peaceful, like I wanted to take it all in and figure out the meaning of life. At Clark, I was constantly wondering what else I would see around the next corner and how colorful or loud it might be.

My personal reflections aside, there’s so much to like about each school. They both offer a liberal arts education strengthened by their pre-professional programs in business, engineering and health sciences. They also have generous merit scholarship programs for their best students which you can check out here and here.

But they are very different places and that’s important for you to know because a student at either school would more than likely feel very much out of place at the other school.

So, as you look at colleges and visit their campuses, pay close attention to how the campus feels, how the people feel and how the atmosphere feels. You want to walk away with a more informed opinion of how you would fit in so that you make sure to end up in the right place.

If you want some help and guidance on your college search and application process, contact me today to set up an appointment for a free consultation.

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