The Right Fit

My brunch with six friends yesterday gave me food for thought: Of the four couples, my husband and I were the only ones who hadn’t met at college! It got me thinking about how these people had met in their late teens and early twenties, and how they are still together, many years later. And it made me think about the “fit” of college, and how each of these individuals, whether they knew it at the time or not, choose their school, in great part, because of a feeling of social inclusion.

State University of New York at New Paltz

Every autumn, tourists descend on this small, upstate New York college town to take in the foliage, as the Hudson Valley’s wardrobe changes from summer to winter. But besides these “leaf peepers,” as they’re called, students also flock to this town at the end of summer—to attend the local SUNY, one of 64 campuses run by the state as part of its system of higher education.

University of Vermont

Every time I visit the University of Vermont I find even more to like about this most intimate-feeling of flagship state schools. Burlington is a great college town—not too big to overwhelm its scenic New England charm, but not so cozy that it lacks a vibrant arts culture and a robust outdoor-activity culture.

Dartmouth University

If you close your eyes and try to picture a quintessential New England Ivy League campus, what you will most likely bring to mind is something nearly identical to Dartmouth University, in the small, affluent town of Hanover, New Hampshire.

Champlain College

Champlain College, in Burlington, Vermont, is a different type of college—one with an eye focused on its students’ future careers. Over 90% of recent grads found employment directly upon graduation, and of those, close to 85% found it in their chosen field of study.

McGill University

In the heart of one of the most charming cities readily accessible from the Northeast U.S., McGill University boasts of top-rate academics and, consequently, very selective admissions standards.

Take It From Me:

Some of my students can be very stubborn, and they often hold on fiercely to assumptions they’ve made about schools they know only little about.

Franklin & Marshall College

Since Benjamin Franklin funded the founding of this small liberal arts school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, over 200 years ago, Franklin & Marshall College has perennially ranked as one of the country’s top schools of its kind and size.

Dickinson College

Dickinson College in Carlyle, Pennsylvania, was chartered six days after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, making it the first college to be founded after the formation of the United States. But despite its age, it continues to be a forward-looking institution, widely recognized as a leader in global and sustainability education.