During a recent campus visit to Lafayette College in Easton Pennsylvania, I learned a lot about this small gem of a school. The people with whom I interacted (Andrea Killian who is a freshman and was the tour guide and Dona Rehm from the Office of Admissions) were enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and made the Lafayette College experience come alive.
After touring the campus, I spent some time chatting with Dona. She shared her “Top 10 List” of what makes Lafayette College special.
- Small liberal arts college with only undergraduate students. The professors are completely devoted to undergraduates. There is a tight knit community and most of the professors live on or near campus so they make up a daily presence on campus.
- Unique Engineering Program combining the technical and theoretical aspects of engineering with a liberal arts education. Heavy emphasis is placed on the importance of a liberal arts education in preparing for “life after graduation.” Another hallmark of the Engineering Program is the opportunity for study abroad during sophomore year.
- Research opportunities for all students (many begin research as freshmen) in all areas of study. Inquiry is interdisciplinary and many local companies approach Lafayette College with real problems looking for research and solutions.
- Endless opportunities for study abroad. There are over 90 programs to choose from including full semester, full year, summer programs, and 4-week trips during winter break and/or in May and June each year.
- Strong career services for all students. Students are assigned a career advisor at the start of freshman year who guides them for all four years. Real world application of what is being learned is an essential component of the Lafayette experience and this takes place through internships and externships.
- Division 1 Athletics adds spirit to the Lafayette College experience. Student athletes have mentors assigned to them to help balance all aspects of college life. There is a strong rivalry with Lehigh University adding excitement to the campus experience.
- 250 clubs and organizations enhance life at Lafayette. The typical student is “over-involved” but in a positive way. Greek life represents a small part of life at Lafayette. 28% of sophomores to seniors participate and there is no recruitment until the beginning of sophomore year.
- Residential campus with 98% of students living on campus and guaranteed housing for all 4 years. There is apartment style housing available on campus as well as themed housing.
- The city of Easton is the “coolest place ever.” There are wonderful restaurants and live music and students take advantage of the shuttle bus to get downtown.
- Guarantees to meet 100% of demonstrated need. They are very generous with financial aid and all students are considered for the 2 merit scholarships offered.
Finally Lafayette College participates in the Common Application. Particular emphasis is placed on the supplemental essays and they are looking for applicants who can articulate why Lafayette is a good fit. In another effort to fully get to know their applicants, on campus interviews are highly recommended.