First Impressions: Marywood University (PA)

Marywood University hosted one of the most thorough and thoughtful counselor events that I have attended during my time as a college admissions advisor. Although I had been in downtown Scranton before, I knew nothing about Marywood prior to my visit.  I have First Impressions to share as well as a collection of photos from Pinterest.

A small school with 1,900 undergraduates as well as more than 1,000 graduate students, Marywood University has several signature academic programs including Architecture, Art Therapy, Aviation and Dietetics that are not shared with any other school in the Scranton area as well as several that are quite popular among undergraduates including Athletic Training, Communication Arts, Education, Exercise Science, Entrepreneurship, Fine Arts, Nursing, Speech Pathology and Physician’s Assistant Studies.

Classes are small. Fifty-seven percent of all classes offered by the university in 2015-16 had fewer than 20 students. Virtually none had more than 50. This is also one school where I felt that faculty and career services professionals worked together to help students to build their resumes as well as succeed academically.

Within Pennsylvania, and possibly neighboring New Jersey and New York, Marywood can be a better value for students who want a small school, but also want one of these majors that are more likely to found at a larger school. Tuition and fees, room and board total around $46,000, lower than many private schools charge for tuition and fees alone, and there are scholarships from $10,000 to $24,000 that are offered to just over half of a freshman class. Admissions are highly achievable for most majors with a B+ average or better and an SAT of 1080 or higher.

Aside from academics and price there are other things to like about Marywood. The university has one of the nicest campuses you will find at a small school within a city. It is located in one of Scranton’s nicest residential neighborhoods, not far from the downtown. While the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area has a cluster of small private and public colleges, Marywood and the University of Scranton have the largest presence within the city. Marywood also has some of the nicest first-year residence halls that you will find on any college campus. Unlike most schools that have traditional corridor-style halls where several rooms share a common bathroom, Marywood’s halls are suite style.

But Marywood, like other schools in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area, has been a regional school for a long time. Its alumni base is quite thin outside of Eastern Pennsylvania, upstate New York around Binghamton and Syracuse, New York City and the Baltimore/Washington Corridor. About a quarter of a freshman class is commuters and the school attracts over 100 transfer students each year, who are also likely to be commuters. Students are more likely to bond around clubs, service projects or their academics than around campus-wide programs outside of convocation or graduation.

However, if you take a walk around this campus, you do get a feeling that the people in charge really care about improving the academics and student life. I do not always get that impression of a college when I take campus visits

Report Card: Marywood University

  • Four-Year/Six Year Graduation Rates: C/B
  • Freshman Retention: B+
  • Costs: B+
  • Curriculum: A
  • Community: B
  • Comforts: A
  • Connections: B+ within Eastern Pennsylvania and the Syracuse metro area/C elsewhere

Check out my First Impressions of Marywood University!

Check out my Marywood University Pinterest Page!