First Impressions: Millersville University (PA)
The flagship state university is not the only option for those who want a good education at a public college price. Millersville University, located in Central Pennsylvania, is one such school. Millersville deserved a visit because it offers an attractive price as well as many interesting educational options not only for Pennsylvania residents, but also for college-bound students from New Jersey, my home state. I hope that you’ll check out my First Impressions as well as my Millersville University Pinterest page.
There’s a lot to like about Millersville University. It feels smaller and less intimidating than the very large flagship state schools such as Rutgers and Penn State, and it is a less expensive option. The university offers a tuition reduction plan that brings non-resident charges close to in-state tuition and fees for Rowan University for New Jersey residents. It has approximately 7,100 undergraduates on a larger campus than Temple University, which has nearly 30,000. The campus is quite attractive. The on-campus housing options are among the nicest that you will see at any college. There are either co-op or internship options for virtually every major within in a region that has a diverse economy.
Millersville University has 110 majors and 50 minors, including some such as Applied Engineering and Technology Management, Ocean Sciences and Meteorology that you’re not likely to find at most other colleges, even very large state universities. And for those who want to be teachers, especially in Pennsylvania, this is one of the best places to learn. Millersville was the first public teachers college, once called a “normal school,” in the Keystone State. You’re less likely to have introductory courses with faculty playing to a packed lecture hall accompanied by an army of teaching assistants in smaller sections at Millersville than you would at Rutgers and Penn State.
Millersville University is a very popular school with students who come from nearby Lancaster as well as Harrisburg, Reading and York, although about a fifth of the undergraduates come from outside Pennsylvania. Resident students are allowed to have cars, though most live on or near campus. It’s very easy to pick up and go home when you have a car and live close by. The university provides free shuttles into Lancaster as well as Park City Mall, a nearby shopping center, but there are virtually no dining or shopping options immediately near the campus.
It’s very hard to fault a school that tries hard to offer many interesting academic programs as well as many amenities on campus for resident students at a very reasonable price. If the Millersville campus was within walking distance to a downtown with a college town setting, it would be a more popular, and likely a more selective, public option, especially for those they want to reside in Central or Southeastern Pennsylvania after they graduate.
Millersville will do the most for any student who can take advantage of not only the academics, but also the Lancaster area whether it be for gaining work experience or having fun. That requires a car. Millersville charges a lot less than Penn State and many other schools, so the car may be more affordable.
The Report Card for Millersville University
- Four-Year/Six-Year Graduation Rates C/C
- Freshman Retention: C+
- Costs: B+
- Curriculum: A
- Community: B
- Comforts: A
- Connections: B/B+ for Central Pennsylvania and Philadelphia
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