Update: University of Scranton (PA)
I took my second visit to the University of Scranton last month to attend a day-long program for college advisors and school counselors. This was my opportunity to write an update about the school, take a tour of the new health sciences facility, and collect some more photos on Pinterest.
Fairly small for a university, with 3,600 full-time undergraduates, the University of Scranton offers 68 majors within three schools as well as several graduate programs. The dual-degree options (especially in the health professions), honors programs and flexibility within the liberal arts and business programs are among the best reasons to consider this school. So is the very attractive open urban campus, probably one of the nicest you will find at a city university. If you read the more positive student reviews of the school, or watch the videos in the admissions office, you could come to believe that the students are very nice people, too.
The University of Scranton is not a super-selective school, but it attracts students who might otherwise attend a larger public or private university. Over 70 percent of its freshman classes graduate within four years, 80 percent within six years for those who remain to pursue an advanced degree, better than any state university in the Northeast, excluding Binghamton. The newest academic facilities on campus, the DeNaples Student Center and the student apartments rival anything that you are likely to see at larger schools. This school also has large alumni communities within the Baltimore/Washington Corridor, New York and Philadelphia as Northeastern Pennsylvania to support students in their searches for internships and full-time jobs.The University of Scranton is a Jesuit university, just like Boston College, Fordham and Georgetown, among others. Yet it offers more merit-based aid than those schools and has a more affordable sticker price.
However, Scranton, the city, is much smaller than Boston, New York or Washington DC. Its downtown is more of a business center. There are many attractions in the Scranton-Wilkes Barre area, but you really need access to a car to get to them. And while Boston College, Fordham and Georgetown, among many other Jesuit schools, compete in NCAA Division I scholarship varsity sports, the University of Scranton offers no athletic scholarships and competes at the Division III level. This is less of a “spirit and sports” oriented place than a Big East or Patriot League school, and there is no Greek life.
The University of Scranton does what a very good school should do: provide a strong academic and career direction for the students it attracts to campus, and guide them successfully to graduation and life after college. Students who live in the Mid-Atlantic region who might get into a flagship state university or a school such as Drexel or Syracuse, but would prefer to attend a smaller school should put the University of Scranton on their visit lists.
Report Card: University of Scranton
- Four-Year/Six-Year Graduation Rates: A/A
- Freshman Retention: B+
- Costs: B+
- Curriculum: A
- Community: B+
- Comforts: B+
- Connections: B+ (Mid-Atlantic states)/C (elsewhere)
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