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On Site: Franklin and Marshall College


At a Glance

Lancaster, PA

Undergraduate Students: 1,990

Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1

Acceptance Rate: 36%

Six Year Graduation Rate: 86%

Freshman Retention Rate: 88%

Notable Majors/Programs: Business, Psychology, Government, Animal Behavioral Sciences, Public Health, Computer Science


The Feel

  • Franklin and Marshall, a strictly undergraduate liberal arts college located in historic Lancaster, PA. The area is known for it’s beautiful landscapes and Amish farms, but the city itself is pretty impressive in size and has a great downtown area for shopping and restaurants.

  • The college has rigorous academics but, like other liberal arts colleges, prioritizes small classrooms and connections to faculty which help create a unified environment.

  • They require 3 semesters of foreign language, pretty unique compared to most college language requirements.

  • Athletics and student life tradition are very prominent, including the popular campus wide tug of war competition.

  • College “houses,” which are essentially themed intentional residential communities, organize many of the various campus activities. Houses bridge first year learning with living, as your fellow freshman seminar classmates are all in your house. Houses also have their own “living room” spaces. Students stay affiliated with their houses all 4 years and are even called together at commencement.

Standout Points

  • The college prides themselves on meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need (needs met includes loans) for anyone attending. This puts them on a rather short list of schools.

  • Franklin and Marshall has a rather large percentage of international students, especially for a liberal arts college, with 20% of their student body coming from other countries.

  • There is a prominent Jewish population and presence on campus, and Shabbat on Fridays is a favorite activity for many. The college also offers Hebrew as one of their foreign languages.

  • The admissions team boasted about their President, Barbara Altmann, who absolutely loves the students and holds open office hours for anyone to come and chat or ask questions.


Fun Fact

  • Their mascot is the Diplomat, a.k.a. Benjamin Franklin, who represents half of the college namesake.


Bottom Line Fit: For the student seeking a small, liberal arts east coast environment with perhaps a bit more variety in the student population, i.e. international and Jewish student presence, and who values a demanding education with a great balance of athletics, arts and traditions.

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