Neumann University

Here are some highlights from my visit to Neumann University.  The university has the highest acceptance rate of the ten 4-year Catholic colleges in the area, a 94% acceptance rate.  It claims to have the lowest private university tuition in the Philadelphia area. The most popular major areas among the 2100 full-time undergrads are liberal arts, health professions, business, education, psychology, and security.  New for 2015 is a pre-pharmacy major (2+4) with Duquesne University.  Generally, all of the bio-clinical lab science majors got jobs in their field and 95% of the nursing majors pass their nursing exams the first time.  An internship is required for all majors, except Psychology.  There is suite style living.  The school has a TV and radio station, school newspaper, 3 theater ensembles, and five dance groups.  Field hockey is popular at this NCAA Division III school.

Philly-area Catholic Colleges – Immaculata University

In late July, I visited 11 private co-ed Catholic colleges in or near Philadelphia: ten are 4-year colleges and one is a 2-year college with acceptance rates of between 49% and 94%. They ranged in size from about 500 to just over 7000 undergraduates. At most, business or health are the most popular majors.  I hope to share some highlights about these schools with you in my next few postings.

Immaculata University has a beautiful suburban, green campus, twenty miles west of Philly. Popular majors are nursing, psychology, exercise science, business, education and music. Two unusual majors are fashion merchandising and radiologic science. The average class size is just fourteen. The average accepted student had a GPA of 3.2 and an SAT score of 1470 (out of 2400). Nursing students need to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum SAT score of 1500 (out of 2400). There are five Presidential scholarships (full tuition) and other merit aid of between $7K and $16K. For scholarship consideration, students must apply before December 1st.  

Saint Joseph’s University

Last week, I visited St. Joseph’s University (SJU), a co-ed Jesuit university with about 4500 undergrads in a suburban setting on the western edge of Philadelphia.  At SJU you will see flags and signs that say magis.  Magis is a Jesuit principle that inspires students to think broader, dig deeper, and work harder.
Academics: The university has two colleges: a college of business and a college of arts and sciences, with about half of the students in each.  The typical class size is 23 with the maximum class size capped at 35.  Students can double major or major and minor across the two schools.
The business school requires that students have at least one internship; two or three internships are typical.  Students in the college of arts and sciences have the opportunity to do research over the summer after their Sophomore or Junior year, while getting paid $3,000.
Two unusual majors that SJU offers are Food Marketing and Autism Studies.  The Food Marketing can be taken as a 4-year program or as a 5-year co-op program.  Students in the co-op program typically get paid $17-$24 per hour for their co-op work while gaining valuable experience in their field of study.
The most popular countries for study abroad are Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Australia.  Study abroad is popular as a semester in the Junior year, a summer program, a spring break program or a winter break program
All students must take two religion courses. 
My tour guide Dan, was double-majoring in Economics and Political Science.
Extra-curricular activities: The college motto is “men and women with and for others” and 90% of students will do some type of community service while a student at SJU.  For example, during Spring Break, 500 students go to Appalachia and build homes with Habitat for Humanity. 
The Division I athletics also bring out the school spirit, especially the St. Joe’s vs. Villanova basketball games.  Students can get basketball season tickets for just $80.  My tour guide recommended that visiting high school students attend a basketball game, if possible, to get a sense of the Hawks school spirit.
There are over one hundred clubs and organizations, including Greek life.
SJU runs two bus routes which take students to the train station, stores, and popular off-campus housing locations.
Admissions: St. Joe’s accepts the Common Application. They have both Early Action and regular admission.   The mid-50% of SAT scores is 1100 – 1280 (Critical Reading and Math).  The school is test-optional.  Admissions to SJU is not by major.  There is merit and need-based aid.  All students receive some sort of financial assistance.

What is your experience with SJU?

Bryn Mawr College

If you’re considering a women’s college, Bryn Mawr may be right for you. The beautiful campus is in the Philly suburbs, and the nearby train will take you downtown in twenty minutes. The school has a fine liberal arts program with a high percent of graduates continuing for a Ph.D., a strict academic honor code, and strong educational and social ties to nearby coed Haverford. The student body participates heavily in travel abroad and almost the entire student body lives on campus.
When you consider Bryn Mawr, also look closely at Haverford since you have the opportunity to take classes there. Bryn Mawr also has relationships with Swarthmore and University of Pennsylvania.

The school was impressive, but the article that I subsequently read about our tour guide, Jomaira Salas, was inspiring. She is making a difference in the community.  If she is representative of the Bryn Mawr woman, you will be in good company.