Location: Lancaster, PA
Percent Women: 52%
Tuition (one year): $60,999
Most Popular Majors: Business, Organizations, and Society (BOS), Government, Biology, Psychology, Economics,
Greek Life: Yes
Acceptance Rate: 36.2%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit Franklin and Marshall’s website at http://www.fandm.edu/admission
Why Choose F&M?
"I had visited F&M twice already and had really enjoyed the campus, but was very stubborn when it came to applying. I really wanted to be in a big city, but I was convinced to apply to F&M. In reality, it had everything I wanted as far as academics and campus went. Everyone was always friendly. After getting all my letters back, F&M turned out to be a good fit and even better once I got to campus and lived there."
"I applied because it is a great Liberal Arts school, & I figured "why not?". It is nice & small, well respected, but yet a modest choice."
"Not a lot of schools had my major, but F&M did. Also, there was ample Jewish life to satisfy me."
"I applied to F&M because I was looking for a small, liberal arts college with a good reputation. As a prospective student, I fell in love with the atmosphere of the campus and the surrounding town."
"I liked the location, proximity to my home, and the small campus feel."
"I really love the academics of F&M. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed the rigor of each class until I went abroad. Another plus about F&M is the staff! From the professors to cafeteria to the administration, everyone is super nice. Because the staff are so friendly, it's easy to adjust to campus. If you're having a bad day, you could go to the café and the staff will ask you how your doing."
"The College House system makes socializing easy and lets you participate in lots of fun activities inside your House."
"I love the atmosphere and the abundance of interesting courses."
"My favorite part about F&M is the Music Department. Its faculty and staff are amazing and the performing space is spectacular."
"I got involved with Blue and White Society which works with the Alumni Office. Again the staff are amazing, but it also exposed me to some of the best traditions of F&M. While many students enjoy Homecoming Weekend, one of my favorites is Reunion Weekend. While it's only graduates, I loved volunteering and meeting people who lived through what I was living."
"The concerts, school plays & musicals, etc. are all excellent."
"I love to go exploring around the city and Lancaster has a ton to offer, but sometimes getting around to outskirts of Lancaster is difficult. I would love to see F&M add a partnership with the local bus system so that students could use the bus system cheaply."
"The stress level among students can be depressing at times, and the food options aren't that great, but I think these apply to ANY good college."
"The social scene can be a little clique-y, but so can most places."
"The campus can be very Greek sometimes."
"Sometimes the campus can be a little too quiet."
New Collegiette on Campus
"The best thing about being new to F&M is the housing system and your hall mates. F&M holds Beginnings in May for all new students where you find out which house you are in. The house system is a little complicated to explain. It's kind of like the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter. Each person then stays with the house for the remainder of their stay at F&M (though you won't necessarily live in that house all 4 years). Another great thing is your seminar class, or as it is now known, connections 1. Your first seminar class also happens to be your hall mates. So automatically you already share one class with a ton of people surrounding you. Orientation invloves getting to know this group better as well as getting to know your HA (House Advisor) and PAs (Peer Advisors if you live in Bonchek)."
"Freshman dorms are awesome! We are sorted into college Houses (like Harry Potter). We stick together on our hall, but there are a few upperclassmen living there as well."
"At the beginning of the year, it was really comfortable, and many of my courses seemed geared towards first-years. There is somewhat separate housing, but some upperclassmen live scattered among us and in the basement. Orientation could have been planned better, but it did help in making friends. There are some pre-orientation trips, but I didn't do any."
"I found my first semester as a first year student at F&M was tough. I ended up hanging out with people I didn't actually like. My second semester, I really connected with some upperclassmen through the music department and classes like Orchestra."
"I think it's pretty easy to get to know upperclassman, but you have to join clubs and break out of your comfort zone a bit. Though because F&M is small, there is a good chance your will have classes with every grade level."
All About Academics
"The most popular majors at F&M are definitely Pre-Med, Government, and Bio. While the workload can be a lot, it certainly is manageable and find that much of the work is consistent with what you will do in class. From my experience in history classes, if there is an assigned reading, you will go over that assigned reading. For many of my classes, I've been required to do substantial final projects (10-15 page research papers), but that number could get bigger once I become a senior. If you pay attention and keep up with work, you will get use to the workload."
"General Education requirements, or Gen Ed's are easy, and there are not too many that you need to fulfill. Course Registration is MUCH easier now, you lucky underclassmen."
"The workload is pretty much what you would expect. Advisors are useful, though I switched to my seminar professor, as she actually knew me and could help me."
"The advising system works based on assignment until you declare a major. Then, you choose a professor in that department. Course registration is heavily dependent on the courses you take. I had no troubles as the music department has a fairly small number of students whereas the psychology department, I have heard, has far more students interested than there are spots for these students."
"I personally love to study in my room, but occasionally I would go to Zime, the café, to study. Many people go to Shad (the main library) but I find Shad is not a good place for me to study. If I must go to a library, I go to Martin and sit in front of the huge windows to study. Martin is also open until 2, so if you're a night owl, this is the place to be."
Learn from the Best
"The History Department has gems of professors. Some of my favorites are Louise Stevenson, Maria Mitchell, and Laura Sheldon. Professor Stevenson teaches the Civil War class as well as other American History classes. The reading were also interesting and I always found her comments to be on point, yet with a touch of humor. I also took a seminar class with her and she made sure to have a lot of office hours so we could all discuss our research papers with her. She'll sometimes have her dog, Leo, around too, which always lightens the mood."
"Professors are great...office hours are often to talk to professors about more in-depth things that you don't get a chance to discuss in class, or to catch up whenever you fall behind. The professor are sometimes quirky but are real, fun people (a few of my professors even bring their kids to class!)"
"I have liked most of my professors so far. I found office hours to be helpful and I think a lot of people jump at those opportunities. My two favorite classes have been Environment and Human Values and Wildlife Conservation."
"As far as I have seen, all of the music department professors are popular. The professors are amazing. My favorite classes were Conducting and my independent study project. Office hours are extremely helpful if you are struggling or just need to clarify something. At the end of every semester, professors serve a pancake meal called Flapjack Fest from 8 p.m. until midnight during the week before exams."
"Overall professors at F&M are amazing and intelligent. Don't be threatened by their intelligence; many love it when you question them and bring new ideas to the table."
Interests & Involvements
"Everyone is pretty involved in something whether it be a sport, student government, or some small club. It's really easy to join a club since twice a year F&M holds a club fair where all clubs have a table with information."
"Clubs are fun. There are lots of sports clubs that a low-key for those of us that are less athletic."
"There's lots of extracurricular participation. There are multiple club fairs every year, plus emails from clubs."
"The most visible clubs on campus are Greek life. You can start your own club fairly easily as long as there is a fair amount of interest from other students."
"The most popular clubs are the acapella groups, Quidditch team, and the frats/sororities. I'm part of Blue and White Society and it was a perfect fit for me. I love that it is a club for the campus as well as a club that interacts with alumni."
"There are a ton of clubs. There is a club fair where most people learn about clubs, but each club tries to get its name out on campus to get people involved in it."
"Team spirit is limited, but gaining at F&M, especially with the men's basketball team. There are tons of intramural and club sports."
"F&M has pretty good sports teams, but I don't really follow much of it. I have a ton of team spirit for my high school, but F&M is not really a sports school. The most popular sporting event is the Homecoming Football game."
"Basketball often gets huge crowds, and the lesser sports (I'm looking at you, squash) tend to have fun events to encourage attendance. OH, and wrestling is always a blast."
"There are some intramural sports, but they don't seem that popular since there is a good portion of students who are playing on the sports team already."
"The athletes can be a little separated from the regular student culture, but only due to their schedules. When their schedules are lighter, athletes are just as likely to hang out with their other friends as well as team mates."
"Girls can dress pretty nicely at F&M. I'd say most people wear J.Crew brand clothes or other preppy brands. In the Spring, expect a lot of dresses and nice sandals. While many girls do dress up, don't feel like you need too. I see people in sweatpants and hoodies to people dressed up in fancier clothes."
"There are women's organizations and a major in women and gender studies and a women's center. I think the ratio is about equal, from what I can tell. Girls all dress differently."
"I think there is a good sense of woman's confidence on campus and there are a lot of women's clubs as well as the sororities which are more geared toward community service and promoting good causes. Also, in a lot of classes, there is women's studies sections."
"I don't really notice the gender ratio, but I think it's pretty even. I've never had a problem with cattiness on campus either."
"The girls here really care about each other and want to make sure their voices are heard. Two years ago, we had a few girls take on Total Frat Move and make major news headlines."
Food & Drink
"F&M has one dining hall. The food there is pretty good. There is KIVO (Kosher, International, Vegan, & Organic) which offers very healthy and yummy options. There is also a grill station that in the mornings, you can order pancakes and eggs, though at night is a stir fry bar. There also is a main dish every night to choose from that varies. On the other side is burgers, pizza, pasta, and sandwiches. You can't really go wrong when you go to the dining hall. There are two other eating options as well: Pandini's (Dini's for short, though it does have a new name! Eek!) and Zime (or as it use to be known: Jazzman's or Zebi's). Dini's has burritos, pizza, and paninis. Here you can get a certain meal with a drink for a meal swipe or use flex dollars. My personal favorite is Zebi's where you can get coffee all day, but also at lunch and dinner you can get a half a sandwich with soup. The soup is always delicious and you can get a coffee as a drink. I love it and eat there so much that the staff know my order."
"KIVO (Kosher, International, Vegan, & Organic) often has good food. There are also late-hour food options available on campus."
"There is 1 main dining hall and 3 "cafes". The food isn't bad, but nothing to write home about. Not as much variety in the dining hall as would be desired. Some people continue to eat there all four years. Every college house has a kitchen and some upperclassmen apartments do, too."
"There is 1 main dining hall on campus with 2 other places that offer food options. The food is good for college food. The other options include pizza, mexican food, and a cafe. Most people don't go to the dining hall their senior year and try to avoid it when possible junior year. There are quite a few options within a short walk of campus for food like pizza, Wendy's, and Sandwiches/Subs."
"If you get sick of food on campus, Lancaster has a TON of restaurants. Iron Hill is a popular favorite that is right across the street and practically on campus. For a lighter meal, many people go to the Campus Grill where you can get free fries with your ID or Pita Pit on the second Tuesday of the month for 3 dollar pitas. In the downtown area, Rachel's Creperie is a must as well as getting coffee at Prince Street Cafe and ice cream at Carmen and Davids!"
"The weekends mostly consist of going to frat parties, though I never have gone. Depending on where you live, there can be a lot of pressure to go out. I happened to live on a floor with a lot of people who enjoyed frat parties so there was a lot more pressure. It was hard to adjust to, but I knew myself enough to know that that wasn't my scene. I found some friends who also didn't go out so we would hold movie nights or go to the mall since on Fridays and Saturdays F&M has a shuttle to some place. This shuttle also is known as the drunk bus after 12 o'clock on campus, so there is always a safe way to get home."
"We can sometimes be very party hardy...people like to party a lot."
"There are a lot of parties at frats. Lots of people seem to drink. There are not many alternatives to parties, but they are working to change that."
"There are a lot of parties by farternities and sports teams. Alcohol use is about as prevalent as on most campuses. Drug use is fairly prevalent as well. There is little to no pressure to drink. There are organizations specifically working towards alternatives to partying. Getting around at night is simple though."
"If you don't party, there are always things to do around town or on campus, so don't feel any pressure to go out if you don't really want to."
"Freshman dorms are great. They are a pretty good size, though many don't have loftable or moveable furniture. Room mates are randomly assigned, but they do a pretty good job at it. I got along great with my room mate first year, and if you do have a problem, there is always some one to talk to about it since every house has HAs as well as professors who serve as deans. Sophomore year is when you have the least amount of choice since all freshman are in freshman dorms and seniors have seniority."
"Freshman dorms are good; you get awesome common rooms where your fellow housemates hang out, and also get to meet a lot of lazy upperclassmen lounging in the common rooms."
"Roommates are not randomly assigned--roommates are assigned based on surveys and interviews. The dorms are safe. They are located all near each other, close to the dining hall. All freshmen are required to live on campus. Especially during orientation, there are lots of dorm bonding activities.
"Freshman dorms vary greatly from one dorm to the next. Most are pretty good. There are different options like substance-free halls, but otherwise, options are fairly limited. Roommates are assigned by a confidential interview prior to your freshman year. The dorms are almost exclusively right next to the dining hall. Everyone lives in the dorms their freshman and sophomore years with very few exceptions. Most upperclassmen get off-campus ASAP."
"One thing about F&M is that you are required to live in campus housing, which can be a pain at times, but it makes it safer since the houses are under watch by security."
"The dorms do bonding activities throughout the fall semester especially, but do continue on into the spring as well."
"I have very little experience with Lancaster, but those that I do have were all excellent."
"Lancaster at first may seem small and unexciting, but there is a ton to explore in Lancaster. Downtown Lancaster has a ton of hidden vintage stores as well as Gallery Row, which has a ton of artists' works. Also, Park City Mall is only about 5 minutes by car from F&M and it has some of the best shopping in the area as well as there are outlet stores all around Lancaster though you need a car to get to these. One of the best things in Lancaster is First Friday. The first Friday of every month all the galleries are open with live music and finger food as well as special events occur in Downtown Lancaster. Another thing you can't miss is seeing a show at the Fulton Theater. It's super small, but you can't beat the prices or the performances."
"Downtown Lancaster has a good variety of food options, and a baseball park (great for social events) is just a block away. There are also classes at F&M that integrate with the city of Lancaster, such as health clinics and tax preparations."
"There are restaurants and stores in walking distance. I like the small town feel of Lancaster. There are not enough Jews in Lancaster for me though."
"Lancaster is also only a train ride away from Philadelphia or even New York if you'd like to do a day or weekend trip. I sometimes take the train to Harrisburg and then the bus to Hershey so I can visit my family, which is nice to be in a location with an Amtrak station (and if you take the walking bridge behind College Row on campus it cuts the walk in half! 15 minutes walking and you are at the Amtrak station!)"
"My least favorite thing about Lancaster is the movie theater. It's in a sketchy neighborhood and there are always obnoxious teenagers at the theater. I love going to the movies and I can't stand to go to that theater as it is also expensive. I usually go to Hershey to see movies, but I know some students with cars drive about 20 minutes from campus to a bigger and nicer theater."
HC's Complete College Guide: Franklin and Marshall College
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