College review by Beth Cassie
Allegheny College is located in Meadville, PA and is a real gem that feels more ‘Midwest than Pennsylvania’. With 2,100 students total, this is a one of the schools highlighted in Loren Pope’s Colleges That Change Lives book. Their motto is “unusual combinations, extraordinary outcomes.” The campus is lovely with updated and well cared for facilities. Allegheny is no newcomer – it is the 32nd oldest college in the country.
The rigor of the curriculum is one of the hallmarks of the education here. Students know it and want it. This is not a place to go if you’re not serious about college. Allegheny is a true immersion experience. Students do not attend Allegheny for access to the city or the amenities of the town.
They come and commit to being immersed in a liberal arts community. The College has a strong honor code and has high expectations of its students both academically and in terms of their role in the community.
While almost half of the students come from PA, the remaining 51% of students come from 37 states and 25 different countries. Allegheny actively recruits students and wants to build a more national presence.
Admission statistics: 1100-1300 SAT (CR+M), 24-30 ACT. 28% are Pell grant eligible and 25% are students of color. It is considered one of the small and mighty colleges for Jewish students.
Students are required to graduate with a major from one of the three academic divisions (natural sciences, social sciences, humanities) and a minor from outside the division of their major. There is no set core curriculum; students are encouraged to take what excites them.
Students follow a four-year seminar sequence culminating in a comprehensive Senior Project in their major. Seminars are reading, writing, and speaking intensive, with the goal of developing critical thinking, analytical and communication skills. At Allegheny, the faculty are hands-on, class sizes are small, and opportunities to find mentors are abundant. Graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce or graduate school..
There is a real commitment to the environment at Allegheny, with some excellent green programs (wind power, composting, aquaponics system where students breed fish and grow lettuce that are then sold to the campus dining services).
Service to others is important, contributing to the community is encouraged and facilitated through programs such as Alternative Spring Break trips and Make a Difference Day (a day dedicated to encourage participation in one-time service projects).
I had an amazing tour guide – friendly, campus leader, very interested in politics and the environment. Every place we went, classmates and faculty greeted him. Allegheny promotes community engagement and delivers rigorous academics, and outside of the ordinary experiences. For a student who is looking for this type of college experience, Allegheny could be the perfect choice.
520 N. Main Street
Meadville, PA 16335