College review by Beth Cassie
I visited Lafayette College in Easton, PA on an unseasonably warm April day, and students were taking full advantage of the weather. The campus is beautiful with traditional older buildings clustered together, winding paths and well-manicured green space. Some newer buildings dot the campus, complementing not competing with the traditional architecture. On the large open quad students were sitting in groups enjoying the sun. The students were preppy, attractive and athletic. We were told that the road surrounding the quad is being closed off this summer, permanently eliminating cars from this main part of campus, which will be a nice upgrade. The library on one end of the quad is strikingly attractive with a small café inside, lots of natural light and beautiful artwork. We saw many groups working in study rooms – the library was filled with activity that Monday afternoon.
My tour guide, a geology major from Florida, spoke passionately about the work he was doing. Through his close relationships with his professors in this very small department, he was about to leave on his second field study research project. Lafayette is one of the small, liberal arts colleges that offer engineering and our guide gave us an extensive tour of the Engineering Center. It was exciting to see the hands-on labs filled with students. In one lab they were working on a racecar, in another they were using some high-tech machinery. The students were actively engaged in the nuts and bolts of engineering.
Sports are big at Lafayette – especially the football rivalry between Lafayette and neighboring Lehigh. At this small DI powerhouse, athletes and spectators take their sports seriously! The football field is down the hill off to the side of the campus along with the other athletic facilities. Of the 300 students offered ED admission, 120 were recruited athletes.
Lafayette uses the Marquis Scholarship merit award (minimum $20K per year) to attract top students to the college. No separate application is required and the scholarship is offered to the top 20% of admitted students.
Lafayette recently hired a new director of admissions (from Tufts University) and they are looking to make some changes. They want to reduce their dependency on students from the tri-state area (right now 60-65% come from NY, NJ, PA) and they are looking at ways to possibly grow the enrollment to around 2800. The number of students they accept ED has grown each year for the past 5 years. It is very important to show fit and match in your essays and to demonstrate interest. They strongly encourage students to interview.
Lafayette is ideal for students who want the intimacy of a small, liberal arts college, and the experience and spirit of DI sports.
Quad Drive, Easton, PA 18042