College reviews: Elizabethtown College

Members of The Patriot travel across the country in search of the perfect college for themselves and for readers closer to home


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Opening in 1995, Leffler Chapel and Performance Center served many events as well services such as weddings.

Campus: Elizabethtown does not boast a large, flashy, campus like most schools. Instead, the campus at Etown is quaint, quiet, and fairly small (203 acres). Located in Elizabethtown, PA,  it is a quick drive from Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, as well as Hershey, where the famous Hershey Park is located, too. The commute from home isn’t bad either, only an hour and a half drive from Bel Air.  According to our tour guide, it takes only five minutes to drive from one end of the campus to the other, and it didn’t take much more time to walk across it either. The gym was located across from three classroom buildings, and just down the hill were dorms.

Cost: For in-state students, tuition comes out to about $44,000, but for out-of-state students the total is just over $54,000, including room and board. However, 90 percent of students receive financial aid and 55 percent of students are employed on campus.

Athletics: The Blue Jays have 22 Division III athletic teams, with the most popular being men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse, according to the tour guide. They compete in the Landmark Conference.

I visited for basketball and was very encouraged after I left. I felt a personal connection with the coach, as we had a nice 45-minute conversation one on one. It made me feel more important, and more valued. Although, the men’s basketball team had a down year this past year, going 3-21, they have been competitive nationally and in the Landmark Conference, and came in second place in the 2002 Division III Men’s National Championship.

One cool tradition our tour guide explained was the “Marshmallow Bowl,” the rivalry game in men’s soccer between Etown and Messiah College. Fans of both teams load up on bags of marshmallows and proceed to pelt players, coaches, and even referees with marshmallows from the sidelines. People were even talking about the Marshmallow Bowl at Messiah the following week.

Food and other things to do:

The food in the cafeteria was quality, but it was nothing different than what you would find at most colleges. There is even a little store, basically like a Wawa, that had lots of little snacks and even a few meals.

There were plenty of things to do on campus at Etown. There are intramural and club sports and 80 other clubs. In the Student Union Center, there were posters advertising campus comedy groups and shows, dodgeball tournaments, wiffle ball tournaments, 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, and even bubble soccer tournaments. The tour guide also said that it was common that students would play ultimate frisbee, soccer, and football in their free time in the open fields on campus. There is always something to do on campus at Etown.

Academics: Founded in 1899, Elizabethtown has 1,800 students and has a 66 percent acceptance rate. Etown has 17 academic departments, 45 undergraduate majors, over 100 minors and concentrations, and 25 cooperative programs with other institutions.

Elizabethtown is nationally recognized for its academics. In the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges in the Northeast,” Etown received first in commitment to teaching, fourth overall among baccalaureate colleges, and the best value in the region. The tour guide, who was an education major, said she came to Etown because 100 percent of their education majors are placed in jobs right out of college. I sat through the business program’s presentations, and they had current students talk about all the things they had done within the programs. They received internships either in the summer or during a semester and had even studied abroad with an internship, and sometimes, even a job. The business department is quite impressive.

Summary: Etown is a quality, small, liberal arts college. It has a safe environment along with a beautiful, unique campus. I visited for basketball and was very encouraged after I left. I felt a personal connection with the coach, as we had a nice 45-minute conversation one on one. It made me feel more important, and more valued.

If you aren’t interested in attending a large university with 30,000 or 40,000 plus people, I highly suggest looking into Etown.

Daniel Robinson is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and