Emmitsburg, MD: During my college search, I have visited several institutions, one of which was Mount Saint Mary's University. The Mount, as its 2,000 students call it (1,600 of whom are undergrads), is located near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. True, this is really in the middle of nowhere, but the minute I stepped onto the 1,200-acre campus, I was overwhelmed by a certain and strong sense of community.
All the students I encountered at the Mount seemed to know everyone else (63% of undergrads come from Maryland, 34% from other Mid-Atlantic states). Everyone seemed really happy to be attending the school, which is no surprise since 90% of freshmen listed Mount Saint Mary's as their first or second choice for college.
The buildings are beautiful, the dorms are decent, and the gym/recreation center, home to 18 NCAA Division I varsity sports, is amazing with several full-length basketball courts, squash courts, a pool, and an arena for games. There are more than 40 majors, minors, concentrations and special programs to choose from. This year's cost to attend is $22,000.
Although it may be in the middle of no-where, the Mount is a community unto itself. The students seem to enjoy themselves even with the lack of a metropolitan area, keeping busy with the more than 50 clubs.
The Mount is a Catholic school, which according to its web site makes it "an enterprise wholly committed to evangelical ministry," but I think it is a great choice to add to your college search even if you're not interested in Catholic schools since it didn't seem that Catholic.
Reviewed in 2004
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.