Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Lafayette has once again earned high praise in The Fiske Guide to Colleges.

“With a growing focus on academics, Lafayette is making its mark,” says the 18th annual edition of the top-rated guide to the best colleges in America, a well-respected publication that USA Today calls the “most readable and informative” of all the college guides. The book is edited by Edward B. Fiske, former education editor of The New York Times.

“Lafayette College, long considered a haven for preppy partiers, is taking major steps toward academic excellence with curricular changes, increases to financial aid, and a multi-million dollar building boom,” begins the Lafayette section. “One of the few liberal arts colleges of its size to offer engineering, Lafayette has also won considerable respect for its technical and science programs. Indeed this small college offers comprehensive academics and a traditional college environment.”

“Lafayette is a small school where students work hard and play hard, and in recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on the former,” the write-up concludes. “With a growing focus on academics, Lafayette is making its mark.”

Here are other excerpts from the Fiske Guide 2002:

“Students claim that the small size is Lafayette’s best asset. ‘The faculty is well-qualified and they are more than willing to spend time one-on-one with their students,’ says a government/art double major. Another student adds, ‘The professors are the most valuable component at Lafayette and their number one commitment is to the students.’”

“Classes at Lafayette are small (nearly all with fewer than 25 students) and are fairly easy to get into. Students enjoy frequent interaction with professors, especially those who are accepted into the McKelvy Scholars program, which allows selected honors students to live in a special living-learning atmosphere.”

“In addition, joint research with faculty members is highly encouraged, and the undergraduates here are able to perform the kind of research that only graduate students are allowed to do at big universities.”

“Engineering students, too, are offered the opportunity to explore a foreign culture. An unusual arrangement with the Free University of Brussels makes it possible for engineering majors to study there while maintaining normal progress toward their degree.”

“Another course, dubbed Technology Clinic, allows an interdisciplinary group of students to tackle a real-world problem. One recent clinic developed and implemented a comprehensive marketing plan for a nearby community that was struggling economically to survive.”

“Virtually the entire student body lives on campus, and housing is guaranteed for all four years.” . . . “Dorms are ‘clean and well maintained.’ ‘The dorms are very comfortable with spacious rooms,’ one student says.”

“Students feel safe on campus, thanks to a comprehensive security program and good location. Safety measures include escorts, regular security patrols, and passes that are required for entry into the dorms.”

“And for students who are committed to community service, volunteer work is encouraged. Volunteers work with preschoolers, Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-a-Grandparent, soup kitchens, or they tutor prisoners in the county jail on equivalency exams, all under the auspices of Lafayette’s Community Outreach Center.”

“Thirty-one percent of the men and 45 percent of the women [belong to fraternities and sororities], and that number has been shrinking in recent years. . . . Greek houses are the prime site for social life, but there are other options. ‘If you’re not into the party scene, you have to be a bit inventive, but the Lafayette Activities Forum does a lot to provide an alternative to the Greek scene,’ says one senior.’”

“The student center sponsors activities on campus including movies, comedians, speakers, and other forms of entertainment. The arts program offers performers ranging from Wynton Marsalis and the American Indian Dance Company to the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Juilliard Quartet at the new Williams Center for the Arts.”

“Students who are willing to venture off the hill and visit the city’s downtown will find headline acts at the State Theatre, art exhibitions, a variety of small museums and archives, and a plethora of boutiques and coffeehouses. The Crayola Factory and the largest Crayola store in the world ‘draw’ big crowds. Atlantic City, New York City, and Philadelphia are close enough to make spicy weekend or day trips.”

Categorized in: Academic News