Endicott vs Merrimack vs Nichols vs Springfield

Does anyone have any insight on any of these schools in MA? If you child attends one of these schools or was considering any or all of these schools, what made them choose one over the other?

Was your child admitted to one of these colleges?
What are his/her stats?
What’s your budget?

Each of these colleges can work for the right student. IMO, these are schools that are for average HS students looking for a supportive environment. A key consideration in this category, these days, vs. a MA state school would be whether the increase in cost (probably $10k on average), after aid, is worthwhile. Merrimack, in particular, has exceeded expectations in this department. They really give their kids the support they need to thrive. This is reflective in their increase in applications and stronger financial viability. Of course, you should look into a colleges financial situation when in this category. Some may be struggling a bit more than meets the eye. I like Merrimack best, but think Nichols business program is maybe strongest, and of course the sports orientation at Springfield is also worth a look. Endicott has less of a distinct image in my mind, but that may be just me. It is truly a similar level college academically.

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My son has been accepted to all and with scholarships / aid the money comes out to about the same. He is looking into Business or Sports Mgt.

I like Endicott and Merrimack out of those options (local and familiar with them all). Endicott has a beautiful campus and strong internship program, school spirit. We liked a lot of what we saw/heard from Merrimack. Pretty campus, admin/professors that seem to really care about their students. I know students/grads from both and they are/were very happy. Springfield is strong in some majors. Not a fan of Nichols.

I just saw this thread. Not sure how I missed it the first time. I can’t wait to hear which school your son chooses. Any would be lucky to have him. I’m familiar with all except Nichols (only some reputation information on that one). Endicott is the winner for me overall. They do such an amazing job with internships and the quality of their grads and the campus is fantastic. Also close-ish to Boston if that’s of interest. Being on the train line is helpful for those internships. Merrimack is solid but I know just enough kids there who’ve had housing challenges to make me think twice. Springfield is another beautiful campus and if he’s really thinking about sports management, their program is really strong.
Wherever he chooses will be the right place for him to start and then see what happens from there!

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For me personally, I would choose Endicott then Springfield for my kids. True they are all in that similar academic range but from my point of view I just get the sense that Endicott is trying to get to that “next level”.

Good luck!

If leaning more towards sports management, I strongly recommend Springfield. My cousin went there and loved it. He majored in Movement and Sports Studies and knew a ton of people in other departments. He found the environment supportive and collaborative.

My son goes to Endicott and loves it. He has a great community there. Got a decent merit package.

How is it on the weekends? Is it a suitcase school? I assume most kids are local-ish.

It doesn’t appear to be mostly locals. My son lives with a boy from Illinois. His friends are from Colorado and New Hampshire. So no one goes home. We live four hours away and he has only ever come home when the dorms closed.

I can’t speak to the other colleges, but I will speak to Springfield College. For sport management, you can’t beat SC. SC alumni are very well represented in every professional sport, from the business end, to exercise science, athletic training, sport psychology. Other popular majors are psych, social work, health science, sport bio, PT/OT/PA. Our daughter transferred into the sport management major in her 2nd year there, from a biology major. She did not have any problem graduating on time. She developed a resume in the program, through college coursework and for credit internships that helped her beat out over 100 applicants for a PGA tour tournament internship her senior year. The school is known to attract sporty kids, but there are many who are not sporty, who find happiness in other ways. One way is through the strong mission “spirit, mind, body, in leadership of service to others”. Go to campus, take a tour, ask any student you see the mission, and what that means to them…I guarantee, they will have a story to tell, on how they lived it in some way during their time there. The president is very in touch with students and responsive to them. Career services is great, and is well utilized by students, they host events all the time & are very approachable. One concern people tend to have with SC is that one side of the campus is more of an inner city vibe. I asked daughter who said it was a non-issue while she was there. Campus safety is always visible, and the campus and community live in harmony. The students are given enough freedom to socialize on campus, so they don’t leave on weekend nights, student activities plans a lot of fun things for students. There are shuttles to get to Target, where there is also a movie theater. SC is not a suitcase school, students very friendly and down to earth


I saw your post, while researching Merrimack for my son. I believe a college has to be a good fit for the student and what they are interested in studying. Colleges have strong programs in some areas and fewer kids in some majors. A reach for one student is a safety for another. Our son would like to study comp sci, so our pool includes Merrimack, but not SC, its all about fit.

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Thank you for your insight on Springfield College. It is so hard to know this type of info from virtual tours and zoom meets. I really appreciate it.

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Springfield is doing in person visits now!!

My daughter is in her senior year at Endicott. I cannot comment on the other colleges.
Years ago we went to Accepted Students Day, parents and families were guided in one direction, accepted students went another…and my unsure daughter found her smile and enthusiasm! She left the beautiful campus that day confident, having easily made new friends. Four fast yrs later, I see how many ways Endicott has prepared her with exceptional tools for a good future. She found her internships in the metro Washington D.C. area, remotely in NYC, and closer to her home in upstate NY. In every internship, the employers have been able to give her serious assignments, being very appreciative of how much she has learned as an emerging professional. The professors, instructors, and staff at Endicott really prepared her well. Studies include wide range of subjects and a significant depth of information in her chosen field.The four year graduation rate is praise worthy! Merit financial aid has been very generous, making this experience far more affordable. She took a job on campus, first as a note taker, then as a Resident Assistant. I still can hardly believe my daughter was able to enjoy gaining an incredible education, in a caring community, on a gorgeous campus, with a beach. It is a small school and prior to the pandemic, offered many opportunities and group events, such as Habitat for Humanity builds or outings to area interest sites. In the pandemic, the school stills seems to be able to build a sense of community. As Momof1boy noted, “its all about fit.”


Congrats to your daughter! Sounds like she really took advantage of every opportunity and has flourished. We are going to do one last drive-through (or in person if we can) of each school and then make a decision. Hearing what a positive experience you have had at Endicott is very helpful as we continue to weigh his options.

Taking another look at each college is a great idea! My daughter has indeed flourished ( that’s a good word to describe the changes. Thanks!) Her quiet, non-joiner self, emerged a more confident, creative, willing to join in and include others, a self-starter who can cold-call companies in seeking an internship. She even cold-called (via internet) companies that didn’t have an internship program but they were willing to participate and fulfill Endicott’s requirements, so she could work as an intern in their companies.
Some of her changes may have been natural maturation but Endicott certainly guided her and emphasized all the right actions and considerations to help her grow. She will miss Endicott and I think she will especially miss her walks on the beaches.
Deciding on the right fit is tough, and is much harder during a pandemic.Wishing you and your student the best of luck!