Philadelphia area colleges, choose two from these three

My daughter’s first choice is PSU Main campus where her brother goes. Assuming she does not get in there, she would like a college which is well run, and provides great opportunities and connections for internships. She doesn’t want to feel that she’s going to a junky run of the mill state funded school, but a place where people believe in and invest in the school and there is school spirit. She would like EITHER opportunities for study groups, and special living options for her major OR a small school feel…She doesn’t care much about sports per se, but is very excited about attending with friends and meeting fun people. She is not the typical athlete/cheerleader and is on the quieter side, and a future Graphic Design/Art major, and would like to meet people who are kind and open and not “all the same.”

We have on our list

West Chester
St Joe’s (if she gets scholarships only as is very expensive!) also not sure it’s a fit for her socially.

We’ve ruled out lots of others based on problems with the commute. We live in CA currently and have family willing to pick her up in CEnter City so we ruled out areas where she would have too long of a commute to center city, too many transfers, or have to go through, for example, Tioga to get to Center City. We want her in a safe neighborhood where she can walk around and go shopping off of campus, etc.

I feel like Cabrini and Rosemont are kind of the same but not the same so any insight into which she should apply to would be great. When we visit, we will not be able to hit all three, so would like to narrow it down to two.

What do you mean by “junky run of the mill state funded school”?

I wouldn’t advise a commute for a kid from CA. I absolutely wouldnt cross the country for Cabrini or Rosemont. West Chester is similar to a cal state, except less crowded and less well funded. All three would be safeties for a kid aiming for Penn State.
What’s your budget?what difference with your EFC? What are your daughter’s stats?

A young lady we know went to Cabrini several years ago and was very lonely because the dorms cleared out on weekends. I think Rosemont would be similar, maybe worse. I think it’s a good idea to visit those schools before deciding to attend.

What about Moore College of Art?

West Chester has a solid reputation.

West Chester University is a great PA directional. It is growing and must be doing lots right since so many other similar schools are struggling. It has nice dorms and committed faculty. Every student who I know who attends really loves it there. I work with a many graduates. Not a big sports school like PSU but a good football team and involved marching band. West Chester is in a beautiful little town and a quick drive to Wilmington DE (about 30 minutes) and Philadelphia (45 minutes). She could be in NYC or DC in 3 hours by car (trains from Wilmington make it even quicker). The town has some fun street festivals, little shops, and a ton of restaurants. King of Prussia is a shopping mecca, one of the largest on the East coast, and is about 25 minutes away. There are Walmarts and malls/strip shops closer.

Cabrini and Rosemont are much more like local commuter schools than a university IMO. I would also look at Ursinas in Collegeville PA and University of Scranton, a CTCL. If she can get to PSU, without much issue then there are so many awesome schools in PA. Susquehanna is a gem - sports, spirit, not sure of the graphic design/art. Lycoming College in Williamsport has a great art program on a beautiful campus . Both have been generous with scholarships for merit. If she is looking for larger like PSU, then University of Delaware is a good proxy. Easier to get to from Philadelphia than PSU and has a similar feel but in a better location (again, IMO).

Yes that’s quite an eclectic mix, especially if PSU is her first choice. Cabrini and Rosemont can be suitcase schools for sure. Mostly local students.

If she can get to West Chester I would certainly look at Ursinus and Arcadia over Rosemont.

Eastern is another school near Rosemont but I’m not sure if it has graphic design.

Temple or Drexel?

In terms of ~~Philadelphia area colleges (using those 3 as a range) Ursinus would be MUCH better academically then either Cabrini/Rosemont. Psu branches, wcu, Arcadia, Albright ?

I live in this area and I too can’t imagine crossing the country for Cabrini or Rosemont… Take a look at West Chester. Drexel is a good suggestion, but you mentioned St Joes being too pricey - Drexel is too.
You said she’s interested in Graphic Design and Art? Temple and Muhlenberg would be worth researching.

University of the Arts or Jefferson University - East Falls (formerly Philadelphia University)? Both of those, though, are private/expensive. Best options in Philadelphia area for graphic design and not too pricey:. West Chester and Temple (West Chester much less expensive than Temple).

St. Joe’s gives good merit. If you can afford PSU out of state, I would think St. Joe’s would most likely come in below PSU.

THanks! Her SAT scores are above the top percentile. AKA it says the average SAT score upper limit is 1230 and her’s are a good bit above that.

This has been EXTREMELY helpful. There was absolutely no way for me to know that Rosemont and Cabrini are suitcase schools, and when we do visit it’s going to be in the summer so pretty impossible to see for ourselves what they do on weekends. I will take them off of our list.

I will keep West Chester.

Looking at Ursinus and Arcadia now since both have several mentions. :smile:

CalStates do not offer Graphic design except for CalPoly which is beyond her reach. The ones that offer sort of related degrees…well let’s just say I’d rather send her to be near my family in the east than attend them. Plus by the time you get on a plane to LA you may as well fly to grandma in Philly.

The thing that makes PennState easier to get to is that it has its own airport. She will nto have to go to PHilly first, to get home. She will take buses to Philly (Megabus etc.) for some short holidays to be with my family there but they are direct private bus routes, not lots of transfers.

So that’s why I am truly specifically looking for something in the Philly area, on the Main LIne, or easily accessible with only maybe one transfer between the college and Center City.

Checking out all of your suggestions now, thanks.

Ok so Ursinus offers no Graphic design or anything related to it. (With GD you have to check in several departments, and areas and read the Art classes list carefully to see if they can specialize in that even if it’s not an actual major.) :slight_smile:

Next up Arcadia

Several Cal States with Graphic Design majors beyond Cal Poly SLO including San Diego, Long Beach and San Jose State.

See link:

Temple out, due to neighborhood. (been there many times, amazing school but not doing that.)

Drexel too expensive. They have that co-op thing…but eh I don’t know. Wouldn’t want to get her hopes up, and the portfolio requirements for art majors mean that every U you apply to, is a lot of work…still I guess I’ll look into if they have merit? I doubt she’d get a merit scholarship for their GD program…

Ursinus out - no GD Or even related :frowning: Looks like a nice school

Arcadia - has a GD inside their Studio Arts degree --looks great! Never realized it was better than Cabrini…looks like her Train would go right through Tioga…not into that idea. I could talk to my mom about driving up from down the shore to pick her up for each holiday. My mom can stop over near Philly and stay the night, then pick her up. That would be about three times per year. that seems do-able. I’ll ask her. My mom is in her 60s and very healthy but I don’t want to take advantage. She’s super grandma. :slight_smile:

PSU Parents talked me out of PSU Abington. It seemed pretty great but then I realized it’s super commuter school. THe only other PSU that has her degree (sort of not really) is PSU Altoona and to me if she’s not going to be at Main, I’d rather her be near the opportunities and excitement of Philadelphia than stuck in…Altoona. :slight_smile: I’m still mourning the loss of Abington because it seemed so great until I realized it’s almost totally commuter.

Muhlenberg too far. :frowning: I even looked at whether there are private services to drive back and forth from there, or Kutztown etc. but no luck. I mean they are pretty far out…grew up half my childhood in that area so I know it’s quite the drive. Won’t ask my mom to haul it up there :slight_smile:

So I think after today her list will be
PSU Main
St Joes

and maybe Drexel…will look at their financials and portfolio req’s again.


and West CHester!! Not taking that one off.

Maybe LaSalle?

Maybe I’m missing something but it seems like you just need an airport with Megabus access to Philly. Seems like NJ or DC would be easier and closer than PSU main.

PSU Main is awesome, and worth it :smile: ) and her brother is there :slight_smile: And since they have their own airport I don’t have to worry about access to Philly although she can get there if she wants, from Main via Megabus or Starr. PSU Main is,…you know …well as a PSU mom I’m biased but it’s pretty awesome :slight_smile:

Also, I mapped out a ton of colleges to see if they have Megabus access to Philly Airport and believe it or not found absolutely nothing. Remember, Graphic Design is not offered at every university. It’s super niche. So that rules out a TON of Us. We even looked at TCNJ, and there is no megabus from there to Philly or South Jersey.

Still open to specific college suggestions, and I will look them up!

aka just so you know Megabus only goes city to city in major metro areas and a few other random areas (aka State College)…there’s no megabus or anything like it from any of the southeastern PA rural schools (aka Muhlenberg, Kutztown, Allentown, etc.) That I have found anyway.

PSU Main is our geographical outlier and exception. Otherwise, looking for PHilly area or SOuth Jersey but there’s not much there :slight_smile: