It's all about the "Perfect Fit!"

Pine Manor College has long been known for its diversity and with the newest Washington Monthly ratings out, we plan to make a name for ourselves as an institution known for empowering students to change their lives.  For those who may be unfamiliar, Washington Monthly seeks to do something quite revolutionary through its college rankings.  Instead of focusing on things like class size, endowment, reputation, etc., Washington Monthly college rankings “aim to provide: a measure of not just what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country.”  These rankings seek to answer questions like “Are our colleges making good use of our tax dollars? Are they producing graduates who can keep our nation competitive in a changing world?”  Well, the rankings are in…

Pine Manor College ranks #5 overall this year with a #1 ranking in the category of actual vs. predicted graduation rates (this is one of the measures of social mobility used in the Washington Monthly ranking system). 

You can’t imagine my delight in learning this news.  Having just completed three years with a non-profit organization dedicated to college access and working with underrepresented populations, I wanted my next venture to be just as meaningful… and I couldn’t have found a better place. I was drawn to PMC by its’ holistic approach to admission and its commitment to giving all women a chance at attending a private, 4-year college.  As a mission-driven and learning centered institution, Pine Manor places its students at the focus of every decision - how to improve the educational and social experience of the students, how to ensure that the campus and its resources meet the needs of students, and so on.  These were all things that spoke to me as a job seeker and ultimately attracted me to the admission counselor position. 

Fast forward to November… We’re now pretty deep into the recruitment season and as I meet students and talk with them about their college admission process, I realize that my experience over the summer of looking for a new job and narrowing down the possibilities is a lot like the experience of every high school senior in search of the perfect college.  I’m also reminded of my own college admission process.  As a high school student, I can remember working my way through the college admission process with very little guidance.  As I went to college fairs and on college visits, I only thought to ask about the things my guidance counselors and teachers had prepped me on – things like, “what’s your student to faculty ratio?, How many professors have Ph.Ds?,  What are your top three majors or for what is this school best known?, What’s the job placement rate upon graduation?, etc.”  These are all great and relevant questions, but the answers were never going to help paint a picture of my experience at that college or university.  I’ve realized that finding the perfect college has to be an individual experience.  It should take into account your likes and dislikes (and not just in terms of academics), it should provide you with an atmosphere that is inviting and engaging, it should offer you opportunities to get involved in whatever way, shape or form is most comfortable for you, and provide you with the confidence that you’ll be able to compete with your peers in whatever arena you choose upon graduation.  As I embark on recruiting students for Pine Manor, I feel obligated to share that with the students I meet because once you get out into the “real world” it’s not going to matter what college or university you went to if you haven’t learned to be comfortable with who you are, what you’ve learned and how to use that knowledge to affect the world around you. 

So, I encourage all of you, as you meet college reps and consider where you want to spend your college years, to think about who you are and what you hope to learn and accomplish through your college experience.  This more than anything will inspire you to find the “perfect fit.”