After this bitter cold winter, I was really excited to head south to tour four North Carolina schools in the Greensboro-Raleigh-Durham triangle. My first stop was Guilford College: a small liberal arts college located in Greensboro, NC.
Our tour guide led us down the central walkway, which is flanked by green lawns and flowering trees that were just beginning to bud during my visit. This 350-acre campus resembles many New England liberal arts colleges, with its red brick buildings and central quad.
Guilford College is the largest Quaker institution in the Southeast. It is not a religious school, but has adapted the Quaker values of community, equality, integrity, peace, and simplicity. All members of the Guilford community are addressed by their first names, regardless of age or position. You will not find large lecture classes here. Guilford classes are small and discussion based, which is designed to foster collaborative learning. Guilford students have an active voice in the College’s governing body as well. There is a student representative on the Board of Trustees.
The most popular majors on campus are psychology, business, biology and English. All students are required to declare a minor along with a major. Students must complete core requirements at Guilford, which includes a freshman writing seminar. All students are encouraged to utilize the Learning Commons, where adult tutors help students hone their writing skills.
Guilford students are busy outside the classroom. Giving back through service is popular and integrated in the classroom, but many students continue to give back in their free time through the Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning. Student athletes compete in division III sports. There are a variety of music ensembles that are open to all students regardless of major. Writing for the student newspaper and working on the campus radio station are popular. There are no fraternities or sororities.
Overall, Guilford students are liberal, diverse and accepting of others. There are approximately 1,200 traditional undergraduate students (under 23 years old) and 800 nontraditional students (over 23 years old students who are beginning their college studies). Forty-two percent of students are non-white. Fort-five percent of students are from North Carolina. Our tour guide was from Philadelphia, and was double majoring in peace and conflict studies and psychology. She chose Guilford because of its New England like campus feel, welcoming community and warmer weather.
Students under the age of 23 are required to live on campus and have a meal plan. All housing is air-conditioned. Freshmen live in traditional dorms, sophomores choose suite style living, and upperclassmen live in on-campus apartments. Guilford is not a smoke-free campus, which is not unusual in tobacco growing states.
Academic Support Services
The Student Success Program is a learning support program geared to help students’ transition into college and increase retention. This program assigns each student a personal mentor who meets with the student weekly to help with study skills, time management and to discuss acclimation to college life.
Admissions and Financial Aid
Guilford admissions is test optional. Students who choose not to submit test scores are required to submit two papers (one graded and one non-graded) and interview. Students may interview on campus, off campus with regional reps, or through SKYPE. The reporting SAT/ACT scores are not required for merit aid consideration.
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