At first glance Juniata College is like many other small liberal arts colleges: idyllic quad, modern facilities, and a student body of approximately 1,400 undergraduate students. What separates Juniata from other small liberal arts colleges, however, is its pledge to offer a personalized education to each of its students. The overwhelming refrain, echoed by the 35 counselors who accompanied me on the Pennsylvania Liberal Arts College Tour for College Counseling Professionals, was that Juniata fulfills this promise. It’s no wonder that Juniata College is highlighted in Loren Pope’s book, Colleges That Change Lives.
Juniata is unique in that all students are encouraged to collaborate with faculty to write their own Program of Emphasis (POE). Approximately one-third of all students choose their own path by designing a POE. Students may also choose to study more traditional concentrations. The sciences and digital media are popular areas of study.
Our tour guide was a biochemistry major from NJ who hopes to attend medical school. Ninety-six percent of Juniata students who apply to medical school are accepted. He echoed many students we met when he told us that Juniata is a place where faculty takes a sincere interest in their students and helps them achieve their potentials and goals. The students we met were focused, motivated and friendly.
Juniata encourages “high impact practices.” Eighty-percent of all students hold at least one internship (most hold two or three) during their tenure at Juniata. Students work collaboratively with faculty on research beginning as early as freshman year.
Students at Juniata are very involved outside the classroom. Many students dedicate their time to serving others through clubs such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Circle K. Fifty-percent of students participate in Division III, club, and intramural sports. There is no Greek life. Downtown Huntingdon is an easy walk from campus. Shops and eateries line the streets and the train station is just a couple of miles from campus.
Campus traditions are popular here. Mountain Day is a “surprise” all campus picnic announced each spring. The “Twelve Days of Christmas” is a fun Madrigal evening where a traditional holiday dinner is served by faculty. Campus organizations are assigned different verses of the iconic song. “Five Golden Rings” is the most coveted verse. Who new “Lobster Fest“ would be a tradition on this land locked campus? On this day, student organizations set up booths on the quad and lobster and steak are served.
There is an on-time graduation guarantee at Juniata; ninety-six-percent of students graduate in four years. Students who need to complete graduation requirements after the traditional eight semesters may return to Juniata to complete their degree tuition free.
Admissions and Financial Aid
Admissions takes a holistic approach when reviewing applications. Submitting test scores is optional for admissions. Students who do not submit test scores are still eligible for merit based aid. Interviews are strongly encouraged on or off campus.
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