Why It Matters

How does a great national college seize the future? By finding and educating a remarkable student community of tomorrow’s thinkers and leaders.

Franklin & Marshall’s history of investing in the intellect and promise of students from across the United States and around the world positions the College well to respond to major changes in the demographics of tomorrow’s college students. Our research reveals that talented students want exactly what we have—rigorous small classes, intense interaction with faculty, and communities in which students are known and truly valued. Today’s top students want to forge distinctive paths. They want to combine multiple interests to make their mark on campus and beyond. Such students are ideally suited to F&M, where we cultivate the greatness in each learner, one by one.

In one classroom at any given time, a junior destined to win the national Truman Scholarship—the most prestigious award for students committed to careers in government— might sit across the table from a peer whose leadership has earned her a coveted national Mitchell Scholarship, exchanging ideas in a seminar about human rights and global refugee policies. This recent encounter in of one of F&M’s classrooms is a reflection of the learning that takes place every day.

To attract a deeper pool of extremely high-performing students, we have increased financial aid and expanded our outreach to excellent independent, public and parochial schools nationwide and are seeing exciting early results in our recent incoming classes. Our aided students reflect the academic excellence of our entire student body and excel in earning awards, fellowships and other honors. In the last two decades, we also have become a national leader in recruiting and educating top international students, which enhances the globalized education we offer all students. At home and abroad, we attract students who are curious and research-oriented. Our faculty members teach them to pose creative questions, connect ideas, write well, think with depth, relate theory and practice, and navigate diverse perspectives.

Moreover, a growing body of national research shows that, each year, thousands of students of modest economic backgrounds who have outstanding grades and test scores fail to apply to the highly selective colleges and universities for which they are qualified. To attract terrific students who might otherwise “undermatch” their college options, we are optimizing partnerships with some of the nation’s most successful schools, networks and college access programs—a strategic priority that is enhancing our admissions profile.

Becoming a national leader in identifying, educating and launching talent from all backgrounds reflects the College’s commitment to sustaining the most rich and catalyzing student and alumni communities possible, thereby jointly enhancing the future of the College and the world.

Student Stories
Story 3/20/2018

A Night of Debate Over Free Speech and American History

A March 22 debate in Mayser Gymnasium between Franklin & Marshall College Professor of Religious Studies Stephen Cooper and alumnus Jeffrey Lord ’72 will address how civil discourse over free speech...

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Story 12/5/2017

Citizen Participation in Government Budgeting Flourishes in...

The idea arose from a South American socialist government in the late 20th century – allow citizens to participate in the governmental budgeting process. Now spread worldwide, participatory budgeting...

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Story 10/19/2017

Autumn Research Fair: How 19th Century White Performers...

Digging deep into library archives and university collections, Franklin & Marshall College junior Jael Lewis spent part of her summer immersed in the world of entertainment in antebellum Philadelphia 

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Story 8/1/2017

Shanghai Rises as a 21st Century Global City

A Franklin & Marshall College professor and student are examining whether Shanghai’s resurrection from its war-torn, impoverished past to its thriving capitalist present under communist rule is...

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Story 6/22/2017

Student Investigates Why Grocery Stores Leave Neighborhoods

It was the first Giant grocery in the city of Lancaster, located in a low- to moderate-income neighborhood, but after 40 years, the supermarket chain closed the store, leading to protests and...

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Story 1/2/2017

The Plight of the Pollinators

Junior Dillon Alderfer's field research added another layer to the ongoing work of Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Aaron Howard: how pollinators' behavior is influenced by the plants they...

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