Campus Atmosphere and Your Admission

Once again you get the chance to review my blog that uses great advice about college admissions as my excuse to brag about George Mason University!

Thanks to those of you who have forwarded questions. I’ll try to get to some of the most often repeated questions below. Let the fun begin:

I was trying to come up with a better subject line, but it’s hard to come up with a phrase that really talks about the question I got most often, “Will the school feel right to me?” When I press students to explain, it comes down to wondering how you’ll get along with other people. This, of course, is made more difficult if you’re genuinely an unlikable person. Since you have a possible interest in Mason, however, I assume you are absolutely amazing. With that in mind, ask yourself what kind of friendships/social connections will be right for you. For instance, many of you will learn best (and have a better social life) at a school where most of the students have backgrounds similar to yours. That doesn’t mean that everyone will be exactly alike, but the phrase, “Birds of a feather…” comes to mind. Fortunately, most schools can fill this need, as most are fairly homogenous. Students are generally from the same geographic regions, similar incomes, etc.

On the other hand, you may want an atmosphere where you really stick out. There are way more of these, so it may take a bit more digging (not to mention some campus visits), but you’ll get to it.

Finally, some of you want a mix of these two possibilities. You seek a place where there are a lot of people like you, but far more who are different – and not any particular kind of different. In that case, you may want to look for schools with a more global outlook. This can be hard to tell from the guidebooks. The Princeton Review, for instance, ranked Mason as the most diverse school in the U.S. two years in a row, and then moved us to number two. U.S. News, however, looks only at one small aspect of diversity (for instance, no international students count), and so doesn’t even list us in the top ten. Here’s the skinny: Mason has students from every state in the U.S., and from over 140 countries. We have 85 native languages spoken on campus, and students of every size, shape, shade, income, religious faith, and political ideology you can imagine.

Bottom line – the more honest you are with yourself about which kind of atmosphere works for you, the more likely you are to find good matches.

Hope you get in everywhere, get great scholarships, etc., etc. – and come to Mason – you got that by now, right? Be seeing you…

P.S. check out – the coolest University admissions web site on the planet