Being a high school junior and having no immediate family members that went to college, I began my college search upside down. I originally cringed at the idea of attending a small, private college. But then, I heard of Elmhurst College.
Located in the quiet Chicago suburb of Elmhurst, sits Elmhurst College. The 48-acre arboretum campus was founded in 1871 and is affiliated with the United Church of Christ. The college has a “long history of preparing students for lifetimes of professional achievement,” according to their website public.elmhurst.edu.
U.S News & World Report listed Elmhurst College as 12th among Midwest regional universities. The Princeton Review named it as a Best Midwestern College that’s “all about small classrooms and one-on-one interactions with professors.”
Elmhurst wins high marks for its academics. The college boasts more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine well-known graduate programs. The student to faculty ratio is 13 to 1 with the average class having 18 students and the total undergraduate enrollment is about 3,400.
With more than 100 campus activities, it’s easy for students to get involved. These activities range from greek life, academic and professional organizations, to honor and recognition societies. Elmhurst does have a reputation as a “backpack school” with many students either commuting from home or going home on weekends. Thus, social life in dorms can be a bit nonexistent.
The college has many traditions in its rich history. The college hash bell is a large handbell rung at ceremonies to remind everyone of the college’s long history. Another popular tradition usually takes place before major exams. Many students believe that running under the gates of knowledge–the entrance gates to the college—with their books on their head will help them do well on those exams.
While certainly no Big Ten, athletics at Elmhurst are abundant. A member of the NCAA Division III College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, the Elmhurst Bluejays compete in 18 varsity sports for men and women.
Overall, Elmhurst College is a great school that offers a plethora of resources for students seeking professional preparation. Students from the Midwest should definitely keep Elmhurst on their list.