Expert educational consultant Mark Montgomery encourages student searching for the perfect college to consider what kind of environment they want to study in: one with a strict security apparatus or one with a more laid-back atmosphere. He goes to Bowdoin College in rural Maine to illustrate the point.
So one thing that students, when they’re looking for a college, tend to forget is that there are different lifestyles to choose from when you’re looking at a campus. I was recently on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania and it was completely inaccessible to a stranger like me coming from the outside. Everything locked up, you had to swipe your card everywhere, often had to go through turnstiles and big gates just to get into building complexes. I’m here on the campus of Bowdoin right now, and I want to show you what the difference is like. We just walked in this building, there are not that many people around, but come here, follow me. Here’s a classroom, a tech classroom in a science building, and I can just walk right in. So follow me in here and you can see this is a lecture hall at Bowdoin. All the computer stuff is here ready for the taking. I can just walk into this kind of place.
So you really do need to think about what kind of environment you want to study in. Certainly, if you’re in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania, downtown Philadelphia, the security systems are going to be much different and much more strict than a place like Brunswick, Maine at Bowdoin College. But it does make a difference. If you can walk into a classroom, is that the kind of place you want to be or do you like the fact that you’re in the urban press where security is just going to be a natural part of your daily life? So that is something that students tend to neglect when they’re thinking about which college to attend.