Educational consultant and college admissions expert Mark Montgomery reviews Elon University in North Carolina. Elon is an up and coming school known for its great arts program, and unlike nearby Duke, Elon puts an emphasis on a student’s demonstrated interest in attending, so much so that it is not on the Common App.
Well, I’m at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina, which is not too far from Greensboro, not too far from Durham and Raleigh, about 45 minutes or so. Great campus. This is a really pretty place. The guidebooks said that it has one of the most architecturally harmonious campuses in the country, and absolutely true. You can kind of hear some construction crews going on, a lot of new construction, but all of it’s in the same old style, red brick, white trim, gorgeous, even the new buildings.
Elon is really an up and coming university, it’s attracting kids from all of the country, and more and more internationally, for very strong programs in its four schools: communications, education, business, and also the arts and sciences. Very strong in the arts: music, theater, musical theater, dance, very competitive in those programs.
One of the things that I thought was interesting as I was talking to the associate director of admissions, and the tour guide, that Elon is not on the Common Application. One of the few selective schools that is not on the Common App, and I asked why. And the response was a couple things, number one is they don’t really want all those extra applications from people who are just applying because they can press the button on the application. They really feel that fit is important, and the students who are showing that they are interested, at least by filling out the separate application for Elon University, that is a step in demonstrating that you are interested. And we’ve talked a lot about, in other blog posts, about demonstrated interest and how important it can be. By contrast, Duke makes very clear on their web site, demonstrated interest, we don’t care. If you come and visit, great, but we really don’t care if you visit. It’s not really about that. Elon, however, it is, because they really want to find people who are interested in this particular school, who understand and want the kind of education that Elon provides, and the kind of community Elon provides.
So it’s a medium-sized school, 5,000 students or so, Division I sports, so relatively spirited athletic community, but also in this kind of small, bucolic community away from a major urban center, accessible to two, but a really nice campus where a lot of the doors for all the academic buildings are open even though it’s summer and nobody’s around, you can walk right in. So it’s really understandable, having come visited, why Elon is an up and coming university.