Visiting Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut
We checked out Trinity College and found it to be a small liberal arts college on a hill, detached from the barrio below. That’s good for safety, I suppose, but there is something about wanting to go to college in a city but then being a little separate from the city that makes me like Wesleyan University better. Wesleyan feels like it is more a part of the local community because it literally sprawls into the city that it is in.
Still, Trinity College has a lot going for it. I’m also trying to share general tips about the college admissions process. At the bottom are tips from Northeastern Unversity Admissions Dean about finding the right school for you! And that is exactly it! As much as the college admissions process feels like setting yourself up for rejection, it’s also about rejecting the colleges and universities that don’t feel right for you. It’s a two-way street.
As a mom, I have no say in my daughter’s college choices, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a school with only 23% POC personally when most liberal arts colleges are closer to 50% POC. This low number feels very deliberate, and the fact that Trinity chooses not to break out the POC ethnicities by percentage says that one or more is strangely low. Is it Asian American? Probably.
My Trinity College Takeaways:
- There are some core curriculum requirements but not an onerous amount. The freshman writing requirement, Freshman Seminar, can be done in a fun and lighthearted way. Our tour guide did her’s with a Harry Potter twist.
- POC is low at this school at cumulative 23% without a breakdown by ethnicity. This probably means that African American or Latinx is extremely low. The tour felt lily white until we had our tour with a very engaging female student from a small town in Texas.
- The president of Trinity College is an African American female neuroscientist who sounds very fun and engaged. She is the first female African American president at Trinity so that helped me think this school values diversity which wasn’t as apparent in the presentation.
- Valuable advice from the Admissions Officer included: do the optional essays. Make sure the statement on why you choose Trinity (or any school) is specific to that school. If you can substitute another school in your essay and it reads fine, you need to rewrite your essay.
- Your personal essay needs to convey an aspect of yourself.
- Extracurriculars include commute time to and from school, taking care of relatives/siblings, part-time jobs as well as volunteer work, school-related activities and sports. They want to see how you spend your time.
- This is a school on a hill in the middle of a barrio. While safety seems to be covered because the school feels enclosed, the immediate neighborhood is low income. This makes for a lot of community engagement and volunteer opportunities which the school values.
- Study abroad includes a Trinity owned campus in Rome which is staffed by Trinity professors and a convent of nuns who prepare food.
- This campus feels spacious given that there are 2600 undergraduates and 100 grad students.
- Greek life doesn’t start until sophomore year.
- Almost half the students come from parochial schools. There’s a religious vibe to the school that feels pretty Catholic though it’s not affiliated with any religion.
- It could have been our tour, but there are more than 2/3 of the kid were athletes looking to play their sport in college. Most were male; one was female who looked like she was being recruited for Track and Field. Other athletes in our group played: lacrosse (2), wrestling, baseball, and rowing. Our tour guide asked twice if the prospective students were planning on playing a sport at Trinity. The athletic fields are conveniently located next to the buildings. They do seem into their sports. I never thought of Trinity as an athletic school before though, LOL!
- SAT/ACT test optional
Elizabeth Cheron, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Northeastern University, has these top five tips for helping you choose the college that is right for you:
- Explore! This is the best way to learn if a college could be a good fit for you. I recommend visiting campus—attend an info session, event, or go on a campus tour. If you can’t get to campus in person, try a virtual tour.
- Make a list of your top priorities in a college. Take that list with you to each visit and check off those items that each college has. Once it comes time to submit your applications, you will have a helpful list to reflect back on and evaluate your fit at each school.
- Find the right fit for you—academically and perso
nally. You know yourself the best, and ultimately it is your college experience, so consider where you will thrive.
- Ask for advice—from your school counselor and your Northeastern admissions counselor, not to mention older siblings, family members, and peers.
- Finally—take that moment to reflect. This is a very exciting time as you imagine your life in college, although we understand that it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Don’t forget to take a moment to realize just what an incredible journey you’re about to embark on!
p.s. Here is a great restaurant right down the street from Trinity College if you are visiting.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.