How good is Trinity College, Hartford?Answered
I am an international student and I was hoping to apply to Trinity College this fall for a CS major. But I just discovered that this college is not anywhere in the QS World University Ranking or Times Higher Education Ranking. Is the rank of the college imp? And how prestigious Trinity College considered in USA?
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I picked Trinity College as one of my safeties after I visited the campus. It's a well-endowed small 100-acre campus in a gated secure park-like area within Hartford CT. Upon arriving at the visitor center, I found the students super friendly and the architecture very appealing some of it dating back to the mid-1800s. What is unique about Trinity is that it's like a huge prestigious HS or boarding school feel where you can walk to every class, hall, dorm, and athletic field within 10 minutes. The dorms are iconic as well as the main chapel. It's a D3 school so sports are a big part of the culture but again, they are not winning national titles so it's more like the great team spirit at High School Musical. There are only about 550 students per class year so 2200 makes it 3 times smaller than an Ivy League college like Yale or Harvard. But the class sizes are small at a 9:1 student to teacher ratio and 2/3rd of classes have less than 20 people in them.
What I liked about it is the great financial aid, the great flexibility in curating your own curriculum (you can double major in almost everything and mix and match like Neuroscience and Art History), and historically they have been test-optional for over 10 years like UChicago and Bowdoin so test scores have never been as important as weighing in your overall strengths and weaknesses. They have a huge reputable study abroad program with 35 countries. And they have their own building in Rome, Italy where they (pre-COVID) had 60 students studying. I liked the fact that it was close to other colleges in the NorthEast and that they had regular events to visit NYC and Boston.
One thing that most people are unaware of is that at Trinity College when you apply for financial aid you get a 4-year package at once. They look at your family's assets and ability to pay and forecast your entire 4-year package when they make an offer letter to you. That is unprecedented and very cool. This means you only have to fill out the FAFSA and CSS one time, and you get a 4-year financial aid commitment from them. For 200 years Trinity has been educating mostly male HS students. Then like Harvard and Yale, Vassar, Williams, and others, went coed in 1969. I think that's why it originally gave off the Boarding School vibe to me. Today Trinity is perfectly balanced 50/50.
Since I'm really into DEI which is diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, I personally appreciated that Trinity College has a full-time team in place. They also have a great admissions director who is BIPOC as well. Although they no longer are affiliated with Questbridge, they do offer great direct aid packages to marginalized applicants.
Although many of their alumni from the 60s to the 90s were mostly conservative types from boarding schools, it's clear to me that Trinity is going through a revolution and reimagining stage to create a better learning environment that has safe spaces for everyone.
Remember that there are over 4500 colleges in America and Trinity is ranked #44 top liberal arts college on key college ranking list which is US NEWS, the others don't matter as much. I personally wouldn't pick a college based on ranking, I would have to love the school to apply there, by visiting it first.
I'm not sure why the previous poster suggested that Trinity was neither prestigious nor reputable, that is not the case. If you plan to live in the US on the East Coast, everyone educated and from a sophisticated background knows Trinity College. Just as they would know Bates, Hamilton, Skidmore, Connecticut College, and Bennington. These are all great schools.
I think the main thing for US and Int'l students is to pick a school that they feel they belong to. For some like me, I would have been extremely happy to attend Trinity College. The teachers are excellent and the students are ambitious and gracious and come from fine families. Not everyone appreciates a true Liberal Arts Education and setting. If your only mission in life is to get a degree, then you really have no need to travel all the way to the East Coast to attend a 200-year-old LAC right? You can just get a CS degree online or go to a big state school to save money on cost.
One office I personally visited was the Student Center for Career Success Development which is located on the ground level of the visitor center. For a small school of 550 seniors, they had an entire floor dedicated to helping students find internships, summer jobs, and permanent ones. They facilitate on-campus recruiting with many Fortune 500 companies like Facebook, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, Infosys, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan. They have almost a 95% employment rate for their graduates. https://www.trincoll.edu/news/class-of-2019-alumni-where-are-they-now/
But for others, they want the quintessential 4-year college experience so that they can meet amazing friends that will last their lifetimes, take challenging classes that take them out of their comfort zone, and travel and study abroad. I forgot to mention that Trinity has its own Fine Arts Movie Theater on campus so you don't have to drive downtown to watch a feature film. So if you have a date, you can just walk him or her over to the McKim Mead and White designed 485 seat theatre from 1935 and grab a bucket of popcorn and enjoy a movie.
It's clear that some only consider very narrow aspects about colleges and their overall value proposition but I'm not one of those. Trinity has been around for 200 years and they will be around for another 200 years. They are not going to be part of the 25% of college that will fail over the next 10 years.
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