Visiting Trinity College in Hartford

Took the opportunity recently to visit Trinity College in Hartford, Ct., a lovely liberal arts school on a campus reminiscent of the Gothic architecture of Oxford with a spacious quad. The Mather Chapel, home to organ recitals and classes, boasts of a spectacular “Rose” stained glass window. Located 2 hours from both Boston and New York City, the college is in a great location. The campus has 2,200 undergraduates, split equally between males and females. There is 18% Greek life, and a student body that is 22% multi-cultural and 6% international.

President Jimmy Jones’ house is right in the center of campus and not only do students sign up to walk his dogs (there is a waiting list, I’ve heard) but he accompanies them on their Pre-Orientation “Quest” Program where freshmen hike the Appalachian Trail.

Trinity College is unique in that they have seven of their own campuses for study abroad programs in Buenos Aires, Paris, Rome, Trinidad and Tobagos, Vienna, Barcelona and Capetown, South Africa. Their proximity to Hartford affords them the opportunity for almost 200 internships, many in the insurance industry. This also gives students the ability to do a tremendous amount of community service. Their yearly “Do It Day” attracts at least 700 students. On the fringe of campus is the new “Learning Corridor,” a row of magnet schools that the school has been building to partner with the local community.

Trinity athletics is part of NESCAC and they compete with Williams, Bowdoin, Bates, Colby, Amherst, Middlebury, Wesleyan, Connecticut College, Hamilton and Tufts, in Division III. They have been undefeated in squash for 12 years where they have repeatedly won the National Championships.

Their academics are strong in engineering, the sciences and public policy (the Cities program), and they are in a 12-college consortium with Dartmouth, Williams and Smith College for many of these programs.

Last year they received 5,000 applications for 570 spots with a 40% admit rate. Their Early Decision admit rate was 45% and they have two rounds of Early Decision. Interviews are recommended. They accept the SAT, the ACT or two SATIIs which is highly unusual. They also require three letters of recommendation, one from a Guidance Counselor and two more from teachers, one preferably from an English or History teacher because there is so much writing across the curriculum. The essay is very important. Remember “if you are bored writing it, they will be bored reading it.” Trinity is a Common Application school.

Getting around on or off campus is easy. Students can use the UPASS transportation system in Hartford free, an off-campus shuttle, an on-campus shuttle (complete with GPS) or the ever-popular “ZIP CARS.” 30% of students have cars on campus.

Students with documented learning disabilities work with the Dean of Students, Mary Thomas, and the Assistant Director of Counseling, Dr. Jaimie Burns, to arrange for appropriate accommodations.