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Is Marlboro Right For You?

“Our college isn’t for everyone” is easy to say. And since we only have room for a few hundred students at Marlboro, it’s obviously true here. Where would we put everyone?

But when you take that sentence apart, it gets more complicated. (This is Marlboro; we take apart a lot of sentences. If you’re into exploring complex layers of meaning, we’re already off to a good start.) Sure, we’re not for everyone. But who is Marlboro right for? And which students are right for us?

Obviously that is something our admissions team spends a lot of time thinking about; we take the work of building each year’s class very seriously. But we’re not the only ones making a choice. If you’re a prospective student, maybe you’re asking yourself the question in big print at the top of this webpage. We’d like to help you answer it.

Marlboro is a very, very small college. We were built to be a small school, because we think the kind of education we practice here—community-driven and self-directed, where students get constant faculty support—can only happen at a small college.

Our student and faculty communities are full of people who think creatively, and who aren’t afraid to get deep into the details—whether it’s about the impact of the gut microbiome on infant immunology, the application of contact improv to decision-making in polarized environments, or the wording of the service animal policy in the community bylaws.

But how will I know if it’s right for me?

Students who thrive at Marlboro are independent-minded and self-motivated. They like to explore big ideas from unconventional perspectives.

They believe deeply in both mutual respect and the spirit of open debate, and they want a college where different points of view are valued.

Our students learn best with teachers who challenge them to think differently; many of our students report that they were bored or distracted in high school.

Many of the students at Marlboro have deep interests in more than one area of study. You might know that already; if you’re equally passionate about two disparate fields (say, classics and environmental science?) then we’re likely to be a great fit.

Our students tend to love the outdoors. That doesn’t mean everyone at Marlboro is “outdoorsy.” Many of us are the opposite of that! But even if you’re planning to spend all day buried in books, an appreciation for the natural world (and all four seasons) is important.

Our students want to make things happen. Many bring a deep commitment to social justice and activism. Others may not see themselves as changemakers on a political level, but are looking to transform the world in other ways—through performance, or education, or social entrepreneurship. “Changing the world” might be a cliché—but our students tend to believe in their ability to at least make a dent in it.

Sound like you? Excellent.

Let’s talk about what it’s going to take to get you here.

See campus for yourself


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)