A Haven for Underserved Students: Guilford College

Written by CIT Consultant Lessa Scherrer

Guilford College in North Carolina is a historic campus focused on lifting up students of color and first-generation students (the first in their families to attend college). Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, Guilford has continued their focus on the underserved: most of their students are Pell eligible, 57 percent are first generation and more than half are students of color. These students come to Guilford for the average class size of 14 students, the more than 40 majors, and the faculty who provide a rigorous education in an environment of respect and community support.

Guilford was founded by a Quaker community in 1837. This heritage shows up in many ways: everyone on campus is on a first-name basis, from the freshmen to the faculty to the college president. Classes typically start with a moment of silence and reflection. Campus decision-making is consensus-based. They follow the core values of community, diversity, equality, excellence, integrity, justice, and stewardship. This service-driven college offers majors related to their roots, such as sustainable food systems, peace & conflict studies, and community & justice studies. They also offer traditional liberal arts and juicy new majors like data analytics, criminal justice, and sports management.

Experiential learning and strong advising are baked into every student’s experience. The Guilford Edge offers three-week study abroad, research, and internship opportunities at the end of each semester. Students also receive advising from their first day on campus with their CAPE (Career, Academic, and Personal Exploration) advisor, junior or senior student mentor, and faculty advisor to help them take advantage of all the available opportunities. And support does not end there: the Hege Academic Commons is home to the Learning and Writing Center, the Accessibility Resource Center, the Honors Program, and the Study Abroad office, all under one roof.

Guilford is fun, too! Twenty-one Division III varsity sports really rally the campus; 37% of students are varsity athletes, including women’s rugby and triathlon. Cheer, kickball, and Quidditch are among the nearly a dozen intramural and club sports. The campus is three hours from the beach and two hours from the mountains, making day trips easy. Students also have access to the city of Greensboro, ten minutes away, which hosts annual festivals, a waterpark, and more. Greensboro is also home to six other colleges and nearly 40,000 students, making it a true college town! Guilford hosts events with the other colleges to keep things lively.

Interested in Guilford? Show them! Demonstrated interest is very important to this school so every contact you make with Guilford goes into your admissions file. 100% of Guilford students receive financial aid, and tuition is frozen for your four years there, making Guilford very affordable. This hidden gem is worth a look for every student who wants community, support and to get the most out of their college experience.