Franklin and Marshall CLS Program: Does it really represent the school as a whole?

High school seniors who attended the CLS fly-in program at Franklin and Marshall.

By Cristian Castillo ’17

Franklin and Marshall (F&M) is a small, liberal arts school located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. F&M hosts a Collegiate Leadership Summit (CLS), where they bring in diverse, high performing high school seniors from around the country, and even overseas, to get a feel for the college and decide whether or not F&M is a good fit for them.  What F&M made very clear throughout the CLS program is that the school is very academically rigorous and that because it is such a small school, you have the advantages; however, what was not made evident outside of the program itself is that the school is not at all diverse.

While at the CLS program, the F&M representatives really stressed the fact that their students are given very rigorous material, which is something they seemed very proud of. At first, it reminded me of Pritzker because its academic rigor is one of the best, the students always seemed to be so focused on their homework and classwork, and the campus itself is very small. Additionally, the students I talked to, keep in mind the school is highly competitive to get into, were stressing that in order to actually get good grades, you would have the work the hardest you’ve ever worked in your life.

F&M also really stressed how beneficial it is for their students to be in such a small community, which was also very noticeable how beneficial it was going to a smaller school. The class sizes were very small. You’d even see the president of the school — who knows most students on a first-name basis — casually converse with the students.

However, what the CLS program did poorly was make the school seem very diverse when, in fact, it as the complete opposite. It was clear that F&M wanted to be more diverse, which explains why they brought in people from backgrounds other than “white.” Unfortunately, they mislead most, if not all, high school seniors who attended.

  • Two-day Program
  • +3.3 GPA is needed along with rigorous classes
  • Completely Free if you get accepted into the program