Enrollment Expert’s New Book Discusses Touring Ivy League Schools
Enrollment Expert’s New Book Discusses Touring Ivy League Schools


by Karen Grava
Director of Media Relations

When Sean-Michael Green, associate vice president of graduate enrollment and marketing, ran into a family on the Yale University campus a few years ago, he was able not only to give them directions to the admissions office but also the rundown on the culture of several Ivy League schools.

That encounter inspired Green, of Orange, Conn., to take action he had been putting off for a decade. He began writing on a book based on an experiment he had undertaken: spending 30 days on each Ivy League campus, attending classes, participating in campus life, living with students and soaking up the culture. Along the way, as the book jacket notes, he went to fraternity parties, strip clubs, labs where cutting-edge research was taking place and historical landmarks.


Sean-Michael Green

Green’s new book, The Things I Learned in College: My Year in the Ivy League, will be out this spring.

Beyond the 30 days he spent at each Ivy League campus before writing the book, Green is interested in all colleges. In fact, he is admittedly college obsessed. “The best analogy I can find,” he said, “is to compare my affection for universities to my family’s feeling for football.”

When he is not visiting schools in person, he scours college websites for changes and updates and follows faculty hires the way a college football fan would cheer on new recruits. “One of my favorite games to play is to spot school stickers on the backs of cars,” he said wryly, noting he could compete in the Olympics in the sport existed.

He also collects college stats, such as how many students his favorite schools admit each year, what their provosts studied in school and how much their presidents are paid. 

Most college campuses are beautiful, Green said, but what he loves most is the students. He’s especially intrigued by the eight schools in the Northeast that make up the Ivy League: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale.

“I am a big fan of the Ivies,” he said. “I had been admitted to six and attended four.”
His favorite?  Princeton, where his plans to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy changed after the untimely death of his adviser and mentor.

“I like the rural campuses the best,” he said. “Dartmouth is my second favorite.”

Green, who has degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, Marist College, Penn and Cornell, also studied at Columbia, Carnegie Mellon and the Sorbonne. 

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Green has worked as an attorney, entrepreneur, hotel clerk (for three hours, he noted), emergency medical technician and stand-up comedian. His first book, designed to help veterans go to college, was titled Marching to College.

His advice to students attending any college – Ivy or not – is the lesson he learned during his yearlong odyssey. 

“I discovered in college,” he said, “how interesting a life can be that is seized and fully lived.”


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