Why High School Counselors Recommend Iona University for the ‘Ultimate College Experience’

High school counselors explain what sets Iona apart and makes their students want to join Gael Nation

NEW ROCHELLE & BRONXVILLE, N.Y. — High school counselors play a pivotal role in a student’s academic career, helping them consider some of the most important questions when it comes to deciding which college will be the best fit for them. Who offers their desired degree programs? Who provides that home away from home feeling? Who will prepare them to succeed in their chosen careers? Now more than ever, high school counselors see students choosing Iona University.

“No longer do students need to travel far to get the ultimate college experience when it’s right here in their own backyard,” said Rob Schwartz, school counselor at Mamaroneck High School. “Working in a school where 92 percent of our graduates go on to a two- or four-year university, I personally have added Iona to many students’ college lists as a choice to consider.”


A school on the rise, Iona was just named to The Princeton Review’s list of “The Best 389 Colleges” nationwide, a highly influential publication geared toward helping students and families find the best-fit school for them. Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,600 four-year colleges are profiled in the book.

"We salute Iona University for its outstanding academics, and its many other impressive offerings,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review's editor-in-chief and lead author of The Best 389 Colleges. “We’re delighted to recommend it as an ideal choice for students searching for their ‘best-fit’ college.”

In welcoming the Class of 2027, Iona has seen new student enrollment increase nearly 30% since 2019, driven in part by new academic programs and degrees coupled with expanded opportunities for students to “Learn Outside the Lines” of the classroom.

Learn More: Iona University Rankings


Interested in learning more? Iona is pleased to announce it is hosting several Fall Open Houses, where students and families can take a tour, meet faculty, ask questions and much more. RSVP today via the links below!

According to Schwartz, a trip to Iona’s campus also helps make a student’s decision clear as they report feeling special and welcomed upon their arrival.

“The enthusiasm of the tour guides, faculty and student body reflect the new attitude of Iona University,” Schwartz added. “Students who may have not considered Iona before a visit, certainly move it to the top of their list on their return. A former student of mine visited various top schools like Harvard and Boston College to name a couple. But once she visited Iona, she knew it was the right place for her.”

Representing 24 states and several countries, Iona’s incoming Class of 2027 includes 36 high school class presidents and 220 members of the National Honor Society with an overall average GPA of nearly 3.5. This incoming class is one of Iona’s strongest, most selective and most diverse group of students.

“In total this year, we will be sending seven students to Iona, more than we have ever sent in years past,” Schwartz said.

Iona’s significant growth has also been recognized by college counselors beyond the surrounding area, including Frank Andrisani, school counselor at Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale, N.J.

“Iona is definitely a school on the rise and becoming more popular,” he said. “Even with the harder districts to crack, they have had success by creating partnerships – with NewYork-Presbyterian for example – and building new facilities.”


In January 2023, Iona cut the ribbon on the Kelly Center for Health Sciences, serving as the flagship building of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which offers students access to hands-on learning experiences alongside top faculty and health care practitioners at NewYork-Presbyterian and other top health care systems.

Iona also recently announced the addition of two new Master of Science degrees in Nursing with a focus on healthcare organizational leadership and nursing education. Additionally, Iona recently launched a sports business minor and Bachelor of Science in neuroscience to give students an even greater variety to choose from as they explore their chosen career paths.

Iona’s commitment to providing a top-notch classroom experience to prepare students for the real world was also noted by Elisabeth Walter, director of college counseling at Bergen Catholic High School.

“Iona’s vision and mission aligns with all that our Bergen Catholic community seeks when looking to continue their post-secondary education,” she said. “The University’s ability to educate young men and women in a competitive and engaging environment goes unmatched.”

Outside of the classroom, meanwhile, Iona students can join over 80 student clubs and organizations spanning an array of interests. In addition to 23 NCAA Division I Athletics teams, Iona also has a robust club sports program including a championship esports team, as well as a thriving performing arts program and a wide range of community service opportunities both locally and around the world.

Explore programs, schedule a visit and learn more about Iona today!

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.