University of Tampa offers students plenty of hands-on experience

University of Tampa is a private, residential college with a rich history. The central building, Plant Hall, once housed the Tampa Bay Hotel, a resort built by Henry B. Plant in 1891. The hotel closed in 1931 due to the Great Depression, and two years later became the main building for the relocated University of Tampa (formerly known as Tampa Junior College). UT now has 60 buildings on 110 landscaped acres where you can find cannons from the original harbor fort and the spot of the former Florida State Fair grounds where Babe Ruth hit his longest home run – 630 feet. 

 

Here are a few quick facts about University of Tampa:

4-year Graduation rate: 50%, 6-year: 61%

Acceptance: 56%

Freshman retention: 78%

Freshmen out of state: 80% 

Most popular majors: international business, biology, marketing, marine science

Student Community Diversity: 5% Black, 14% Latino, 9% International

 

Housing: Accommodations vary from private rooms with a shared bathroom, kitchen and common area to studio-style private suites. Nine of the twelve residence halls have been built since 1998 through a massive renovation project. The nearby Barrymore Hotel also houses students with shuttle services to and from campus. 93% of freshmen and about 49% of all undergrads live on campus. 

 

Academics: University of Tampa’s motto is “To be, rather than to seem to be” and offers the hands-on experiences to meet it. Undergraduates can choose from over 200 academic programs in four colleges: College of Arts and Letters; College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education; College of Natural and Health Sciences; and Skyes College of Business. Sykes College of Business has a stock market lab with terminals and plasma screen TVs so students can get the experience of being on a stock market exchange floor. The College of Natural and Health Sciences owns a remote marine science research lab on Tampa Bay, as well as extensive equipment to study the ecosystems of the Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. University of Tampa is also home to an ROTC unit. 

 

UT has liberal arts curriculum requirements including a first year seminar, courses in writing and inquiry, math, natural sciences, humanities and fine arts, social sciences, and global awareness. Another opportunity for UT undergrads is the study abroad program which places students in one of 70 countries; about a quarter of students participate. The Honors Program allows students to study 1:1 with faculty through enrichment and tutorials, internships, research, and classroom to community outreach. 

 

Similar colleges to consider: Remington College, University of South Florida, University of Phoenix – West Florida Campus 

 

Social: The University of Tampa Spartans compete in Division II athletics and hold national titles in baseball, men’s and women’s soccer, golf, volleyball, and beach volleyball. The college’s football program folded in 1974 in order to keep the college afloat during a period of financial troubles. The Fitness and Recreation Center has two floors with 60,000 square feet of space and an on-campus aquatic center with a deep swimming section for scuba diving classes. 

 

The percentage of students who go Greek at UT is fairly small, about 6% of men and 11% of women. The most popular campus events include Global Village Simulation, Model UN debates, The MLK Day Service and Student Productions Comedy Shows. And, of course, there are plenty of things to do in surrounding Tampa, no matter what your interests are.

 

Financial: University of Tampa offers both grants and scholarships, however, they offer much more in non-need based than need-based aid.  Although the tuition and fees are $46,000 (tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students), the average financial aid package is $13,400. 90% of students receive financial aid and/or scholarships.

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(The) Ohio State University – where they do everything in a big way

The Ohio State University (yes, “The”) does everything in a big way – from campus size to sports to one-of-a-kind degree programs. The biggest of the Big Ten and boasting the third largest campus in the nation (with a larger operating budget than that of the state of Delaware), you can find your niche among the 52,000 students pursuing one of over 200 undergraduate majors. Despite the daunting 1,777-acre size of the campus, the grounds are nicely landscaped and a centrally located lake provides a place for students to find a little solitude. If the hike across campus isn’t enough to keep you in shape, you can always stop in at the Recreation and Physical Activity Center, which is the nation’s largest facility dedicated to student fitness, wellness and recreation.

 

Here are a few quick facts about Ohio State:

4-year Graduation rate: 62%, 6-year: 86%

Acceptance: 54%

Freshman retention: 94%

Freshmen out of state: 25% 

Most popular majors: psychology, communication, finance, biology

Student Community Diversity: 6% Black, 4% Latino, 9% International

 

Housing: Freshman and sophomores are required to live in one of the 42 residence halls unless they are commuting from home. Dorms are in three areas – North, South and Olentangy (those closest to the Olentangy River) and are home to 33% of the overall undergraduate population. Ohio State has a system of variable room rates, which are based on the type of accommodations, such as air conditioning, private bathroom, and number of roommates. 

 

Academics: In keeping with their commitment to liberal arts education, Ohio State has rigorous general education requirements in math, writing, foreign language, social science, natural science, and arts and humanities. Class sizes vary and tend to whittle down as students continue in their fields of study. The OSU honors program offers smaller class sizes (around 25 students), honors classes, priority scheduling, honors housing and co-curricular activities. 

The most celebrated departments are business, engineering, neuroscience, dance and design. Ohio State also has strong African-American and African studies programs and has the most extensive offering of African languages of any university in the United States. OSU also has the only programs in the nation in welding engineering and geodetic science, and was the first university in the country to offer an undergraduate program in data analytics. 

For those looking for experience outside of the classroom, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquire arranges research opportunities, which about 20% of students participate in. Internships in the state government, Fortune 500 companies and major tech and research organizations such as IBM Analytics Solution Lab and Battelle, are also available. Five percent of students engage in one of 200 study abroad programs, in more than 70 countries. 

 

Similar colleges to consider: University of Michigan, University of Indiana at Urbana-Champaign, Penn State, University of Wisconsin – Madison

 

Social: There is no shortage of opportunities for an active social life at Ohio State. On-campus housing groups plan various social events and the student union runs eateries, a tavern, movies and other activities. 13% of men and 14% of women go Greek, and while they may isolate themselves a bit with fraternity and sorority activities, there are over 1,400 student organizations for those who decide not to pledge. 

The metropolitan location of Ohio State means there is also a lot to do off-campus as well. Columbus has plenty of restaurants, bars, shops, golf courses and movie theaters nearby, and is also home to a symphony orchestra, ballet, and professional hockey and soccer teams. Students who want to go a little further out will find that they can easily get to Cleveland or Cincinnati, spend some time skiing in Mansfield, or enjoy reconnecting with nature at one of 19 area metro parks, or scenic Hocking Hills. 

One of OSU’s crown jewels is its lavish and successful college sports programs, offering 16 men’s, 17 women’s and 3 co-ed varsity teams. Ohio State takes home its fair share of conference titles (18 in the past couple years), and one student remarked that, “Football is somewhat like religion.” 

Popular on-campus events include the Homecoming Parade, BuckeyeThon (a philanthropy/dance marathon), Taste of OSU (international food festival), as well as a variety of other heritage festivals. 

 

Financial: Ohio State offers both need-based and non need-based merit aid. The average percent of need met is 74%, with 29% being fully met. 

Although the tuition and fees are $30,000 for in-state and $54,000 for out-of-state, the average financial aid package is $18,000. 70% of students receive financial aid and scholarships.

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Princeton University – a liberal arts college with strong computer science and engineering programs

Set in the picturesque town that is its namesake, Princeton University is a haven of Gothic and colonial architecture, as well as a few more modern buildings. The most notable building is Nassau Hall, which served as the temporary home of the Continental Congress in 1783. While known for its exclusivity, the office of admissions has been on the lookout for more students who demonstrate intellectual curiosity, including STEM majors, creative types, and high ability/low income students. 

 

Here are a few quick facts about Princeton:

4-year Graduation rate: 90%, 6-year: 98%

Acceptance: 6%

Freshman retention: 83%

Freshmen out of state: 81% 

Most popular majors: computer science, economics, public administration

Student Community Diversity: 8% Black, 10% Latino, 12% International

 

Housing: Princeton’s dorms are grouped into six residential colleges, each with its own dining hall, faculty residents and social calendar. While some students do continue living in their residence hall through graduation, many juniors and seniors opt to occupy the nicer upperclassmen dorms. Only 4% of undergraduates choose to live off campus. 

 

Another feature of Princeton’s campus, and exclusive to upperclassmen, is eleven eating clubs, five of which admit members through a lottery.  These eating clubs are run by the students and unaffiliated with the school administration.

 

Academics: Princeton is one of the few top liberal arts universities with equally strong computer science and engineering programs. Their math and philosophy departments are among the best in the nation. All students must fulfill course requirements in epistemology and cognition, ethical thoughts and moral values, historical analysis, literature and the arts, quantitative reasoning, social analysis, and science and technology. Freshmen must also take a first year writing seminar with 70 options to choose from. During junior year, students work with a faculty member on 2 papers – 30 pages of work per semester on top of their regular work load. Students must also complete a senior thesis. 

 

Princeton is known as the smallest of the Big Three Ivies, which means that undergraduate students will find that 76% of classes have fewer than 20 students and around 70% of department heads teach introductory courses. Princeton is also unique in its approach to exams, including a two-week period before exams for students to catch up and an honor code that allows for unproctored exams. 

 

Similar colleges to consider: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania

 

Social: Virtually all social life takes place on campus through the aforementioned eating clubs and dorm parties. The college does not endorse any fraternities or sororities, but they do still exist in small numbers. Princeton boasts the oldest college radio station in the country, and those who are culturally inclined will be pleased to find plenty of art offerings both on and near campus. 

 

Varsity and intramural athletics are a big deal at Princeton. Eleven of the Tiger’s 38 Division I teams took home Ivy League conference titles in the 2017-2018 season, including men’s cross country and track and field, as well as women’s lacrosse, soccer and basketball. Every fall the freshman and sophomore classes square off in the Cane Spree, an intramural Olympics that has been a Princeton tradition since 1869. Other traditions include Communiversity Day, which is an international festival, and lawn parties are hosted in the spring. 

 

The surrounding town of Princeton, New Jersey has plenty of parks, woods and bike trails. When students do want to take a break from campus, they usually only venture as far as New York City or Philadelphia, both of which are an hour away (opposite directions) by train. 

 

Financial: Students are admitted to Princeton without regard for their financial need. Princeton offers need-based financial aid and has replaced loans with grants in their financial aid awards. The average percent of need met is 100%, with 100% being fully met. Although the tuition and fees are $77,000, the average financial aid package is $50,000. 85% of students receive financial aid. Princeton does not offer merit or athletic scholarships. 

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Randolph College may be coed now, but many traditions still continue

Named #9 of “Top 50 Green Colleges” and receiving many other accolades, Randolph College is situated on a picturesque 100-acre campus in an historic residential area of Lynchburg, Virginia. Students have close access to shopping and entertainment, as well as public transportation, and Washington, D.C. and Virginia Beach are just a short drive away. Founded in 1891 as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, Randolph became co-ed in 2007 and men currently make up one-third of undergraduates. 

 

Here are a few quick facts about Randolph:

4-year Graduation rate: 52%, 6-year: 56%

Acceptance: 90%

Freshman retention: 71%

Freshmen out of state: 24% 

Most popular majors: biology, sport/exercise studies, history, psychology

Student Community Diversity: 16% Black, 6% Latino, 3% International

 

Housing: Seventy-six percent of Randolph students live in the dorms where the main drawback is that many of the buildings lack air conditioning. Main Hall is known on campus as “The Hilton” due to being the largest dorm and because of its central location on campus. After the first year, housing is selected by a lottery with the college-owned apartments across the street being the most popular option. 

 

Academics: Randolph offers 33 majors and 43 minors and boasts pre-professional programs in engineering, nursing, law, medicine and veterinary studies. The teacher licensure program is enhanced by two graduate degree programs. The two pillars of the general education requirements are core competencies (writing, quantitative reasoning, and language) and ways of knowing (artistic expression, human experience, culture and identity, social and natural science, and physical education). This matrix allows students to explore different areas and take classes in almost every department.  

Eighty-six percent of classes enroll fewer than 20 students and there are no TAs so students get to know their professors and vice versa. All students are eligible to apply for the RISE grant, which provides students with funding for research, international travel and other academic pursuits. Students who are interested in participating in original and innovative research will find the opportunity to do so through the Center for Student Research and the Summer Research Program – an intensive 8-week program that gives undergraduates the opportunity to present findings at professional conferences and/or publish in professional journals. 

Finals week looks a lot different on Randolph campus – students may pick up their final exam when they are ready and take it in the room they choose. This is possible because of the Randolph Honor Code, which is “the backbone of a tight-knit community that gives our students the respect and dignity they deserve as scholars and human beings.” 

 

Similar colleges to consider: Hendrix, Millsapp, Wells, Eckerd

 

Social: There is no Greek life on Randolph campus, so the real social scene is inside The Red Brick Wall, with a number of secret societies, clubs and other social organizations. Macon Activities Council hosts comedians, bands and other entertainers, talent shows and outdoor parties to keep the student populace from getting bored. Popular Randolph traditions include the Even/Odd class rivalry, Never Ending Weekend and the Pumpkin Parade, just to name a few. 

Randolph Wildcats compete in Division III sports. While there is no football team, their equestrian and women’s teams have been most competitive, along with men’s soccer, basketball, tennis, and track and field.

 

Financial: Randolph offers need-based aid, as well as non-need based merit aid. They do not offer any athletic scholarships. The average percent of need met is 79%, with 21% being fully met. Although the tuition and fees are $41,750, the average financial aid package is $35,873. 90% of students receive scholarships.

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University of Florida offers strong engineering programs and nationally ranked athletic teams

Where can you find great weather, nationally ranked athletic teams, 20 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and a college that is a world leader in…citrus science? Look no further than University of Florida, which is located on 2,000 acres (you may want to bring your bike) of forested terrain in northern central Florida. There you and about 30,000 other undergraduates will also find nationally recognized programs in engineering and business, as well as strong pre-professional programs in accounting and pharmacy, and extensive facilities for agriculture education (and not just for citrus fruits).

 

Here are a few quick facts about University of Florida:

4-year Graduation rate: 68%, 6-year: 90%

Acceptance: 39%

Freshman retention: 97%

Freshmen out of state: 12% 

Most popular majors: psychology, biology, mechanical engineering

Student Community Diversity: 6% Black, 22% Latino, 2% International

 

Housing: About 22% of students reside on campus in dorms that can be described as comfortable. UF’s Cypress Hall is one of only five in the nation that is recognized for being designed specifically to be accessible to students with severe physical impairments. Most undergraduates live on campus during freshman year to get the residential life experience, but then move after that. While the campus dining halls get a mixed review, there are a suitable number of vegetarian and vegan options available. 

 

Academics: University of Florida’s general education program includes courses in liberal arts, including classes that focus on themes of internationalism or diversity and multi-disciplinary courses on current topics. A couple of UF’s gems include the College of Journalism and Communications, with its impressive Innovation News Center, and the Graham Center for Public Service, which prepares students for careers in public service with courses in languages, cultures and other fundamental skills.

Even though there is a large campus population, nearly half of undergrad classes have fewer than 20 students. Professors are said to have deep professional experience, but for the introductory-level classes, you are more likely to find a graduate teaching assistant behind the lectern. For those who are looking for enrichment opportunities, it should be noted that half of UF’s undergrads are involved in research and about six percent study abroad in over 70 countries. 

 

Similar colleges to consider: UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Virginia, University of Michigan

 

Social: University of Florida, and surrounding Gainesville, has a social scene for every type of student. Greek rush, which claims 18% of men and 23% of women, happens right before classes start in the fall and again in the spring. 

University of Florida boasts one of the top intercollegiate athletics programs in the country, making Division I sports a year-round obsession. Florida State and University of Georgia remain the Gators’ biggest rivals and homecoming festivities, known as the “Gator Growl” is the largest student-run pep rally in the nation. If you aren’t involved in varsity sports, you can still get active through 50 club sports, 40 intramural leagues and tournaments and 1,100 student organizations. Another perk to being a student at UF is being able to utilize the 60,000 square-foot fitness park. 

Gainesville, which is between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, is very much a college town. There you will find a plethora of stores, restaurants, bars, a sports arena and a performing arts center which puts on a variety of productions, including Broadway plays. For the student who likes to get outdoors, UF owns a nearby lake, and there are plenty of parks, forests, rivers and streams nearby for backpacking, camping and canoeing as well. Orlando, St. Augustine and Jacksonville are some of the most popular getaway destinations. 

 

Financial: University of Florida offers mostly need-based financial aid and grants, and a small percentage of non-need based merit and athletic scholarships. The average percent of need met is 99%, with 29% being fully met. Although the tuition and fees for in-state and out-of-state students are  $21,430 and $45,898, respectively, the average financial aid package is $16,655. 96% of incoming students receive scholarships and financial aid.

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Basketball, a great social scene and strong programs – IU Bloomington has it all

If you are not intimidated by large crowds (32,000 undergraduates, say what?), have a passion for basketball, and are looking for strong programs as well as a great social scene, then Indiana University at Bloomington may be the college for you. IU is situated on a 1,936-acre campus in southern Indiana, which features a variety of architectural styles, including a few fountains and gargoyles, a large arboretum and some impressive new and recently renovated buildings. 

Here are a few quick facts about IU Bloomington:

4-year Graduation rate: 64%, 6-year: 78%

Acceptance: 77%

Freshman retention: 91%

Freshmen out of state: 38% 

Most popular majors: finance, informatics, marketing

Student Community Diversity: 4% Black, 6% Latino, 9% International

Housing: Freshman can rest assured that they will have a place in one of the many dorms, which range in style from Gothic quads to 13-floor high rises. All dorms have laundry facilities, computer clusters, cafeterias and undergraduate advisors. Some dorms even have language-speaking or academic floors. Students will find a variety of dining options laid out in both buffet style and food courts with offerings of international and healthful menus amongst the usual fast food options. Alcohol is prohibited in the dorms. 64% of all undergraduates live on campus. 

Academics: Indiana University prides itself on its liberal arts education. Freshmen are not admitted to pre-professional schools, but to the “University Division,” and majors are declared after one or two years. General education coursework consists of courses in math, science, social and historical studies, arts and humanities, English composition, world language and cultures, as well as additional requirements that vary by school. IU has many acclaimed schools, including the Kelley School of Business, School of Education and the Jacobs School of Music, as well as the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, which is a top choice for those with an interest in environmental policy. 

The undergraduate who would like to study abroad will find 380 programs in 52 countries and 17 languages in nearly every field of study. Almost a quarter of students participate in these opportunities. 

“Rigorous, but not cutthroat” is the best way to describe the academic climate at IU. Competitive overachievers and laid-back carefree individuals will all find room here as they take several of the 4,000 courses offered each semester. Undergraduates are an important part of the educational process – many faculty members take their research results straight to the students, and professors in math and science are known for bringing undergrads into the labs to assist with ongoing projects.

Similar colleges to consider: Purdue, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin – Madison, The Ohio State University

Social: The most active social scene on campus is that of the Greeks, which attracts 24% of men and 21% of women. A range of extracurricular organizations, concerts, ballets, recitals and festivals on campus keep students busy, and the IU student union is one of the largest in the country. For those who like to get out a bit more, Bloomington is a great college town with plenty of restaurants, shops and bars. In the local area, the nature lovers will be pleased to find some impressive rock quarries and forests for hiking and there are nearby caves for the enthusiastic spelunker. 

Division I varsity athletics overshadow the numerous intramural and club sports, and basketball is pretty much an established religion in Indiana. Purdue is IU’s athletic rival with both teams playing for the Old Oaken bucket, which was found on a farm in southern Indiana in 1925 and rumored to have been used during the Civil War. 

Financial: Indiana University, which admits students on a need-blind basis, offers both need- and non-need based aid, as well as athletic scholarships. An average of 71% of need is met, with 31% being fully met. Although the tuition and fees for in-state and out-of-state are $25,000 and $53,000,  respectively, the average financial aid package is $12,000. 71% of students receive scholarships.

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What Loyola Marymount University has to offer for college-bound

Ideal weather year round and solid programs in film and television, liberal arts and sciences, and business – this is what you will find at Loyola Marymount University. Established in 1911, LMU is situated on a 142-acre bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Marina del Rey and is the only Roman Catholic University in Los Angeles. 

Here are a few quick facts about LMU:

4-year Graduation rate: 76%, 6-year: 84%

Acceptance: 47%

Freshman retention: 90%

Freshmen out of state: 40% 

Most popular majors: Management, Marketing, Communication Studies, Film and Television Production

Student Community Diversity: 7% Black, 22% Latino, 10% International

Housing: Fifty-three percent of students live in on-campus housing, which is described as “pretty nice.” Many first-year students opt to participate in themed living/learning communities, for example, some are dedicated to specific academic disciplines. LMU students will find a variety of meal plan options and all types of food available. Students report that campus security is good and that they feel safe on campus.

Academics: Loyola Marymount’s general education requirements (the Core Curriculum) is designed to encourage “intellectual breadth.” Themes include faith and reason; virtue and justice; culture, art and society; and science, nature and society. The main tenant of this curricular requirement is that it encourages students to be open to various studies. Freshmen will find lots of support through programs such as the honors program and first-year seminar. 

While Loyola Marymount is known for the majors mentioned previously, it also has solid programs in engineering, theatre arts, political science, English, and economics. Students in the School of Film and Television have access to a student-run production office, a television stage and a film soundstage with a professional quality green screen. Students are encouraged to produce their own documentaries that are exhibited at film festivals in both Germany and the United States. 

The College of Science and Engineering takes part in national competitions to design steel bridges and race eco-friendly cars. Need another reason to choose LMU? There are lots of internship opportunities (Disney, MTV and Warner Brothers are on the list of participating companies) and study abroad options are offered on six continents. Nearly a third, 29%, of students participate in one of these experiences during their time at LMU. 

Similar colleges to consider: University of Southern California, UCLA, Santa Clara, Chapman

Social: Loyola Marymount students can expect to have an active social life both on and off campus, with student organizations and clubs frequently hosting events and activities, and beautiful surroundings for those who like to get outdoors. Marina del Rey and Santa Monica are a short car or bus ride away, and those who have a case of wanderlust may find themselves on a road trip to San Diego, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas or Mexico, some of the most popular destinations for LMU undergrads. 

Greek life attracts 17% of men and 29% of women, but students say there is little pressure to drink. The university’s Jesuit heritage has led to a social atmosphere that motivates students to improve themselves through a dedication to helping others, evidenced by the 200,000 hours of volunteer service students put in every year. 

LMU’s varsity teams compete in the Division I West Coast Conference with women’s water polo being a recent champ. Men’s and women’s soccer teams and the women’s volleyball team are also pretty competitive. The LMU Lions’ rivalry with Pepperdine draws a large crowd and the basketball team’s annual pep rally, referred to as “LMU Madness” is another big event. Not to be overlooked is the debate team, which has placed first in more than 250 national and international tournaments over the past 40 years. 

Financial:  Loyola Marymount offers both need-based and non-need based merit aid and scholarships. The average percentage of student need met is 68%, with 23% being fully met. Although the tuition and fees are roughly $73,000 (tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students), the average financial aid package is $29,012. 90% of students receive financial assistance in the form of scholarships and grants.

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College of the Week: University of Michigan

University of Michigan, one of the nation’s elite public universities, strives to offer its students a balance of academics, athletics, and social activities. On its 3200+ acres on the main campus (be prepared to use your GPS to get around!), you will find a world-class university with outstanding faculty and top-rated programs designed to make its graduates ready to compete in the 21st century job market. 

Here are a few quick facts about University of Michigan:

4-year Graduation rate: 79%, 6-year: 92%

Acceptance: 23%

Freshman retention: 97%

Freshmen out of state: 45%

Most popular majors: computer science, business administration, psychology, and economics

Student Community Diversity: 4.5% Black, 6.6% Latino, 7.3% International

Housing: The dorms at University of Michigan are described as “mostly comfortable and well-maintained.” Despite being a large campus, only 32% of students reside there. Freshmen are guaranteed housing, but not all sophomores will get a spot, and almost no juniors or seniors live on campus. So where does everyone else live? Many who have pledged live in one of the  fraternity or sorority houses. There are also a large number of college-owned and private co-ops and plenty of off-campus rentals. 

Academics: UM boasts 600 degree programs, which includes 250 undergrad majors as well as individualized concentrations. There are no courses that are required of all freshmen, but all students must complete coursework in English (including composition), foreign language (UM offers over 40, including several that can’t be found at many other institutions), natural science, social sciences and humanities. Students describe courses as being challenging, but not cutthroat. The engineering and business programs are well-respected across the country, and programs in health-related fields are also top-notch. There is excellent academic and career advising for those who seek it, and the Campus Career Center works with 950 companies in their recruiting efforts.

Similar colleges to consider: UC Berkeley, University of Indiana at Urbana-Champaign, Stanford, Cornell

Social: While Detroit is less than an hour away, many UM students flock to nearby Ann Arbor, which has more of a “college town feel.” The Huron River, as well as many lakes and swimming holes are a short drive away for those who like to get outdoors. You will find a large Greek party scene although only about 17% of men and 25% of women “go Greek.” 

In the fall, you can expect Division I football to overshadow nearly everything else. Attending games and cheering, “Go Blue” is a pretty integral part of the University of Michigan experience, with the Little Brown Jug football competition with Minnesota and games against Ohio State being the most popular. Several teams have brought home Big Ten championships in the past year, among them men’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, as well as women’s field hockey and gymnastics. For those looking for a more casual form of athletics, there are plenty of intramural sports, which were invented at University of Michigan. 

Financial: University of Michigan offers hundreds of merit scholarships, averaging $5,600 as well as 711 athletic scholarships in 27 sports. Average percent of need met is 91%, with 71% being fully met. UM is the only public university in the state that meets the full demonstrated need of in-state students, and Michigan residents whose families make $65,000 or less qualify for free tuition. Although the tuition and fees are $31,000 for in-state and $68,000 for out-of-state students, the average financial aid package is $27,000. Out-of-state admits with a family income of $90,000 or less can expect to have the full demonstrated need met. 52% of students receive scholarships, averaging almost $18,000 per student. 

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Georgia Tech for STEM in the heart of Atlanta

Georgia Tech

If you are looking for a college where motivation, ambition, and self-direction are key to your success, and long to be instructed by faculty members who have real-world experience, including being a Nobel Prize winner or a former NASA astronaut, look no further than Georgia Institute of Technology, aka Georgia Tech. Found in the heart of Atlanta on a 450-acre campus that showcases a rich architectural history, you will gain valuable experience at “Ma Tech.” 

Here are a few quick facts about Georgia Tech:

4-year Graduation rate: 40%, 6-year: 87%

Acceptance: 23%

Freshman retention: 97%

Freshmen out of state: 39%

Most popular majors: computer science, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering

Student Community Diversity: 7.2% Black, 7.3% Latino, 8.3% International

Housing: While living on campus is not a  requirement (51% of all undergraduates and 56% of freshmen live on campus), all freshmen are guaranteed a room. According to students, conditions vary from nice, new, apartment-like to “foul dungeons.” Off-campus housing is available and is generally comfortable. Safety is a concern in a large urban setting, and campus security does patrol regularly and responds quickly to reported incidents.

Academics: Courses are described as “extremely rigorous” and grading on a curve has led to a hyper-competitive environment. No matter what major you pick, students must complete credit hours in social sciences, math, science, English and humanities, US or Georgia history, US and global perspectives and wellness. The course selection process can be frustrating and getting into required courses at times can be an issue, so be advised. Another challenge is that freshman math classes are typically taught by TAs and 26% of undergrad classes have more than 50 students. One student does have a word of encouragement though, “Things get better as you progress and get to know professors.” 

Most students take 5-6 years to finish their degree due to the demanding workload, but delayed graduation does have some positives for Georgia Tech students. Many students are able to earn money for their education while gaining job experience through an internship with one of more than 700 organizations worldwide. Georgia Tech also boasts 90 exchange programs and 30 faculty-led study abroad programs. By the time they graduate, 52% of students have had an international study or internship experience. 

Similar colleges to consider: UC Berkeley, University of Florida, University of Indiana at Urbana-Champaign

Social: While there is not much to do on campus outside of Greek life, which attracts 26% of men and 30% of women, students will find plenty to keep them busy in surrounding Atlanta and the Buckhead district. Tech’s Division I varsity sports teams, the Yellowjackets have become big time in the South with men’s swimming, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s track and golf experiencing success in recent years. Forty percent of students participate in 43 clubs and 20 intramural sports. 

Financial: Georgia Tech offers both need- and merit-based aid, with 74% of tuition being covered for Georgia residents who graduate high school with a B average as long as they keep their grades up in college. Georgia Tech has also eliminated loans for Georgia families who make less than $33,000 a year. The average need met is 66%, with 29% being fully met. While the cost of attendance for in-state students is $29,000 and $50,000 for out-of-state, the average financial aid package is $16,000. 24% of out-of-state students receive scholarships. 

Why Williams is the #1 Liberal Arts College in US

liberals arts in the US
williams college campus
Williams’ picturesque campus is located about an hour from Albany, NY.
Williams is often ranked as the #1 liberal arts college in the country (usually trading places with its top rival, Amherst). Classes are small, teachers are excellent, and students are enthusiastic in academics and athletics. The beautiful and secluded campus in Williamstown, Massachusetts adds to the school’s culture, although it may be too rural or remote for some student’s tastes. There’s been a certain intensity yet fun-loving spirit about my students who have attended Williams. The alumni that I’ve met over the years have been impressively thoughtful. When my son applied to Williams, I appreciated the fact that all students would graduate in 4 years and students can not add a major that would extend their time. This was an appealing distinction because my son loves learning and could be easily interested in studying longer if possible. 🙂

Quick facts about Williams

Acceptance: 13%

Freshman from out of state: 86%

Most popular majors: Economics, Psychology, History, Political Science, Biology, Art History, English

Housing: Guaranteed housing all four years, but seniors have the option to live off campus

4-year Graduation rate: 90%

Student Community Diversity: Blacks: 8%; Latino: 13%; International: 8% Williams College

williams college campus
Tutorials at Williams offer a way for more in-depth, personalized learning.
Academics: Williams emphasizes an interdisciplinary education, so all students are required to complete three courses in each area – humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. “Tutorials” are a favorite for students, where a class is comprised of two students who alternate writing and critiquing assignments and a supervising professor. Social: “Ephs take their work seriously, but not themselves,” according to an admissions rep I recently met. Social life is active and mostly centered on campus as Williamstown is somewhat of a quiet town. Guests and clubs provide outlets for students, but most enjoy weekend dorm parties. No need to worry though, Williams students boast of its safe, regulated, and still fun campus. Similar Colleges to Consider: Amherst, Brown, Dartmouth, Middlebury, Princeton, Yale Financial: Williams offers need-based financial aid and grants. 100% of need is fully met79% of students receive scholarships.Although the tuition and fees are approximately $71,000, the average financial aid package is $50,000. For any student who receives financial aid, books, art and lab supplies, and music lessons are free. About 60% of international students receive aid, even though Williams is need-aware. What do you think about this college? What else would you like to learn about it? Please post your comments below.