Archive for the ‘College Ranking & Lists’ Category

Cappex’s Sixth and Final Cappies List: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation’s Best Dorms


For most incoming college students, freshman year is the first time they are truly on their own for an extended period. It’s a time of great change. For many, it can be extremely stressful. There’s the challenge to do well academically. Some new students can feel very alone and homesick, especially if their school is far away from where they grew up. There are other life skills to keep on top of, like doing laundry and balancing a checkbook.

However, many of these potential stressors can be managed – sometimes easily – if the student has a great living environment. And that means the college dorm.

The right dormitory can often make the difference between an excellent first year of school, and a terrible one. The dorm is the place where a community of like-minded people of the same age is automatically lined up. Life in the dorms is a chance to form strong acquaintances and make a few solid friends. Most schools recognize that, so they do the best job possible to create innovative and comfortable environments where students can be free to concentrate on their courseload. After all, it is where students spend a majority of their time, particularly in that first year.

The definition of the “cool dorm” is often quite fluid. For some students, it means a plasma TV in the room. For others, it features spacious living quarters stocked with tons of amenities like private bathrooms and walk-in closets. A steak restaurant on the ground floor, plus a brand new building with the latest comforts doesn’t hurt either. That’s where Cappex can help. We spell out all reviews and ratings of the dorms into one place, and let each visitor to the site decide for him or herself.

For many students who may still be deciding where to go to school, amenities like comfortable dorms or central air conditioning can serve as the crucial factor that influences an incoming student’s decision. A college visit can help, but it’s impossible to visit every single dorm or sample all the programming that may take place during a school year.

Our latest and final 2015 Cappies list is called “Best College Dorms.”  These schools were chosen for the breadth and the depth of the living arrangements they offer to all students. The quality of these schools’ on-campus dorms has eased the transition to college and made life out from under the scrutiny of parents and family much easier. The top schools as determined by our reviewers are highlighted here.

The new list contains schools with all different kinds of innovative dorms. These dorms are clean, roomy, and reasonably priced. The process to secure such housing is relatively painless. Most importantly, they create a true atmosphere of “home,” as opposed to large, loud, impersonal buildings with cranky heaters and communal showers. 

This marks the final category covered by the The 2015 Cappies. If you haven’t done so already, please check out all our categories for the year.  This blog post may prove helpful to anyone who may be anxious about the on-campus experience, so if you found anything useful here, please share!

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Enhance Your College Experience through Outside Clubs and Activities (We’ve Found Some Good Ones)


College is for learning, which takes place both inside and outside the classroom. So while textbooks, finals, and GPA are obviously important, they create just one component of higher education. College is also for doing – in the form of activities. They help you create strong friendships and relationships that will last long after graduation, and in many cases, for life.

You can meet people in the dorms, but students are usually assigned to living quarters on a random basis. However, schools that offer a wide variety of on-campus activities are a great place to A) find and join a group that aligns with your interests, B) enhance your resume through membership and leadership positions in such groups, and C) take a break from the pressures of daily classroom life to be with friends.

Many colleges offer a variety of on-campus activities and clubs that cover a range of pursuits. Interest-based, religious, performance-based, and social justice clubs are only a few examples of how to get involved during your time on campus. Joining a group or two is not only good for making friends, but for the future as well. Employers look for candidates who demonstrates a history of strong involvement in groups like these.

If you’re experiencing any indecision on choosing the school that’s right for you, consider the list of extracurricular activities and clubs that are available. We’ve released a new category for our 2015 Cappies™, called “Best Colleges for Activities.” We believe our new list can play a large part in helping you decide where to spend your next four years.

The Cappies™ reviewed thousands of U.S. colleges and the outside activities they offer, whether school-sponsored or independent. We selected schools with not only a wide variety of options, but with interesting choices as well. You can find Quidditch teams in an actual league based on the Harry Potter novels, or Doctor Who fan clubs, or mountain-climbing clubs. In many cases, if you don’t see what you’re looking for, the schools encourage you to form your own group.

Some schools go as far as to offer competitive leadership programs, which encourage students to learn and build attributes associated with leaders. Those include communication, critical thinking, and conflict management, to name but a few. They really work to help you understand connections between academic responsibilities, social and co-curricular choices. Involvement today can lead to better decision making in social situations.

The Best Colleges for Activities is our next-to-last category covered by The Cappies™. Our last category, Dorm Life, will be released later on this month, and will complete our six Cappies categories. Our other categories are covered in-depth on The Cappies™ home page, and we encourage you to check them out as your decision-making process goes forward!

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At Some Colleges, An “A” Is Truly Earned – Cappex’s Latest List Shows You Where They Are and How to Navigate Them

hardestCappiesLogoMany students thrive in academic settings where the classwork is challenging and demanding.  They have a true love of learning for knowledge’s sake, and are intellectually curious. When it comes time to pick a college for the next four years, they know the traditional names associated with “higher learning.”  But what is being taught at these schools? How is educational success defined? What are students saying about their academics (and the homework)?

While such environments can often put incredible amounts of stress on students, they also inspire them to think in ways they never have before. The chances of meeting a professor or teaching assistant who may serve as an intellectual mentor are higher. Future career paths and a true purpose for learning can be found at every turn.

Just being accepted for enrollment at these schools is a tremendous achievement. The list of applicants to the schools on our new list grows every year, and each prospective student brings an impressive list of accomplishments and talents to the table. An extremely small percentage is accepted to these schools – sometimes as low as seven percent.

Cappex knows that one student’s definition of “hard classes” differs from another. But when a large group of student reviews says pretty much the same thing, then a real picture of an academically challenging institution comes into much clearer focus.

Our newest 2014 Cappies list is called “Hardest Colleges.” These are the 25 schools that challenge students in a variety of ways and bring out their best. A majority of graduates from these schools do not stop after four years. They go on to obtain more advanced degrees, and the percentage of those who go on to earn Ph.Ds is also very high. Graduates from these universities may often enter academia as a profession. The top schools as determined by our reviewers are highlighted here.

In this new list, you will find familiar, traditional names of colleges that have long been associated with advanced scholarly research programs, one-of-a-kind undergraduate study curriculum, and requirements above and beyond those found at other institutions. However, some of the names on this list may not be so recognizable to first-time college applicants, and deserve serious consideration.

This marks the fourth category covered by The Cappies, with two more (Clubs and Activities, Dorm Life) left. Stay tuned for announcements on that front. Please pass this blog post to anyone looking for a strenuous college environment that both challenges and rewards the inquiring, restless mind.

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