Archive for the ‘College Ranking & Lists’ Category

Community Colleges 101

library-982688_640Your college search comes with a lot of questions. What’s the difference between public and private schools? How do scholarships work? How are community colleges different from four-year schools? We’ll tackle that last question right now!

What’s the Difference Between a Community College and a Traditional University?
A junior college offers courses or two-year degrees to people living in a certain area. They’re typically nonresidential, meaning students live with their parents or on their own off-campus, as opposed to in dorms.

Credits earned at a community college can typically be transferred to a four-year school, allowing students to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Are Junior Colleges for People Who Couldn’t Get in Anywhere Else?
We’re not sure why this myth is still going around because it’s definitely not true! While community colleges do often have broader acceptance criteria than selective four-year universities, that doesn’t mean they’re only for people who struggled in high school. Many, many people go to community colleges, and the American Association of Community Colleges reports

So Why Would Anyone Go to Community College?
For many students, a community college is a great option. Here are a few reasons people opt for a two-year school before transferring to a four-year university:

  • Cost: Going to a junior college in your district will set you back an average of only $3,347 a year, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. Compare that to the National Center for Education Statistics’ estimated $15,022 at a public university or $39,173 at a private college. However, keep in mind four-year schools do award scholarships to cut the cost.
  • Convenience: If you want to be close to home, community college lets you stay close to friends and family while earning a degree.
  • Uncertainty: Unsure of what you want to major in or where you want to earn your bachelor’s degree? A community college is a great place to start finding your path.

What are the Cons of Community College?
Community college may have its perks, but it isn’t right for everyone. Some students may not feel involved if they aren’t living on campus, and those who want to embark on a specialized major program right away may not have that option if they’re enrolled at a junior college.

Have more questions about whether or not starting off at a two-year school is right for you or whether you should add one to your college list? Talk to your guidance counselor, parents, or reach out to us on Facebook!

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The Most Amazing College Dorms

We all know one of the best parts of college is living on your own and feeling like an independent adult. College dorms that resemble jail cells are on their way out as schools create luxurious living quarters for their students, which makes living on campus that much better. Check out some of these truly amazing on-campus housing options and add your favorites to your college list!

University of Arizona

Location: Tucson, AZ
Size: 39,000 students

university of arizona
image credit: hubattucson.com

The Hub at Tucson may be an apartment building, rather than your traditional dormitory, but it tops our list for luxury and amazing amenities. Thanks to the warm weather in Arizona, you’ll be able to enjoy the rooftop infinity pool and hot tub all year long. Once you feel your skin starting to wrinkle, towel off and play some pool or foosball, step onto the sand volleyball court with the 22-foot LED TV screen, or grill with some friends. On rainy days, hang out in the clubroom or hit the building spa to relax. With amenities like these, it’s doubtful you’ll spend much time in your room, but when you do head back, you’ll have a kitchen, washer and dryer, and 42-inch flatscreen TV. And all this is just steps from campus – it’s any student’s dream!

What are your chances of getting into the University of Arizona?

University of Chicago

Location: Chicago, IL
Size: 5,300 students

university of chicago
image credit: outofchicago.com

Every kid dreamed of attending a school like Hogwarts – now you have the chance (minus the magic). University of Chicago’s dorms are eerily similar to the houses J.K. Rowling describes in the famed Harry Potter series. Each building has its own houses that have their own traditions, history, and culture. Swap out Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff for Phoenix, Graham, Crown, Keller, etc. and you’ll get the gist of it. Traditions include things like ski trips and scavenger hunts, and the culture of these many houses ranges far and wide, but we’re pretty sure there’s no house devoted specifically to evil witches and wizards. Now where’s that sorting hat?

What are your chances of getting into the University of Chicago?

Brandeis University

Location: Waltham, MA
Size: 5,600 students

brandeis university
image credit: brandeis.edu

Okay, so Hogwarts-style houses aren’t enough for you – what about living in an actual castle? Brandeis University’s Usen Castle dorms are not only super cool to look at, but awesome to live in. The building has its own coffee shop, snack bar that’s open late, and performance space, and the round common area in one of the towers boasts a fireplace, foosball table, and plenty of study nooks. You have the option to choose a single, double, or a suite-style room. Oh, and don’t forget about the balconies with a killer view of Boston!

What are your chances of getting into Brandeis University?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, MA
Size: 10,500 students
mit
image credit: mit.edu

If you work hard enough to get into MIT, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best residence halls on the planet. The list of amenities in Simmons Hall is crazy – a two-story movie theatre, thousands of windows to keep it nice and bright, and a ball pit. Nothing says pre-test stress relief like pretending you’re four years old and diving into a massive hole full of balls. Once you’ve worn yourself out playing around, there are always plenty of activities and meetings happening within the building.

What are your chances of getting into MIT?

Washington University

Location: St. Louis, MO
Size: 13,800 students

washington university
image credit: wustl.edu

What if everything you needed was located within your building? With the exception of getting to class, you’d never have to leave on freezing cold days, which is a huge plus. Washington University’s South 40 House makes this dream a reality. You’ve got a market, bakery, multicultural food court, fitness center, and a rooftop garden all at your fingertips. And forget about doing laundry – the school has a student-run laundry service that picks up your dirty clothes and drops them off once they’ve been washed.

What are your chances of getting into Washington University?

St. Lawrence University

Location: Canton, NY
Size: 2,500 students

st lawrence university
image credit: stlawu.edu

So a yurt may not fit the definition of luxury, but but if you love the outdoors and chance to get close to nature, it definitely fits the description of intriguing. St. Lawrence University’s semester-long Outdoor Program gives students the chance to live in a yurt and experience the wilderness from a whole new angle. You’ll learn more about climbing, snowshoeing, hiking, fly-fishing, paddling, and skiing, in addition to gaining serious survival skills. Participants don’t have service for their phones and are responsible for chopping their own firewood, but it’s all made worth it by the beautiful surroundings and sauna.

What are your chances of getting into St. Lawrence University?

University of Michigan

Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Size: 42,700 students

u michigan
image credit: umich.edu

University of Michigan’s new North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex is one pretty fabulous housing option. Choose from spacious single, double, or triple rooms, and a few of your classrooms may be just down the hall, meaning you can roll out of bed literally five minutes before your lecture starts. When it comes to food, the North Quadrangle Complex rocks it. Adventurous eaters rejoice – you have an onsite coffee shop and the dining hall serves up plenty of exotic dishes (including shark!).

What are your chances of getting into University of Michigan?

High Point University

Location: High Point, NC
Size: 4,200 students

high point university
image credit: highpoint.edu

What does your ideal dormitory have? Private rooms? Bathrooms shared by just a few people, rather than several dozen? A movie theatre with free snacks and plenty of pools? Volleyball and basketball courts? What about an ice cream truck? Let’s throw an arcade, sports bar, and steakhouse in just for good measure. If you think this campus doesn’t exist, you’re wrong – you just haven’t heard of High Point University. The on-campus housing is more like a resort than a traditional dorm.

What are your chances of getting into High Point University?

Union University

Location: Jackson, TN
Size: 4,000 students

union university
image credit: facebook.com/unionuniversity

If you don’t want to risk being stuck with a roommate in the housing lottery process, apply to Union University. The vast majority of students get their own private bedrooms and typically only share a bathroom with a couple other students. The privacy is great, but suite-style accommodations mean you’ll still have company nearby when you feel like chatting with friends. And there’s no need to worry about the dining hall being closed when you’re in the mood for a late-night snack – accommodations have their own kitchens.

What are your chances of getting into Union University?

Pomona College

Location: Claremont, CA
Size: 1,500 students

pomona college
image credit: kcet.org

About 98 percent of Pomona students live on campus – what does that tell you about how great on-campus housing options are? Residence halls here are often single and double rooms and have (or are a short walk away from!) pools and tennis courts. Lounge on the rooftop sundecks and if you’re interested in studying a foreign language, you have the option to live in the Oldenborg Center where you can be immersed with native speakers and other students studying language.

What are your chances of getting into Pomona College?

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5 Great Schools for Nursing Majors

Considering the huge demand for nurses, it’s no surprise nursing is one of the most popular majors right now. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the demand for nurses will grow 19 percent from 2012-2022, much faster than the average for other occupations. That explains why the National Center for Education Statistics reports a health professions major is one of the most popular college degrees.

With so many great nursing colleges out there, it’s tough to choose just one. Here are a few of our picks for some top nursing colleges you may have overlooked so far:

Western Connecticut State University

Location: Danbury, CT
Size: 6,600 students

wcsu
image credit: facebook.com/westconn

Essentials:

WCSU offers a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor of education in nursing, giving you plenty of opportunities to study further.

Programs focus on competence and a dynamic curriculum, which means you’re learning the essentials without courses feeling boring or unengaging.

The student-to-faculty ratio is 13.7 to 1, meaning you’ll get plenty of one-on-one time with professors.

With more than 80 clubs, groups, and Greek organizations on campus, you’ll literally never run out of things to do. At WCSU you can be a part of the a capella club,, Collegiate Health Services Corps, debate team, and campus newspaper – and that’s just scratching the surface.

Chaminade University

Location: Honolulu, HI
Size: 2,800 students

chaminade university
image credit: bestvalueschools.com

Essentials:

  • Chaminade’s nursing program gives students a holistic foundation. Since you’ll need experience in the humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, and physical sciences to be an exceptional nurse, Chaminade makes sure its students have experience in these areas.
  • You’ll get real-world experience in multiple care settings, preparing you for any type of career you may choose.
  • The average class size is 19, so you won’t be sitting in massive lecture halls wondering if the professor has ever seen your face.
  • Because it’s in Honolulu, you’ll get to spend your college years getting a great education in paradise – you can’t lose!

University of St. Francis

Location: Joliet, IL
Size: 3,200

university of st francis
image credit: stagehandsjoliet.com

Essentials:

  • With bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in nursing, University of St. Francis gives you plenty of opportunities to extend your education.
  • According to the university, USF grads have a higher-than-average pass rate on the national licensure exam for registered nurses, which means you’ll be well prepared to take on a job after graduation.
  • Students who already have an associate’s degree can register for the online fast track program, allowing them to broaden their skills and gain new knowledge.
  • Worried about being able to afford college? 100 percent of full-time freshmen at UST receive financial aid.

University of Pittsburgh

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Size: 28,800 studentsuniversity of pittsburgh
image credit: snapfish.com

Essentials:

  • University of Pittsburgh’s graduate nursing program was ranked fifth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, so you can rest assured you’ll get a solid education.
  • An urban campus means there’s plenty to do once class ends for the day. You’ll never run out of art exhibits, performances, and restaurants to check out.
  • Pitt has been ranked one of the top colleges overall by The Princeton Review and one of the best value universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Size: 42,700

university of michigan
image credit: umich.edu

Essentials:

  • University of Michigan’s nursing program fuses service, education, and research, helping students grow into informed and devoted nurses.
  • The university is known for its prestige – it tops many lists, including the list of best nursing schools.
  • The school tied for sixth place on U.S. News and World Report’s list of best nursing grad programs.
  • With dozens of clubs, top-notch school spirit, and a devotion to athletics, it’s impossible to be bored at U-M!

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