Posts Tagged ‘college rankings’

Quality of Education and Its Effect on Graduation Rates

Researchers at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government have recently completed a study that tested the connection between institutional quality of a school and the completion rate of students who attend.

By analyzing the educational outcomes of students in Massachusetts public colleges, researchers found that there is a huge correlation between the two factors. Test subjects were students who were enrolled in a scholarship program that waives tuition fees for students with test scores above a specified level, and students in the program whose scores were below the specified level.

The scholarship program has been very successful in keeping smarter students in Massachusetts rather than attending another public or private university school out-of-state, but has not been very beneficial to those students who may be better suited for a higher-quality university. Many of them did not graduate in the standard four-year period.

“Choosing a lower-quality college significantly lowers on-time completion rates, a result driven by high-skilled students who would otherwise have attended higher-quality colleges,” the researchers explained. “For the marginal student, enrolling at an in-state public college lowered the probability of graduating on time by more than 40 percent.”

This study is important in the field of educational research because it is the first time that the evidence of the importance of university quality has been shown. Many high-achieving students are driven to attend universities they may be over-qualified for because of other considerations like tuition costs and distance away from home. In the college decision process, many families feel that quality is not the most important factor in picking a school.

Another important finding that the study noted was that students are extremely willing to not accept a spot at high-quality university if they are offered even a little bit of money from a lower-quality school.

It is definitely possible to get a good education anywhere in the United States, but for students just beginning the college search, it is important to set your sights on the best schools you can get into. If you love where you study and feel both mentally stimulated and happy with the social scene, you are likely to be that much more dedicated and driven to succeed. You only get to go to college once—make it count, and get the best education that you’re capable of!

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15 Most Beautiful College Campuses

Categories: College Life

While college is a haven for education and learning, college campuses often offer the most exquisite environments to be studious in. Lush surroundings combined with beautiful architecture can make living and studying on campus a treat.

Here are, according to the Princeton Review’s 2012 college rankings, the 15 most beautiful college campuses:

1. Florida Southern College
Quick fact:
Florida Southern is located in Lakeland, Fla. and the campus is the home of the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world.

2. Lewis & Clark College
Quick fact:
Located in Portland, Oregon, Lewis & Clark’s forested campus shares a border with the Tryon Creek State Natural Area.

3. University of California – Santa Cruz
Quick fact: 
Located 80 miles south of San Francisco at the edge of the coastal community of Santa Cruz, the college whose mascot is the banana slug, lies on the rolling, forested hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay.

4. Mount Holyoke College
Quick fact:  
Mount Holyoke, an all-women’s college part of the Seven Sisters,  has a Donald Ross-designed 18-hole golf course, The Orchards, which served as host to the U.S. Women’s Open in 2004.

5. Princeton University
Quick fact:
Andrew Carnegie literally built a lake near Princeton so the rowing team could have open water to practice. 

6. Sweet Briar College
Quick fact: 
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the all-women’s college’s architecture is dominated by the Collegiate Gothic work of Ralph Adams Cram.

7. Vassar College
Quick fact: 
With more than 100 buildings, Vassar’s campus includes four National Historic Landmarks, ranging in style from Collegiate Gothic to International, designed over the course of the college’s history by a range of prominent architects, includingJames Renwick Jr., Eero Saarinen, Marcel Breuer, and Cesar Pelli.

8. Colgate University
Quick fact: 
Colgate’s first building, West Hall, was built by students and faculty from stones from Colgate’s own rock quarry. Nearly all the buildings on campus are built of stone, and newer buildings are built with materials that fit the style.

9. Sewanee – The University of the South
Quick fact: The Sewanee campus includes many buildings constructed of various materials faced with local stone, most done in the Gothic style.

10. University of San Diego
Quick fact: 
The philosophy of USD’s founder was that studying in beautiful surroundings could improve the educational experience of students. So, the university’s buildings were designed in a 16th-century Spanish Renaissance architectural style, paying homage to both San Diego’s Catholic heritage and the Universidad de Alcalá in Spain.

11. Ohio University – Athens
Quick fact: 
Ohio University is designed around College Green, the central campus quadrangle lawn which saw the first college buildings built in the former Northwest Territory.

12. College of the Holy Cross
Quick fact: 
Holy Cross’ campus, a registered arboretum, has won national awards for its landscaping.

13. University of Mississippi
Quick fact: 
Unrelated to campus beauty, but an interesting fact, with the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, classes were interrupted when the entire student body and many faculty from Ole Miss enlisted in the Confederate army.

14. University of Richmond
Quick fact: 
The university has, with few exceptions, remained true to the original architectural plans for the campus — red brick buildings in a collegiate gothic style set around shared open lawns.

15. Rhodes College
Quick fact:
Rhodes College campus’s design is notable for its stone Gothic architecture buildings, thirteen of which are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Have you visited any campuses that you thought were noteworthy in architecture or natural beauty?

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10 Best Undergrad Colleges for Budding Writers

Do you write a weekly column for your school newspaper? Do you look forward to a little time alone so you can just put pen to paper and get your ideas out? Do you find yourself jotting down real life moments or things people say so that you can use it in a future story? Well, then you might just be an aspiring writer. And if you are, the only way to become a better writer is to write. And write. And write. And write. And write–especially in an environment where you’re encouraged to do your best work and get the feedback you need from your peers and mentors.

Such places do exist. It’s just about finding them. And whether you’re in college now or heading there in the fall, your college may just have a great creative writing undergraduate program. While some colleges have separate creative writing majors, others may have creative writing concentrations within their English major. Finding the write right undergraduate creative writing program for you is all about researching the professors and instructors who teach the classes, being familiar with their work or teaching style, and understanding what kind of work you’ll be doing. Will you be able to concentrate on what you want to spend the most time on, whether that be poetry, fiction, non-fiction, playwriting, etc.?

Whatever it is you want to pursue, here are 10 colleges, that, according to are the 10 best colleges for creative undergraduate writers:

1. Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia
Notable alum: Pulitzer Prize winning writer C. Vann Woodward, author of The Strange Career of Jim Crow.

2. Hamilton College 
Location: Clinton, New York
Notable alumni: Poet Ezra Pound; novelists Terry Brooks, Kamila Shamsie, and Peter Cameron; playwright Richard Nelson; actor and writer for The Office Paul Lieberstein; and Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Descendants, Nat Faxon.

3. Johns Hopkins University
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Notable alumni: Feminist author Gertrude Stein, novelist Porochista Khakpour, poet Michael Dumanis, and film director Wes Craven.

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Notable alumni: Author of Dr. Dolittle series Hugh Lofting and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

5. New York University
Location: New York, New York
Notable alumni: Founder of MAD magazine William Gaines, Danielle Steel,Joseph Heller, and J.D. Salinger.

6. Washington University in St. Louis
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Notable alumni: Harold Ramis, and playwrights  Edward Shepherd Mead and Tennessee Williams.

7. University of Iowa
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Notable alumni: David Morrell, author, famous for creating the character of John Rambo and Robie Macauley, novelist and editor of Playboy.

8. Columbia
Location: New York, New York
Notable alumni: Upton Sinclair and Hunter S. Thompson.

9. University of Michigan
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan 

Notable alumni: Famous playwright Arthur Miller, author Susan Orlean, Cathy Guisewite author, creator of Cathy comic strip.

10. Colorado College
Location: Colorado Spring, Colorado
Notable alum: Timothy J. Sexton and executive producer and writer for the TV shows ER and Law &  Order SVU Neal Baer.

Make your profile today at to find your college matches and scholarships to pay for them!