Posts Tagged ‘early college search’

25 Best Colleges of 2011

flagIt’s what we’ve all be waiting for: the Forbes list of the best public and private colleges in the U.S.

The list was compiled with research from the Center for College Affordability & Productivity and takes into account the students’ point of view on what they want out of an education. The list is based on the quality of the education the schools provide, the experiences of the students and how much they achieve.

So low and behold, the 25 best colleges of 2011:

1. Williams College
Quick fact: Williams college has a 7-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

2. Princeton University
Quick fact: Princeton is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution.

3. Amherst College
Quick fact: Amherst was classified “most selective” by U.S. News and World Report in their Best Colleges 2010 report.

4. United State Military Academy
Quick fact: The student body, or Corps of Cadets, numbers 4,400 and each year approximately 1000 cadets join the Long Gray Line as they graduate and are commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Quick fact: In the past 60 years, MIT’s educational disciplines have expanded beyond the physical sciences and engineering into fields like biology, cognitive science, economics, philosophy, linguistics, political science, and management.

6. Stanford University
Quick fact:  The university’s assets include a US$12.6 billion endowment, the third largest of any academic institution.

7. Swarthmore College
Quick fact: The school was founded in 1864 by a committee of Quakers who were members of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting and Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

8. Harvard University
Quick fact: Harvard has the largest financial endowment of any school in the world, standing at $26 billion as of September 2009.

9. Claremont McKenna College
Quick fact: Many of its first students were war veterans attending college on the G.I. Bill.

10. Yale University
Quick fact: Yale has produced many notable alumni, including five U.S. presidents.

11. United States Air Force Academy
Quick fact: It is the youngest of the five United States service academies, having graduated its first class in 1959.

12. Wellesley College
Quick fact:  Wellesley College is a women’s liberal-arts college, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, that opened in 1875.

13. Columbia University
Quick fact: It was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain, and is one of only three United States universities to have been founded under such authority.

14. Haverford College
Quick fact: It is the oldest college or university in the United States with Quaker origins.

15. Wesleyan University
Quick fact: Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that both emphasizes the provision of undergraduate instruction in the arts and sciences and also funds graduate research in many academic disciplines, granting PhD degrees primarily in the sciences and mathematics, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

16. Whitman College
Quick fact: Whitman is located in Walla Walla, Washington…which is kinda a neat name. 

17. Pomona College
Quick fact: Although located in California, the founders of Pomona wanted to create a college in the same mold as small New England institutions.

18. Northwestern University
Quick fact: Northwestern is a founding member and remains the sole private institution in the Big Ten Conference.

19. California Institute of Technology
Quick fact: Caltech has six academic divisions with a strong emphasis on sciences and engineering.

20. University of Chicago
Quick fact: It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890.

21. Carleton College
Quick fact: The popular early computer game The Oregon Trail was created, and later further developed, by students at Carleton in 1971.

22. Harvey Mudd College
Quick fact: Harvey Mudd shares university resources such as libraries, dining halls, health services, and campus security, with the other institutions in the Claremont Colleges, including Pitzer College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, and Pomona College, but each college is independently managed by its own faculty, board of trustees, and college endowment and has its own separate admissions process.

23. Vassar College
Quick fact: Founded as a women’s college in 1861, it became coeducational in 1969.

24. Centre College
Quick fact: The campus is currently changing with some frequency: a new student residence, Pearl Hall, was completed in 2008; a new campus center opened in October 2009; and construction for a new science wing on Young Hall will be completed in 2010.

25. Rice College
Quick fact: The story of how Rice College was founded is laced with a murder. But there shouldn’t be any ghosts on campus…

Do these surprise you? What college is missing from this list? Leave a comment below!

6 Things High School Freshman Should Know About the College Search

Categories: Admissions Advice

AP ExamWhen freshman enter high school, college is probably the last thing on their minds. There are just so many other important things to think about, like, where it’s okay to sit in the cafeteria, and which teachers check homework every day and getting from X hall to J hall before the 3 minute bell!

It’s a crazy world in those high school halls, especially for a newbie.  What’s even crazier is that it’s actually not that crazy to start thinking about college once you catch your breath.  It may seem unnecessary at the time, considering you still got 4 more school years to go, but in the long run, it will actually ease the stress your college search.

Here are 6 things college-bound high school freshman should keep in mind:

1.  Start Early
Freshman year of high school seems early to to start your college search.  But, it’s more about mental preparedness than anything else.  The college application process is like a 3-ringed circus that you have to run while keeping up with your high school classes. The more you can prepare yourself for it, the smoother time you’ll have.

Sit down with your high school counselor.  Make sure you’re on the path to graduate on time and that you’re taking classes required for most colleges.  Discuss your future with your parents so you can all be on the same page about your goals. College is a big deal–financially and academically–and will have a huge impact on your life. So, how could it hurt to start thinking about it?

2. Find a Passion or Hobby
There are too many students out there who just phone-in volunteer hours so it will “look good” on their college application.  Yes, extra-curricular activities, leadership and volunteer services will make your college application appear more well-rounded.  But, college admissions folks weren’t born yesterday. They can tell the difference between surface-deep involvement in an activity and a heartfelt one.

A passion or a hobby can be anything.  Sports, birdwatching, an after-school job, tutoring, etc.  Find or continue doing what you love and what interests you.  It will be easier, and far more fun and motivating to grow and find leadership positions doing something you love versus something you think will look good on a resume.

3. Reach Out to Teachers
Your teachers are probably the most underused resource you have.  If they’re teaching at your school, they went to college and can offer up words of wisdom.  Ask questions about how they discovered they wanted to become teachers or if they know any field of study that you’d be interested in.  Just because it’s not on the syllabus doesn’t mean you can’t ask.

It’s also great to keep up a healthy relationship with a couple teachers because you might need a letter of recommendation in a few years.

4. Every Year Counts
Certain colleges will tell you that they disregard Freshman year from your transcript and GPA. For the most part, this is not the case. Do not throw away your freshman year out of the belief that “it doesn’t matter”. All of your grades go into your GPA, so keep up with your schoolwork.

Also, if you get involved in activities your freshman year, you’ll have more flexibility to move up and take on leadership opportunities that a person who starts in a club their sophomore or junior year won’t have.

5. Plan Your Summer Smartly
The summer going into your sophomore year can really set the pace for the rest of your high school career and college search.  Think about your priorities.  What do you want to be able to tell colleges when you apply to them?  If you want to show them your work ethic, perhaps taking on extra hours at your summer job is key.  If you want to show them you’re passionate about volunteering, volunteer! Apply for an internship at a local charity.   Use your time in the summer not only to have fun, but to keep yourself growing as a college-bound student.

6.  Keep an Eye Out for Scholarships
Paying for college is no small feat. In fact, if it were feet, it’d be huge feet.  There are tons of scholarships out there. Some are small. Some are huge.  The earlier you start looking and applying for scholarships, the more likely are you to acquire some scholarship money before you head off to college.

The sooner you start, the more ahead you’ll be in your college search.

Do you have tips for high school freshman about beginning their college search early? Comment and let us know!

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