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Here are the Top 10 Universities, According to U.S. News

Love ’em or hate ’em the annual U.S. Rankings of the country’s universities have been revealed. Though many accuse the rankings of being an outdated system where the same schools always rise to the top, they can be an interesting way to compare some of the many institutions of higher education in the country.

princeton

Though you really can’t narrow the college experience down to a few measurable data points, the people behind the U.S. News rankings try their best to determine what combination of factors creates the nation’s top schools. Factors considered include student retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rates.

Based on those factors and more, here are the top 10 American universities for 2015.

10. California Institute of Technology
Tuition and fees (2014-2015): $43,362
Enrollment: 977
The student-to-faculty ratio at the California Institute of Technology is 3:1. Its students are actively involved in research projects with NASA, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Top College Choices That Aren’t Ivies

You’ve taken the necessary tests and sent in your applications. Now you wait. College applications season is a stressful one, but there may be nothing more stressful than waiting to hear back from your top choices. For those out there who set their sights on an Ivy League school, waiting can be extra worrisome.

williams college

If you’re worried about getting into an Ivy or already know you didn’t, why not check out some other colleges and universities that are just as great and have a higher acceptance rate? Ivies aren’t the only schools out there, and these 10 schools, according to the Fiske Guide to Colleges: Beyond the Ivies, are just as academically outstanding.

Amherst College
This private liberal arts school may be small, it enrolled 1,785 students in 2013, but it’s one of the top-ranked schools in the country. It’s also exclusively undergraduate.

Duke University
Duke is a private research university located in North Carolina. Not only does it have excellent academics, but I’m sure you’re familiar with Duke’s athletic reputation as well.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT is known for its prowess in the fields of physical sciences and engineering. It may be as difficult to get into as an Ivy, but if you want to major in the sciences, it’s certainly worth some consideration.

Pomona College
Located in Southern California, Pomona College is a liberal arts school that focuses on the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Stanford University
A leading research and teaching university, Stanford is another well-known California school. Not only does it feature great academics, but it has one of the most unique college mascots: a tree.

Swarthmore College
This unique college focuses on liberal arts and engineering curriculum. It also has a noted Honor’s Program and strives to integrate ethical and social responsibility into all programs.

University of Chicago
This is a private research university in the heart of one of the Midwest’s biggest cities. Its location offers many cultural benefits and allows for a different educational experience than you might get in a traditional college town.

Wellesley College
Noted as the top liberal arts college for women, Wellesley may be a school you’ve not heard of, but it’s definitely one you should consider.

Wesleyan College
The second women’s-only college on the list is Wesleyan. Another private liberal arts college, Wesleyan recently added the option for students to take an additional class over winter break so they could experience a class that may be higher in demand during the semester.

Williams College
A four-year liberal arts college, Williams offers more than 30 majors in 24 different departments. It also is the number one liberal arts college in the United States according to a recent ranking.

Image from williams.edu

Also Read:

6 Skills Every College Grad Should Have Learned in School

Best Cities for Young Professionals

How Your Grad School Selection Impacts Your Future



Forbes Announces Top Colleges: Does Your Pick Make the List?

I still remember being a restless high school senior waiting to cut my ties and finally make it to college. My sister had chosen a community college for her freshman-sophomore experience just three years before me, and since I followed in her footsteps in most areas I naturally considered taking the same route.

So on a hot day in mid-May back in 2004, my mom and I made the journey just one hour south of Wichita, Kansas, to check out the college that would soon be my new home. While my stay there was short – just two years until I could snag my associates degree – it was memorable. And the following two years spent at Wichita State University securing my bachelor’s degree were even more enjoyable than the first.

When I was looking for schools, my top priorities were proximity, price and degree offerings, among other minor considerations. Out-of-state universities weren’t an option for me as tuition would’ve been outrageous. And along the consideration of price, I also wanted a school that could offer me a scholarship.

Earlier this month, Forbes announced its list of top 650 colleges in America. Among its highest-ranking universities were Princeton, Williams College and Stanford, with Johnson & Wales and Texas Southern University snagging the last spots in 649th and 650th place.

While some have criticized the methods Forbes and other news sources, including US News and Newsweek, use to determine their respective rankings, there’s really no one, tried and true way to determine which colleges are superior. Because the truth is, everyone has their own opinion about what makes one college better than another. Read the rest of this entry »



Many Schools Extend Early Admissions Deadline After Freak Winter Storm

College Common Application LogoWhen an unseasonal snow storm swept through the Northeast last week, many families were left without electricity. This means no heaters, no warm water, and the worst thing for high school seniors: no computers or internet to use to submit their early applications for college acceptance.

The deadline for many colleges for early application was November 1, 2011. For many students who wanted to apply early to their choice schools, the lack of power in their homes forced them to flock to local coffee shops, bookstores, and other public places that still had electricity to charge their laptops and working Internet connections in order to submit their applications.

“I actually had a nervous breakdown, said Victoria Ngo, a high school student who wanted to apply early admission to Villanova University. Ngo found herself without power and was unable to complete her personal statement, which was saved on her laptop, because the computer’s battery had died. Luckily, Ngo was able to go to her cousin’s home in another city where she could charge her computer and finish her personal statement on time.

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Weird and Unique College Clubs

Finding a group that fits your interests is a very important part of being happy in college. When I first came to college, I joined some traditional clubs, such as Spanish Club, a sorority, and a professional writing club.

However, if I had been interested in a more unique hobby, such as lumber jacking, I would have been out of luck at my school. I guess I would have had to transfer to another school – like Michigan Technological University – to pursue my passion.

Many schools are now offering clubs and organizations for their students that are more diverse and unique. Check out some of the most unique college clubs- and see if anything peaks your interest:
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Most Expensive Colleges for the 2010-2011 School Year

The Most Expensive College in America: Sarah Lawrence

The Most Expensive College in America: Sarah Lawrence

College is expensive and, thus, a luxury, but despite tuition rates on the rise across America and an economic recession, many universities are still meeting and exceeding enrollment goals. Some speculate that the steady enrollment is because people chose to go back to school, or stay in school, if they can’t find a job.

But how much are you willing to invest in your future?

Since 2000, public university’s tuition rates increased, on average, at a rate of 46.5% and private non-profit schools averaged an increase of 30.8%. Read the rest of this entry »



Benefits of Early Action in College Applications

college studentNot to be confused with early decision, Early Action is an application option for many colleges that is non-binding. The only difference between this and regular decision is that you know the college’s decision earlier and you more than likely will not know financially how things may work out.

Depending on the school, most Early Action deadlines are December 1. Some schools, such as The University of Chicago, have an Early Action deadline of November 1. Although it may seem extremely rushed, these deadlines are in fact are easily met.  This is a benefit of building your college list early. If you know your colleges early in your senior year and realize you have these opportunities to apply early, then take advantage of these earlier deadlines! Not only will you know much sooner whether or not you are accepted, you will also have that school out of the way. Read the rest of this entry »



As Semester Draws to an End

I can’t believe that the first semester of my senior year is already over! It seems just yesterday I was walking down the halls saying hello to friends I hadn’t seen all summer. Now I’m immersed in finals week and trying to wrap up everything as the semester comes to a close.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how this semester has gone. I’ve had my share of rough patches, but what student doesn’t?! Although I did slack and my GPA will suffer some from this slacking, it will be motivation to push myself even harder my second semester. I also received so far an acceptance letter from the University of Tulsa and a rejection letter from the University of Chicago, beginning another trip down decision lane. Of course, I still have eight schools to hear from so a decision is no where near in my future.

So as first semester comes to an end and the second semester looms close in the future, I look forward to my last semster in high school, but also the things that lay ahead after high school.





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