Wheaton (MA) Students Say...This historic Massachusetts institution, originally founded in 1834 as a female seminary, is now a “small liberal arts college” that provides “a top notch education” for “high performing students.” Wheaton is a school that “focuses strongly on creating the well-rounded, aware, worldly and accepting liberal arts graduate.” Students love the “small class sizes” that engender a “close connection with faculty.” These factors “are incredibly conducive to classroom discussion and cooperative learning in all subjects” and “students are expected to be present and participate in class.” Students know that “if you work hard, you will succeed,” and if you are struggling people will help you out. “There’s an atmosphere of goodwill,” a Psychology and Hispanic Studies student explains. “For example, if someone is having trouble in a class or looking for a summer job, help is always available and easily reachable.” Another attraction is “the beautiful campus” that is located close to both Providence and Boston. Students at Wheaton “are independent thinkers and take pride in their individuality” while working “well together, no matter what social group you may be a part of.” They might be best summed up as “quirky, but in all different ways.” “Students usually fall into friend groups very fast,” normally finding “a set of friends after first semester.” “Students are generally liberal” and often “very New-England” and “smart, social, involved.” Students enjoy the “active force” of the college’s programming council that ensures “students will always have something to do on weekends.” Students are very active in student groups and organizations, including the “over 100 clubs and organizations on campus that do programming in a regular basis.”
Virginia Tech Students Say...Virginia Tech is a school with a reputation as big as its campus. Known for its “beautiful campus, amazing community feel, top-notch engineering field,” and as a “good value”—not to mention its renowned athletics—Virginia Tech offers “a perfect blend of challenging and fun, encompassed in an unparalleled community feel.” That community feel is a big part of the attraction to this top- ranked school, with students saying they feel “more comfortable here than anywhere in the world.” Better be ready to be part of the Hokie Nation, because the “typical student is someone who has a love for all things Virginia Tech.” Those who attend VT “are proud of our school,” and “A typical student here wears Virginia Tech clothes practically every day.” Indeed, “you will find them at every VT football game.” Living “in the middle of nowhere” may seem like a recipe for boredom, but members of VT’s Hokie Nation make the most of this “perfect college town.” After all, when “there are 30,000 people around you that are the same age as you, you find stuff to do.” When not consumed with Virginia Tech football— you’ll see more maroon and orange in a single day here than most people will see in a lifetime—students here do, well, a little bit of everything. “School-related and Greek-life functions are the main sources of weekend activities,” students say, but deceptively quiet Blacksburg and the surrounding area offer plenty of other options. On weekends, students “go out to parties or down- town with friends, we go out to eat, we play tennis, lay out on the ‘drillfield,’ play in the snow when we have some, go on hikes, and go to the river.” That’s just a start.
Union Students Say...Founded in 1795, Union College in upstate New York is a small, independent liberal arts college that provides a wide “breadth of education” that allows students to learn across the curriculum and graduate with a respected degree and a true liberal arts education. The “great historical roots” are apparent all around the “beautiful campus full of school-spirited students,” but the school keeps a firm eye on the future as well, and “encourages students to develop and be prepared for graduation.”The professors are “interested in the lives of their students” and “work to make sure the student gets the academic support needed to succeed,” and best of all, “you will never EVER have a teaching assistant instead of a professor at Union.” Most come to Union from "some part of the northeast," are "from middle/ upper-middle class families," and are "very active, career-oriented, [and] serious about academics." The unique Minerva House system blends academic, social and residentialinterests. All students and faculty are assigned to one of the seven houses,which host hundreds of events each year (some professors even teach preceptorialsthere). There are also “Theme Houses,” which are on-campus housingwhere people who have similar interests can live, such as the Ozone House forenvironmentally-oriented people.Between Greek and Minerva life, there is “a vibrant social life” for all students.
Tulane Students Say....”Students describe their learning environment as “vibrant and culturally diverse,”and one which fosters “a culture of collaborative academic success.” Many of Tulane’s “profoundly knowledgeable” faculty members “are not only incredible instructors, but are interesting and insightful people,” and students say “our classes are small and engaging, encouraging us to develop personal relationships with professors.” Looking toward the future, students say that professors have helped them “so many important connections” for jobs. Students maximize their location in New Orleans, “one of the greatest strengths of Tulane,” too: “There are so many opportunities available outside the classroom—from student organizations,to community service projects, internships, events happening in New Orleans.” Indeed, the Tulane and New Orleans experiences are inseparable, and this ethos motivates the fact that Tulane is “the only major research institution in the nation with a public service requirement for graduation.” Tulane's student body comes from origins near and far: "Tulane is the most geographically diverse school in the country-something like 80 percent of our students come from over 300-plus miles away and the average distance traveled is like 800 miles." Its undergraduates are proud of this diversity, saying that "no matter your race, religion, gender, or background, you will have many like-minded friends that accept you." Embracing the school's slogan of "Only at Tulane, only in New Orleans," students are eager to take advantage of "one of the most culturally stimulating cities in the world" and "can't express how much I love" living "in a city that loves to celebrate-no reason required."
SUNY Geneseo Students Say...Undergrads at SUNY Geneseo laud their university for offering “an outstanding education [at] an affordable price.” With the combined “top-notch” academics and “small-town feel,” it’s no wonder so many students “feel at home” the minute they set foot on the campus. Indeed, Geneseo provides a “close-knit community,” which in turn creates “a family environment.” While the university has a number of great programs, students are especially quick to highlight the stellar education, business, and science departments. Importantly, “small classes” translates into highly “accessible” professors. Students here agree that their peers are “very good at time management.” Indeed, “they know how to study, but they also know how to have a good time.” Having multitasking down to an art form, “They are able to get their work done and excel in classes while still participating in social events and hanging out with their friends.”Fortunately, Geneseo is “not a pressure cooker school,” and most students are“pretty relaxed.” By and large, undergrads proclaim that “life is great” at SUNY Geneseo. Students “study hard and play hard” and are quite adept at striking a balance between the two. Fortunately, “weekends are very lively, both on campus and off.” An active lot, undergrads like to take advantage of Geneseo’s “good”athletic facilities, which include “an ice rink, a swimming pool, a cardio room,and a weight room, as well as lots of intramural and club sports.”
Rice Students Say...Students at Rice are generous with their praise for professors, who “are very accessible and happy to talk about the material and give help outside of class,” and make “their course material relevant, being sure to include modern-day and industry applications.” While “a lot is expected of you, so be prepared to have to do a lot of work on your own,” professors “are there if you are struggling,” the academic “emphasis is more on collaboration than com- petition,” and that work will contribute to “meaningful discussion during class.” Professors serve as “masters” within the residential colleges, “which provides a wonderful opportunity [for students] to get to know the faculty and staff on a more personal level.” Most students are quick to claim they can’t be typified, and many use the term “quirky” to describe themselves and each other. Rather than quirky in the hipster sense, they seem to mean that “everyone is…interesting in some way” and “people have such a far-reaching range of interests.” One student shares their “impression that Rice admits people who excel in [a] particular area or who have specialized interests rather than…a cookie-cutter class of people.” “There is no racial majority here on campus, and I’ve met students of varied political affiliations, religions, socio-economic status, and sexual orientations.” Continuing with the theme of balance, “students at Rice work hard and accomplish great things in academics and extracurriculars. But this is complemented and supported by a thriving social life.” Students report a wide range of activities and interests outside the classroom. What they all have in common is their satisfaction with life at Rice. “The environment is very inclusive. People are free to do whatever they want with whoever they want.”
Prescott Students Say...Prescott College, a small, progressive school, “encourages critical and forward thinking around issues of social justice and sustainability.” The school shines in interdisciplinary fields, such as environmental studies, human development and psychology, outdoor adventure education, and arts-based fields such as photography and creative writing. Prescott “is about taking learning out of the classroom,” and true to its word, classes, according to the university, “take place in field sites throughout the Southwest, in art galleries, wilderness areas, along the U.S./Mexico border and in local schools, to name a few.” Prescott’s emphasis on individual education, the environment, and sustain- ability means students are “environmentally and politically conscious” and “committed to their learning and creating a better community.” Students are there because “they want to better themselves and have a positive impact on the world at large,” and they’re “motivated, empowered, and feisty.” Additionally, students are very invested in social activism. Prescott’s emphasis on outdoor education and its ideal location near 1.4 mil- lion acres of National Forest mean that most students “live and play outside.” One student says, “The majority of students rock climb, mountain bike, ski, snowboard, surf, raft, kayak, skydive, or ice climb.” “If you want to go on an adventure, have no fear, you’ll have an accomplice in less than an hour.”
Quinnipiac Students Say...Located on a “beautiful” campus near New Haven, Connecticut, Quinnipiac University is a liberal arts school that “wants every student to graduate with a well-rounded education.” The school “is about educating students in both their major and in general knowledge so they are prepared for life after college.” Though health science, business, and communications are the school’s most notable programs, the entire university “takes pride in its academics” and is “invested in preparing students for their potential career in the best way possible.” No matter your major, the school stresses that “the most important aspect is the student’s undergraduate experience on the journey of finding themselves.”Since class sizes are so small, teachers “are able to engage with each student individually.” The professors at Quinnipiac “really look out for the students and want them to achieve.” “Students are easy to make friends with,” so “it’s easy to find a niche here.” “Students all seem to have a place, there are so many different groups that it’s hard not to find someplace for everyone,” says one. “I feel like it’s a good place to go if you want a balance between social life and school work,” says a student. Students at the school “value the closeness of our community and bringing everyone together,” according to a student. The campus is “just plain gorgeous” (“When I came to this school I got the ’wedding dress feeling,’” says a student.), and there’s a lot going on there, too. “Campus life is awesome!” There are “so many ways” of getting involved: “numerous clubs and activities, supporting the athletic teams, intramural sports, and much more.”
Oberlin Students Say...Oberlin College, a school “for laid-back people who enjoy learning and expanding social norms, allows each and every student to have the undergrad experience for which he or she is looking, all the while challenging the students to change themselves and the world for the better.” Oberlin is a place where students “focus on learning for learning’s sake rather than making money in a career.” As one student explains, “I didn’t plan on becoming a scholar when I entered Oberlin.…As fate would have it, I ended up loving my college classes and professors. Now I hope to be a professor of religion.” At Oberlin, “academics are very highly valued, but balanced with a strong interest in the arts and a commitment to society.” “We’re all different and unusual, which creates a common bond between students.” “Musicians, jocks, science geeks, creative writing majors, straight,bi, questioning, queer, and trans [students],” all have their place here, alongside“straight-edge, international, local, and joker students.”
Northwestern Students Say...“The strength of the school is its range.” Northwestern students agree, vowing their school “has everything”: “Intelligent but laid-back students, excellence in academic fields,” “great extracurriculars,” “strong [Big Ten] sports spirit,” and “so many connections and opportunities during and after graduation.” Undergrads here brag of “nationally acclaimed programs for almost anything anyone could be interested in, from engineering to theater to journalism to music,” and report “everything is given fairly equal weight. Everyone here “is an excellent student who works hard” and “has a leadership position in at least two clubs, plus an on-campus job.” Extracurriculars are “incredible here. There is a group for every interest, and the groups are amazingly well-managed by students alone. This goes hand-in-hand with how passionate students at Northwestern are about what they love.” Many students “are involved in plays, a cappella groups, comedy troupes, and other organizations geared toward the performing arts. Activism is also very popular, with many involved in political groups, human-rights activism, and volunteering.” In addition, Northwestern’s membership in the Big Ten means students “attend some of the best sporting events in the country.” Chicago, of course, “is a wonderful resource."
These college profiles are adapted from The Princeton Review's Best 379 Colleges Guide. This guide provides narrative descriptions of schools' academics, student body, and campus life, in addition to other general information. To view these details, you must create a free Princeton Review account.