The “largest and most diverse” of North Carolina’s public university system, NC State provides undergrads with a “high level education” and “great value.” The campus rings with a “welcoming, down-to-earth” vibe and “Wolfpack pride” is certainly infectious. Moreover, the university maintains “opportunities to fit every single type of person no matter their interest.” Academically, NC State is home to a stellar engineering school that students contend is “the best engineering program in the state of North Carolina.” It offers “world-renowned faculty who conduct innovative and cutting edge research in a plethora of scientific fields.” Undergrads also like to emphasize the “exceptionally rigorous” design program which is “small and personal.” And we’d certainly be remiss if we didn’t mention the “fantastic business school” and “great entrepreneurship program” it has developed. Inside the classroom, students find their professors to be “very enthusiastic about what they teach” and appreciate that they truly “challenge you to think.” Students tell us that “fitting in is super easy and getting involved with any of the many programs on campus help[s] with meeting new people and making friends!” And while most students are “devoted to academics,” they all still manage to “go out and have fun.” Additionally, undergrads say their peers “are service oriented and always think of creative ways to give back.” Finally, as one junior reveals, “NCSU is huge, so every person can find a spot—and when you do, you find a family. To me, it doesn’t feel like a large school. I see someone I know walking on campus every day. I don’t know anyone, particularly those that began their education living on campus, that hasn’t found their niche.” Many students and faculty from around the globe call Raleigh home. And it's no wonder why. Raleigh, the state’s capital city, is consistently ranked as one of the nation's best places to live and work.
Vanderbilt has consistently enrolled America's most talented students and challenged them daily to expand their intellectual horizons in an inclusive environment based on open inquiry and respect. Vanderbilt's comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to education allows students to pursue a wide array of academic and curricular interests outside of their main focus of study, and the university's Opportunity Vanderbilt financial aid program ensures that it is often cited among the country’s best values in national universities. Consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Vanderbilt is a private research university that features four undergraduate schools and six graduate and professional schools. Each year, 1,600 first-year students join the university, bringing the total undergraduate population to approximately 6,800 students, many of whom collaborate with professors on cutting-edge research projects and present their findings at professional conferences. The university's 8:1 student-faculty ratio gives students access to faculty members of prominence in every area of academic study. Faculty members provide a challenging, comprehensive education that encourages broad perspectives and critical thinking. The word “balance” is much used by students in describing Vanderbilt University, whether it is the “campus mixed with city, academics mixed with social life, small population mixed with big athletics,” or the “unique balance [that] exists between social life and schoolwork.” Vanderbilt is located in the heart of Nashville, home to a diverse population of 1.7 million and marked by its unique blend of cosmopolitan flair and small-town charm. A thriving center of entertainment, publishing, health care, and technology, Nashville is consistently ranked as one of America's friendliest cities and was honored as "The South's Red-Hot Town" by Time in 2014. . Nashville sits at the intersection of three major interstates, and the international airport is served by all major airlines.
Lafayette College is “a small, prestigious liberal arts school” that offers a “warm, community feel.” Even before you decide to attend, “walking around campus left me with a cozy, at-home feeling,” one psychology major gushes. Thanks to the “top-quality engineering education,” many students say, “Lafayette is your classic liberal arts college with a twist” and point to the “vast array of research” and “study abroad opportunities” available to undergrads. The college “prides itself on student/faculty relationships.” Lafayette students are “passionate and driven” and “tend to be athletic, very preppy, and serious about their education.” At Lafayette, the “campus is gorgeous,” and students say you feel the “close atmosphere of the school” after “immediately walking onto the campus.” Overall students feel, “the campus community is very supportive,” and a civil engineering major says, “The family atmosphere adds to the education and makes Lafayette feel more like home than school.” With “over 200 clubs and organizations on campus,” there “is something that will fit everyone’s lifestyle and hobbies,” and when it comes to their Division I athletics, “students radiate school pride.” Lafayette boasts a “great career center due to the close ties alumni have with the college,” and career services are offered to students during all four years of their undergraduate study. The administration actively requests “student forums and opinions when decisions need to be made.”
Ohio Wesleyan University is “an outstanding, small, liberal arts college” that manages to cultivate a “welcoming and diverse” community. With “fantastic scholarships,” a “beautiful” campus, and academic “flexibility” that allows undergrads to pursue multiple passions, it’s no wonder students love it here.
And while the university is bursting with academic options and opportunities, students especially like to tout the premed, zoology and English programs. Of course, no matter the major, OWU undergrads value that their “educational experience is marked by close relationships with professors.” Indeed, these “incredibly supportive [and] knowledgeable” teachers manage to create a “wonderful” classroom environment. Moreover, as one pleased student adds, “Professors are enthusiastic and genuinely enjoy teaching the material. They are eager to help you outside of the classroom and strive to form personal bonds with their students.” And a fellow student supports this sentiment, sharing, “Professors have amazing dedication to their students. They have office hours daily, respond to e-mails frequently, answer questions whenever available, and are active in all aspects of their students’ lives.” All in all, “OWU is a place where students can experience the opportunities of a larger school with the personality and personal attention of a smaller school.” Ohio Wesleyan students are typically always on the go, as most undergrads are “active in politics, school government, sports, and other special interest clubs.” When students are itching to get off campus for a bit, they’ll head into downtown Delaware, which is “easily in walking distance” and offers “cute little shops and restaurants.” Indeed, “it’s pretty common to find people studying in the [local] bookstore or coffee shop.” And should students be feeling slightly more adventurous, Columbus is only about a thirty-minute ride away. In short, “if you are bored at this school, it’s because you are trying to be.”
Attending school at Miami University may be “the iconic college experience.” Located in Oxford, Ohio, “a quaint college town” with a “beautiful red brick campus,” which students describe as “gorgeous” and “astoundingly beautiful,” the school “has a rich tradition and history” that “is committed to its image as a premier undergraduate institution.” The “prestige” of the business school affords many promising opportunities both during school and after graduation. Students agree, “Miami really prepares students for the real world after college.” “A degree from Miami is worth a lot to many employers, at least in the business world.” “Miami University students are recruited by companies, and that provides great leverage when looking for internships and jobs.” The curriculum as a whole offers “a challenging academic workload” that truly tests a student’s abilities as well as “prepares students for the workplace after graduation while also giving them the opportunity to thrive while on campus.” This “devotion to excellent undergraduate instruction” is backed by “an extremely strong orientation program, a dedicated student affairs department, and an overwhelming amount of student involvement in co-curricular activities.” Smaller classrooms that allow for “engaging” discussion are more highly valued than large lectures, which may be “hard to sit through.”
The typical student is “very involved on campus, is concerned about his or her academics, and wants to make a good impression on others. We care about how we present ourselves, but in a good way.” Another student says, “The typical student is very academically focused, challenge-driven, competitive, extroverted, and demonstrates a preference for dressing well.” Miami University offers “a vibrant social atmosphere.” With 15,000 or so students on campus Miami may be “the perfect size,” where you “can see everyone…but still meet many new people.” With a “plethora of student activities,” “Miami makes it possible to find groups or organizations that can fit any student’s interest, and many tend to help in propelling graduates into jobs or programs once they leave the campus.”
“There is a ton to do on and off campus. The town is quaint, but it is mainly a college town, so it’s like an extension of the school. Nightlife is pretty big here, but so are academics and activities. Students definitely are actively thinking about their futures, and they take academics seriously.”
The Core Curriculum is the foundation of Loyola's liberal arts education. Core courses are aimed at increasing students' understanding of themselves and the world while they explore diverse subjects and cultivate new interests. Courses provide a strong base of knowledge, skills, and values that will help students achieve academic, professional, and personal success throughout their lives. Loyola offers students the chance to develop leadership and social skills by participating in any of its more than 185 academic, athletic, cultural, hobby, media, political, social, and spiritual student-run organizations. Other special academic opportunities include pre-professional programs for law and health professions; 18 five-year (bachelor's/master's) degree programs; more than 20 interdisciplinary programs; a six-year, early admission to Loyola's School of Law; early assurance to Loyola's Stritch School of Medicine; and the Loyola/Midwestern University Dual-Acceptance Pharmacy Program.
Standing tall alongside the shore of Lake Michigan eight miles north of downtown Chicago, Loyola University “provides the best of both worlds: an integrated campus and a taste of the city life.” The undergraduate campus is located next to Lake Michigan, and the surrounding area is “gorgeous.” The academic programs are “rigorous and fascinating,” and the school offers “significant financial assistance and plenty of scholarships.” The school’s location “allows Loyola to attract top-notch faculty while giving students of all disciplines the opportunity to find something that interests them.”
“What’s great about Loyola is that it is very future-focused, but it never forgets about the present either,” says a student “The majority of the professors [are] excellent.” The professors “find a good balance in their teaching methods that allow students to engage the material and engage other students in the classroom.” “They are the kind of teachers that one remembers for a long time,” says a student. “Many bring in business professionals to relate our classroom material to the real world,” and “the work is challenging, but not overbearing.” “I’ve had several professors who I would go out of my way to take again,” says a student. “The academics make everyone work hard, regardless of natural ability, but it pays off every time.”
Emerson is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and operates on a two-semester calendar. Graduation requirements combine general education and liberal arts courses with advanced, specialized classes that are specific to individual departments and academic programs. Internships for academic credit are available in every major and the College's Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies offers first-year seminars, independent study options, and innovative courses that cut across academic disciplines. Students can also study abroad or register for classes with the six-member Boston ProArts Consortium.“Perfectly situated in the heart of Boston,” Emerson’s campus sits “in close proximity to a plethora of other academic institutions and culture.” Emerson is “the number one school for film/television/media production.” The combination of a “very active” alumni network and plentiful “industry connections” greatly help students in their post-college careers. Emerson fosters a “creative atmosphere” where people have “passion for [their] craft” and “strive to do their best.” As one student puts it, “Emerson is a specialized school for people who are passionate and know exactly what they want to do with that passion.” Student life at Emerson revolves around the more than 60 student-run organizations. These include a range of media outlets (audio, digital, film, print, and video), performance groups, service clubs, spiritual and cultural organizations, non-residential fraternities and sororities, professional societies, and intercollegiate and recreational athletics. Emerson students also take advantage of the campus' location in Boston one the country's best college towns. Boston is one of America's favorite college towns and the city offers students a wide variety of diversions ranging from scenic harbor cruises and Boston Pops concerts to baseball's Fenway Park and legendary Boston Marathon. Emerson's campus is located right on Boston Common in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, within sight of the Massachusetts State House and walking distance from the historic Freedom Trail, Boston Public Garden, Chinatown, and numerous restaurants and museums. The "T" (Boston's historic subway/street trolley system) stops at Emerson's front door and provides convenient access to citywide destinations.
“Small class sizes” that afford plenty of “personal attention,” “outstanding” scholarships, and cross-registration with nearby Cornell University are a few great reasons to choose Ithaca College, a smallish school in central New York that offers many of the resources you would expect to find at a much larger university. “You are able to be a part of a community and get the chance to pursue interests that are not necessarily a part of your chosen course of study,” relates an English major. “We have loads of opportunities to do and try a wide variety of things.” The vast multitude of academic offerings includes “one of the best communication schools in the country.” Also notable are “strong” majors in music, business, and drama; a “highly competitive” six-year doctorate program in physical therapy; and the cinema and photography program. The typical undergrad here is “genuine,” “easygoing,” “always busy,” “well-dressed,” and has a “sunny disposition despite the gray skies.”The number of extracurricular choices is “considerable” at Ithaca College. At the same time, “the school is small enough for anyone to get involved.”
Experiential learning is a cornerstone of Knox's curriculum and the College offers many hands-on opportunities. Research, Honors, & Independent Study: Knox provides more than $250,000 in grants and funding for graduate-style research, Honors research, and creative projects. Nearly 90% of Knox students complete independent study courses or projects, where they're encouraged to explore interests, generate ideas, and pursue a well-planned course of study under the guidance of a faculty member. Students say that Knox College enjoys a “great academic reputation” for its dedication to providing a “well-rounded liberal arts program” that “values independent initiative,” while “staying in tune with its roots as a progressive and accessible institution.” The college has a saying about students having “the freedom to flourish.” The institution gives everyone “the appropriate space to grow on their own.” Under the open skies of west-central Illinois sits the 82-acre Knox campus. Built on prairieland, its broad lawns and big trees offer plenty of prime spots to study, play or simply relax and enjoy. Days are generally clear and sunny, with warm springs and colorful falls.
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.