Juniata Students Say...Juniata College is a private liberal arts college located in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. The college is named after the Juniata River. The school has “excellent science programs,” and a few students say that there need to be “more resources [for] non-science programs.” However, even students not majoring in science get access to some great facilities, with theater students exclaiming, “The theater program is unlike any other in country” and praising their new Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. At Juniata, students can choose one of the many majors offered, or they can design their own under the Program of Emphasis. Many students do so, about 30 percent, which allows each student to work with two faculty members and choose which classes would best fit their intended area of study. The “outstanding education” is built on a bedrock of strong faculty members who offer “superior education through meaningful personal interaction.” Students tend to describe themselves as “driven” and “passionately interested in their subjects,” though they also take pride in their “laid-back” attitudes, saying they “know how to balance fun and work.” There are so many activities and groups on campus that some say, “It feels like you’re missing out if you go home for the weekend.” There are a “lot of traditions such as Storming of the Arch, Mountain Day, and Madrigal” that have been around the campus for decades and help bring students together.
Iowa State Students Say...More than 28,000 students come together in Ames to get degrees in more than 100 majors, successfully giving off “a small-school feel with a big-university atmosphere.” Science and technology are the main draws at this research university, but this “welcoming and friendly environment” treats all of its students well, regardless of their academic path. Professors, academic advisors, and other staff are all “very willing to help you academically and personally,” and the Cyclone Nation is all about “engaging students not only in the classroom, but in the whole college experience.” These “humble,” “extremely friendly” students “care about the community and get involved with as many activities as possible.” Iowa State is all about having “a big college experience (the athletics, the clubs, the shows, the educational opportunities, the school spirit) in a small college town”; indeed, Ames’ support of the university “gives it a very at home and smaller feel than it actually is.” During the week, students “mostly focus on classes and schoolwork.” The weekends provide more of a chance to cut loose, whether that’s a free event on campus, hanging out in each others’ rooms and playing video games, partying, or playing an intramural sport (basketball, flag football, broomball, and others are “very popular”).
Howard Students Say...Noted for “outstanding achievements as an institution as well as the accomplishments of a great majority of its alumni,” Howard University takes great pride in preparing students “to compete on a local and global level.” With “inspiring faculty and a perspective that cannot be found anywhere else,” the school “breeds pride and excellence” and is a “formidable force in producing African American intellectuals.” “Howard University is more than a place to get an education, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that not only strengthens your mind, but also your spirit and pride in who you are as a person and who you have the potential to become,” says an appreciative student. At Howard University, there is at least one commonality everyone can agree on: Students are busy. “At any given time a student at Howard can be found taking a full course load, working, and interning.” Extracurricular activities and com- munity service are also on the plate of many Howard undergraduates. Students are often described as “friendly, outgoing, stylish, and fashionable.” The campus exudes “a culture of achievement and encouragement;” “most students are very goal-oriented and driven.” A common theme heard throughout Howard University is how “students are very tight-knit and supportive of one another.” “Dormitories are lively,” and “life is fast-paced.” School events are normally a “major part of the social calendar,” and there is great encouragement for students “to be involved in campus organizations and student government.”
Mason Students Say...When describing George Mason University, current students are quick to quote the school motto: This is a place “where innovation is tradition.” One student expands on that, saying, “Mason provides a space for students to achieve academic excellence; expand their knowledge of the diverse cultures, practices, and beliefs that surround them; and be prepared to enter the real-world as a global citizen.” Diversity of the student body and proximity to Washington, D.C., are major selling points at this large public university, so it’s no surprise that government, global affairs, and communication are popular majors. Students at GMU never seem to be bored. Campus life is “filled with classes, friends, and work.” On campus activities are very popular, and there are many on offer, including the university’s ambassador program and intramural sports, such as underwater hockey and even quidditch. “Diversity is off the charts” at GMU, and many students describe their school as “a melting pot.” As one student puts it, “There are so many different nationalities represented, so many stories, so many languages spoken. At the same time, it didn’t take me long to find a good group of friends that were interested in hanging out and just having a good time together.”
F&M Students Say...Franklin & Marshall College is “a small, focused liberal arts college dedicated to giving every student the opportunity to succeed.” Known for its “extremely high academic standards” and “great faculty accessibility,” the school is “about furthering academic achievement and providing superior skills and opportunities for success after graduation.” Many students say, “F&M is all about good undergrad programs and tight-knit networking,” and students laud the opportunity to make connections in their chosen fields. A neuroscience major says, “While Greek life seems to dominate campus, after one or two years you come to realize that there is a lot more to do for fun,” and another student adds, “It’s a very laid-back lifestyle so people like to relax and enjoy time with their friends.” A junior says, “In reality, everyone has their ‘thing’ that they’re involved in...” F&M boasts a “lush and beautiful campus” with “state-of-the-art educational and living facilities” and “a strong community feel.” Students say, “Events are constantly being organized, and there’s always something interesting going on if you take the time to participate.” Students also point out, “If you see that there is a need for a new school group, you can definitely petition for it, and the school will back you up. F&M cares a lot about on-campus diversity.” Overall, it’s a, “close-knit student body,” and students feel that “as an F&M student, you are not a number or a name on a class roster, you are an active contributor on campus.”
Elon Students Say...If you ask Elon undergrads to capture the essence of their university with one turn of phrase, they’ll likely report that it’s all about “big-school opportunities with a small-school community.” Happily expounding, students are also quick to underscore that “the hard work that Elon puts into giving its students a hands-on, experiential learning environment is recognized from day one.” Further, students here appreciate the numerous opportunities for study abroad along with the “small class sizes and individual attention.” What’s more, Elon’s “personable,” “engaging” professors are both “enthusiastic about their fields and helping students.” You’re sure to discover a student body that’s “cordial,” “highly motivated,” “driven, and engaged.” Indeed, on this “hardworking” campus, you’ll find students are “passionate about their studies” and “take their schooling very seriously.” Leadership is another big attribute that’s tossed around as most students are “on the executive board of an organization or more than one organization, and [they are] heavily focused on self-improve- ment.” Perhaps more importantly, undergrads at Elon also report that their peers are “compassionate” and “open and willing to talk and help anybody.”
DePaul Students Say...DePaul University’s urban setting means this Chicago school is “all about integrating the opportunities of the city into the classroom,” offering students “the essentials in order for a student to succeed in the business field.” Here, the “dedicated” teaching staff’s “extensive experience outside of the classroom… really brings valuable information into the classroom.” That experience proves beneficial to career-focused students because it “encourages students to become critical life thinkers so that they are not just prepared for a job, but have the skills to become present in all life decisions.” There is no nailing down the typical DePaul student. “It’s like a melting pot of experience and people from all over the world that come to be a part of the DePaul environment,” a “unique blend of all kinds of students” who are “like a giant mixed bag of Jelly Bellys...every student is so different you have a little bit of everything.”
Claremont McKenna College Students Say...Students at Claremont McKenna really love their school. With its “phenomenal academics,” “brilliant professors,” “amazing career services center,” and “perfect weather,” it’s no wonder CMC students are “the happiest students in America.” Claremont McKenna is known for its government and economics majors, but philosophy, international relations, and the joint sciences program also get high marks. It’s “a tight-knit community of driven, competitive, and intelligent people who know how to be successful and have a great time.” “A lot of kids are political and well-informed”; most are “active on campus,” very into sports, and involved with internships or clubs.
Bryn Mawr Students Say...Bryn Mawr is all about “empowering women to achieve their dreams.” The school has a “reputation for strong academics,” and students confirm that work there’s “no joke.” Bryn Mawr is a small college, which means small classes. One student reports that most of hers have “around ten people,” and another says her largest lecture class had forty students. This leads to “deep discussions [and] meaningful relationships [being] formed with peers and colleagues.” “There is no typical student,” at Bryn Mawr, “aside from women with a passion for learning and a commitment to excellence.” A German student reports, “The variety of people here is enormous,” and this “creates the…uniqueness that Bryn Mawr prides itself on.”
Amherst Students Say...With about 1,800 students, Amherst College “has a strong sense of community born of its small size” that goes hand-in-hand with an atmosphere that “encourages discussion and cooperation.” Many here are quick to praise the “fantastic” professors and “supportive” administration. While students at Amherst are “focused first and foremost on academics, nearly every student is active and enjoys life outside of the library.” “There’s a club or organization for every interest” here, and students assure us that if there isn’t one that you’re interested in, “the school will find the money for it.” Students also praise the “awesome” dorms (some say they’re “as spacious, well-maintained, and luxurious as many five-star hotels”), for being “designed to facilitate social interaction.”
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.