College Spotlight

Spotlight on Colleges – Blogs by students, staff, and other contributors

A visit to Harvard College

Author and two others pictured on steps in front of massive pillars of Widener Library
I have both good news and bad news for Harvard hopefuls. There is no formula for getting into Harvard. The university states this more than once on its website, and our experience with Harvard applicants confirms the sentiment. However, at a minimum, successful applicants are among the top 10 percent of their graduating class, get mostly As in the most rigorous courses offered, and can de...
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A Visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT Great Dome
By Sue Luse MIT has serious name recognition. Everyone has heard of MIT and immediately associates it with some of the brightest minds in science, math and technology. It isn’t for applicants who have a passing interest in a subject but deep passion and engagement beyond high school courses that they can demonstrate on their applications. MIT students are described as inventive, obsessed ...
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A Visit to the University of Miami

View of fountain on Lake Osceola with white campus buildings in background
By Ryan Luse I have been to almost 20 colleges and universities in the Sunshine State, but logistics and timing never put me close to the University of Miami - until recently.  Speaking of location, this is an important point. Despite its name, the main campus is not located right in Miami. It is not located downtown. It is not located by South Beach either (which is probably for ...
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A Visit to Seattle University

By Isaac Eng Seattle University, founded in 1891, is a Jesuit Catholic University located smack dab in the heart of Seattle’s bustling Capitol Hill neighborhood. Nestled between cutting-edge hospitals up the street on First Hill and the lively night life scene on Broadway Ave and 12th Street in Cap Hill proper, Seattle U is correctly described by its admissions officers to be an “oasis” i...
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A Visit to Swarthmore College

The backs of a group of students walking across campus past historic gray brick building on sunny day
By Sue Luse I visited several colleges in the Philadelphia area in early October, and months after my visit Swarthmore College still stands out. It is located in a beautiful suburban area, only 10 miles from Philly and with close, easy access to the airport. There is a train on campus to take students into Philly and all over the east coast, which gives students the flexibility to explore...
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A Visit to Grinnell College

Grinnell College sign and columns in fall
By Sue Luse We love sharing hidden gems with students. One of the benefits of working with us is we often can identify colleges that are just the right fit for a student but that may not be on their radar. Grinnell College is just that kind of school. With an enrollment of only 1,700 students, Grinnell is a small campus with a lot to offer. Located halfway between Des Moines and Cedar...
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A Visit to High Point University

Students entering a bright sun-filled campus building with high windows
By Sue Luse Extraordinary. After spending an afternoon touring the High Point University campus, I can’t think of a better word to describe it. While I’ve visited hundreds of colleges, many of them more than once, the High Point University campus always makes an impression. When Dr. Nido R. Qubein took over as president in 2005, he made a commitment to transform the university and invest i...
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A visit to California Polytechnic State University

Kris at Cal Poly in front of the retaining wall with name of the college inscribed.
By Kris Olson After a visit to California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) in November, I understood one of the reasons why a student from the upper Mid-West would want to apply. It was 80-degrees as I toured this mid-sized San Luis Obispo campus, a mere 15-minute drive from the beaches of California’s central coast. But even more impressive than the weather was Cal Poly’s commitment to h...
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College Spotlight on American University

One of the best ways to learn about a college is to hear from someone who goes there. Each year, we invite freshmen to share their first-year experience, so follow along to get the inside story on campuses across the country. Today we're featuring American University. This suburban-feel campus near the heart of DC gives students plenty of opportunities for learning, exploring and fun. Read why El...
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Exploring College Options in the United Kingdom

Kris at University of Bristol, UK
Kris at University of Bristol. UK Have you ever considered taking your college experience “across the pond?” And, no, I’m not talking about studying abroad for a semester; I’m talking about attending university as a degree-seeking, full-time student in the United Kingdom (UK). Check out Kris Olson’s Spotlight on Exploring College Options in the United Kingdom to learn about how to earn an u...
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A Visit to Pitzer College

Pitzer campus
By Margaret Duden  When I was in Claremont, CA for the IECA Summer Training Institute, I had an opportunity to visit Pitzer College. Pitzer is a member of the Claremont Consortium of Colleges. Founded in the 1960s, it was created with the mission of advancing social and environmental justice. Pitzer’s motto is Provida Futuri, which means “mindful of the future” in Latin.  ...
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A Visit to Liberty University

By Sue Luse Every year my husband and I travel to a new part of the country to visit colleges. This year we picked Virginia where I was able to meet with two of our students who live in the DC area and visit seven diverse and interesting colleges, each with unique characteristics that would appeal to different students. Over the next several weeks, I’ll write about each of the schools, beg...
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A Visit to Augustana University

A Day in the Life at Augustana University By Ryan Luse A photo with Ole the Viking Statue at Augustana University I and some other Educational Consultants were invited to spend a couple of days at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  I must be honest, when it comes to colleges I can sometimes graze over the Dakota’s. Before my drive to Augustana, I had not been i...
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