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Summer 2007 Visits (& News)

on July 3, 2007 in College Visits


Making Your College Choice

Seniors who are currently finalizing their college lists often turn to websites and the multitude of catalogues sent to students, but these can be overwhelming. To make the college search process more meaningful, try to select five features of a college that are important to you, and then go to the websites and compare these features. Here are just a few of the comparison tools we suggest, but there are many more and only you will know what matters most:

  • Look at the online student newspaper. What are the big issues on campus?
  • Plan a trip home during the busiest holiday season and see what it will cost, and how long it will take.
  • Go to the listing of campus clubs and find one that interests you, then explore the website for the club to determine how many members participate, and if there are events that interest you.
  • Take a look at the freshman advising system and briefly describe it. How is that important advisor selected for you?
  • It is the weekend. What’s happening on campus? How far is the nearest town? Is there public transportation or do you need access to a car?

It’s better to find the answers to these and many other important questions before you make a commitment to add a college to your final list, and certainly before you make that final decision.

Recent College Visits

We began our tour at the University of Colorado (photo right) at Boulder, a popular choice for students from Washington because of the beautiful natural environment and the plethora of outdoor activities. The engineering program includes 12 disciplines, and admission is more stringent than for other programs. Electrical and aerospace are the most popular programs, and students enjoy participating in the Formula One Race Car competition. The communications program, including journalism and film, is also a popular program.

Colorado College in Colorado Springs is a small, liberal arts college with a unique block system. Students take one course at a time for a three and-a-half week period, and then get four days off before starting the next block. For students who want to probe more deeply into a subject, the block system is a good way to combine lecture, discussion, field work, labs, and hands-on research.

Our next stop in Colorado Springs was the United States Air Force Academy (large photo at top of page), the youngest of the academies. With a sprawling campus that sits aside a rugged mountain wilderness, this highly competitive military academy recommends that applicants have strong grades, be active in athletic and non-athletic extracurricular activities, and be in good physical condition. Cadets complete four years of studies leading to a bachelor of science degree in any of 32 majors. Graduates of the Air Force Academy have amassed some impressive records since its inception in the 1950s: 33 cadets have been selected as Rhodes Scholars; 8 have accepted Marshall Scholarships; 92 have been accepted as Guggenheim Fellows; 75 have been selected as National Science Foundation Fellows; 33 have accepted Fulbright-Hays Scholarships; and 98 have accepted scholarships to attend Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Regis University in Denver, a Jesuit college located near the downtown area, is a small liberal arts college with 1250 undergraduates. Students who are interested in a Jesuit education of the whole person should explore the areas of study available to students at Regis. For those interested in a small college in an urban environment, Regis offers a strong sense of community, with over 80% of the students living on campus.

The University of Denver (photo right) is a midsize private university offering strong programs in international studies, business, psychology and political science. Students take a core program and are exposed to a variety of topics outside their major, with all core courses taught by senior faculty members. DU is a great choice for students who want lots of school spirit, Division I sports, a beautiful campus setting, access to a outdoor activities, and a wide range of course offerings.

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