college lists

Ten Best Colleges for Pre-Med Students

If you’re serious about becoming a doctor you probably don’t need us to tell you what you’re up against. Getting into med school is not easy, and it’s important to pick an undergraduate program that sets you up for success. Generally speaking, you want to look for colleges with pre-med advising, clinical and research opportunities, and high percentages of students who ~actually~ get into med school. You can throw those buzz words into google (in fact, you definitely should) but our list is a good place to start.

Ten Best Undergraduate Non-BFA Dance Programs

We are firm believers that kids do best when they pursue their true passions. But we also understand that many parents approach certain majors and programs with a tinge of hesitation, and dance is one of those majors. In this post, we’ll focus on BA dance programs but before we begin it’s important to draw a distinction between a BA and a BFA. BFA programs tend to be more specific and technical, while getting a BA in dance generally leaves with you with more post-grad options. You should look into BA programs if you want to explore a variety of aspects related to the industry.

Best Undergraduate Non-BFA Musical Theater Programs

Parents regularly ask us whether or not their artistically inclined kids should forgo their creative urges to study something a bit more practical, like, say, finance. What sets us apart from some of the other college consulting services out there is that we like to encourage kids to pursue their passions. Whether it’s extra-curriculars, essays, or summer jobs, each component of the application process, and ultimately, the majors kids pursue in college, are going to end up being more impressive if the student is committed to what they’re doing. So, if you’re a show tunes junky with a voice of honey, we say go for it. But you better bring you’re A-game, because getting into the nation’s top musical theater programs is hardly as easy as spending a Sunday in the park with George. (We'll see ourselves out. Bye.) 

Best Colleges for Nature Lovers

There are a lot of different ways to take advantage of nature. You might love the great outdoors so much that you want to go to a school with access to hiking and skiing, or maybe you’re looking for an environmental studies program with outdoor class offerings. This list has both, but it’s not exhaustive. We’ve listed ten schools we believe are good fits for outdoor enthusiasts, but of course there are more. It’s a mix between east and west coast schools with a short explanation as to why these campuses could be a good fit.  

How Many Colleges Should I Apply To?

Back in your parents or grandparents’ generation, applying to college usually meant applying to a handful of first-choice schools and calling it a day. There were no AP tests, less competition, and fewer essays to churn out. Gone are the simpler days. You might have heard recent news stories about kids applying (and being accepted into) 20+ schools, including Ivy Leagues. While we don’t think anyone should apply to 20 schools, we are encouraging our students to apply to more schools than perhaps their parents did. In our years of helping students become the strongest possible applicants they can, we have discovered a range of schools that works best for our students.

Why is the University of Michigan So Popular?

Nearly every student we work with either wants to apply to the University of Michigan or asks if they should, and about 50% end up applying. This includes kids looking to be in urban areas, or totally ok with going rural. It includes kids who want a liberal arts education and those who are certain that they want to specialize. It includes athletes and artists, bookworms and filmmakers, and city kids and suburbanites. So, it begs the question, “Why is Michigan so popular?”

Schools Similar to Princeton

We’re onto Princeton with our “School Like” series. In this series, we’re taking schools that are considered reach schools (yes, for everyone—no matter what your GPA or ACT scores are, any Ivy or equivalent will always be a reach), breaking them down into their most distinct parts, and giving you a list of schools that possess those same qualities, “vibes,” or personality. These are schools that you may not have heard of before, or perhaps that you have heard of but hadn’t previously considered. Consider this your charge to think outside the box and have an open mind.

Schools Similar to Dartmouth

Our “Schools Like” series is where we take a school—a “dream” or a reach school—and give you a list of schools that are similar to that one school. “How could they be similar AT ALL?” you ask, when you’ve been wearing your mom’s Dartmouth sweatshirt since you were 4? Here’s a secret: there are only so many qualities that a school can have, and there is inevitably a ton of overlap when there are literally thousands of institutions of higher education in the U.S.

Schools Similar to Columbia

Columbia University is next up in our “Colleges Like” series. We’re starting with all of the Ivy League schools—you know, all of the classic “reach” schools—breaking them down into their essential parts, and giving you a list of schools that we’ve found share those qualities. We know what makes a great match based on years of experience helping hundreds of students enroll in college.

Schools Similar to Brown University

We’re continuing our “Schools Like” series with Brown—the crunchy, liberal, social justice-warrior of the Ivy League family. We’ll take your reach school, boil it down to what makes it most unique, and give you a slew of schools to contemplate that also possess some of those same qualities. Over and above its culture (one that tends to attract extroverts), what makes Brown stand out is its open curriculum. It’s not for everyone, but those who work well with flexibility and desire creativity within academics truly thrive and love the lack of definitive structure, core classes, or even the requirement to choose a major (though students must choose a “concentration). It’s a free-spirited, liberal arts-focused, creative intellectual student’s Disneyland. The only requirement that Brown imposes on its undergraduates is that they must pass a writing course.

How to Decide if an Undergraduate Journalism Program is Right for You

For most students, picking a major is a process. Yes, you write about one in your application, but you have at least a semester or two, and normally until your sophomore year, to really decide what you want to focus on. Even then, it isn’t rare for a college student to change majors as they gain a better understanding of themselves and what they want in life. A pre-med student might end up in the English department, and an English student might wind up majoring in computer engineering. After all, most students pick a school based on its overall credentials, not because of one specific major. But if you are thinking about pursuing a pre-professional journalism program, this does not apply to you.

10 Best Small Liberal Arts Schools With Engineering Programs

When you think “engineering,” you don’t necessarily picture a small liberal arts school. Think again. While engineering and liberal arts don’t often mix, they sometimes do. Rather, engineering in a liberal arts environment does exist and we’re here to tell you why we think it’s a great idea. Think of it as the best of both worlds. Not only are you able to study engineering and gain an extensive amount of hands-on research, but you’re able to do it in an intellectually stimulating environment with a diverse student body.

The Top 10 Non-BFA Theater and Musical Theater Programs

This list is a combination of the country’s best theater and musical theater programs. Many have the option to specialize in musical theater if it is not specified in the degree name, and all are known to graduate students with a broad and intense understanding of not only how to contribute to a theater, but the origins of theater and where the industry is today. A BA in Theater is ideal for students who are interested in more than the craft of theater, and who also want to understand the industrial context in which they are learning. Where theater is today, how is has evolved, how it might evolve in our lifetime, and how we can contribute effectively to help the art of theater evolve.