The Top 21 Colleges for Social Activism and Community Service

The Top 21 Colleges for Social Activism and Community Service

Any college student will tell you that finding a school that is a good cultural fit for you is critical. At some schools, athletics dominate the scene, and students spend every weekend cheering on their classmates at football games or participating in intramural sports. Other schools are most proud of their musical and artistic spirits, gathering each weekend at campus plays and performances. There are quirky schools, techie schools, studious schools, among many other types.   Of course, every school has some diversity of students, and there are spaces for athletic, artistic, and quirky students everywhere. However, understanding which schools are particularly known for certain attributes can be an important part of narrowing down your college list.   Today, I bring you 21 schools (listed in alphabetical order) with the biggest cultural focus on social activism and community service. These are campuses where a large percentage of students care about particular social causes and where many students spend their free time volunteering for local, national, and international causes.   Boston College – Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts Brandeis University – Waltham, Massachusetts Brown University Providence, Rhode Island Bryn Mawr College  Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania Connecticut College  New London, Connecticut Dartmouth College Hanover, New Hampshire Grinnell College Grinnell, Iowa Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grinnell_College_ARH_Spring.JPG by Aureliusxv Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts Loyola University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois New College of Florida – Sarasota, Florida Oberlin College – Oberlin, Ohio Ohio Wesleyan University – Delaware, Ohio Pitzer College – Claremont, California Princeton University – Princeton, New Jersey Rhodes College – Memphis, Tennessee Soka University of America – Aliso Viejo, California Swarthmore College – Swarthmore, Pennsylvania University of California at Berkeley – Berkeley,...
111 Ridiculously Awesome Full Tuition Scholarships

111 Ridiculously Awesome Full Tuition Scholarships

Want to win a $1,000 scholarship? Sign up here. With the outrageous rates of tuition these days, there is nothing better than a full tuition scholarship. There are more out there than many people think. And no, you don’t have to be a genius to get one. Yes, having good grades and strong scores helps (if you need to improve your SAT or ACT, check out The Secret Ingredient for Improving your SAT and ACT Score). Really the biggest problem is that there are very few centralized resources telling students where to look and finding the right opportunities to apply for is hard. I’ve spent the past few weeks pulling together an extensive list of colleges that give away full tuition scholarships. Some of these schools even throw in room & board, travel expenses, books, and enrichment funding that can be used for study abroad and summer internships. The list below includes 111 schools that offer incredible scholarships to students who demonstrate high level of achievement in their academics and/or extracurricular activities. I have deliberately EXCLUDED scholarships which take into account the following: Financial need Winning a National Merit Scholarship Being a part of a specific ethnic/racial group Living in a specific region or state Planning to study a particular field These scholarships are based entirely on merit and are open to students from around the country and in some cases the world. I highly encourage any student with competitive academic and extracurricular credentials to check them out! Need a higher SAT score to qualify for a scholarship? Click Here ALABAMA University of Alabama Name of Scholarship: Academic Elite Scholarships More...
Your Dream College Might Prevent You From Living Your Dream Life

Your Dream College Might Prevent You From Living Your Dream Life

I spend a lot of time talking about finding your dream college and going to a school that you love, but I think I owe you a discussion on some of the not so exciting parts of the college process. The big elephant in the room when it comes to all of this is the cost of college. I’ll come right out and say it; attending the college of your dreams is not always worthwhile. I wish it were worthwhile. I wish I could help you find a school you were incredibly excited about and tell you that attending was no doubt a fantastic idea and completely worth the price. Unfortunately, I just don’t think that is true. I want you to find a school you love and where you’ll be happy, but I also don’t want to push you into a college that will leave you four years later in a debt that paralyzes your life. College is Way Too Expensive You’ve heard it before, but college costs are outrageous. Many private colleges are now charging $60,000 or more each year in tuition, and even the costs at private colleges are soaring. The average students graduates with $35,000 in debt, but many students are graduating with $60,000, $80,000, or sometimes even numbers in the six figures. Perhaps these numbers don’t affect you much. I know that when I was in high school, it didn’t matter whether you said $20,000 or $50,000. These were all just theoretical numbers, and while I understood that they were large figures, I had no idea what it would mean to actually have to pay...
65 Colleges That Give Generous Aid to International Students

65 Colleges That Give Generous Aid to International Students

Want to win a $1,000 scholarship? Sign up here. Update 4/3/2015: Still need financial aid? Find more great sources of financial aid for international students in my latest post 121 of the Best Merit Scholarships Open to International Students.   Are you an international student? Do you need financial aid? Sorry. It’s a tough spot to be in. Many colleges don’t offer any aid to international students and scholarships from independent organizations are limited. What else can you do? Refine your college list. Not every college offers good options, but there are a number of great colleges and universities that give away millions of dollars every year to help international students each year. How do you find out about them? I’ve done the work for you. After scouring hundreds of college websites, I’ve put together a list of 65 schools that stand out by offering generous aid to international students. Here are the results: Full Tuition Merit Scholarship Schools These scholarships offer full tuition scholarships to international applicants based on student merit. Students apply for these scholarships at the time of their application. Carleton College – Northfield, Minnesota Full Tuition Scholarship (up to six per year) Carleton also gives away partial tuition scholarship. In total, Carleton gave 26 international students aid last year totaling $2,589,268. Rice University – Houston, Texas Allen International Scholarship Rice students are also eligible for need-based aid. Rice gave away $1,828,575 in aid last year to 75 international students. University of Miami – Coral Gables, Florida Premier Scholarship The University of Miami also offers partial tuition merit-based scholarships. Last year the school gave away $3,318,202...
The International Student’s Guide to American Colleges is here!

The International Student’s Guide to American Colleges is here!

Here it is! The International Student’s Guide to American Colleges is finally here. I am so proud to announce that the book has arrived. This book is the product of many years of college research and touring schools, and I’m confident this book will be a valuable resource for any high school sophomore, junior, or senior thinking about college in the United States. The book features 176 of the best American colleges, and it is structured in such a way so that by the time you finish the book, you will have built a specific personalized list of colleges that you will love. Lots of college search tools only take into account academic or financial criteria – my College Match Profile search method takes into account the things that really matter like location, campus structure, school size, curriculum type, and more. It also takes into account cultural aspects of a school such as schools that are very artistic, political, filled with activist types, quirky, etc. As you go through the book, you figure out your preferences in each category (there are short quizzes to guide you), and at the end you have a list you can be excited about. The admissions section includes advice on writing your college essay, interviews, getting teacher recommendations, and amping up your extracurricular and awards/honors list. It also walks you through exactly what happens inside of an admissions office. These are the methods I used in my own college application and which I’ve helped dozens of other students successfully apply to their own applications. My original intention was to create the best resource out there...
How to Find Your Dream College

How to Find Your Dream College

There is probably a college out there that you love even if you don’t realize it yet. Finding your dream college isn’t easy, but it can be fun. And if you want to go to a college that you love, stay with me. 33% of students drop out of college in their first year. About the same percentage transfer colleges before graduation. We need to face the facts. Most people don’t know how to find schools they will love. Finding a college is like finding your dream job or finding a life partner. This is serious business. The college you choose will define who you are. Would you take a job just because the company made the most money in the industry? No. You’d want to make sure the salary was sufficient, the hours were reasonable, and your co-workers were friendly. Would you marry someone because they had the most prestigious job? Probably not. You may weigh their job into your decision, but you’d also care about their personality, goals, and how you felt being in their presence. Why do so many students choose a college just because it is ranked highly on a list? Or because it is where their cousin attended? Or because they like the mascot? This is a big decision. When you choose a place you love, it can change your life. You will define your career. You will build lifelong friendships. And you will fundamentally change the way you view the world. The Find Your Dream College Series If you are a junior in high school, now is the time for you to start...