The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2012: Students on Campus Tell You What You Really Want to Know, 38th Edition


The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges has been, for 38 years, the most relied-upon resource for high school students looking for honest reports on colleges from their fellow students.

Having interviewed hundreds of their peers on more than 330 campuses and by getting the inside scoop on everything from the nightlife and professors to the newest dorms and wildest student organizations, the reporters at the Yale Daily News have created the most candid college guide available. In ...

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The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2012: Students on Campus Tell You What You Really Want to Know, 38th Edition

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The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges has been, for 38 years, the most relied-upon resource for high school students looking for honest reports on colleges from their fellow students.

Having interviewed hundreds of their peers on more than 330 campuses and by getting the inside scoop on everything from the nightlife and professors to the newest dorms and wildest student organizations, the reporters at the Yale Daily News have created the most candid college guide available. In addition to the well-rounded profiles, this edition has been updated to include:

* Essential statistics for every school, from acceptance rates to popular majors

* A “College Finder” to help students zero in on the perfect school

* FYI sections with student opinions and outrageous off-the-cuff advice

The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges cuts through the college brochures to uncover the things that matter most to students, and by staying on top of trends, it gives both students and parents the straightforward information they need to choose the school that’s right for them.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the Insider's Guide to the Colleges

"As intimate as a late-night chat in a dorm room.”—The Atlantic Monthly

“Savvy parents and students hold this book to be a must-read.”—New York Daily News

“Invaluable in choosing and getting into a college.”—Chicago Tribune

“Student-written profiles in The Insider’s Guide... are lively and informative and strike the tone of a college pal offering advice.”—Rolling Stone

“Who better to tell prospective students about life at college than current students?”—Boston Herald

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312672959
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/5/2011
  • Edition number: 38
  • Pages: 1024
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.82 (d)

Meet the Author

The Yale Daily News is produced by the undergraduates at Yale University. It has been serving the university and New Haven, Connecticut, since 1878.

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Read an Excerpt



Auburn University

Address: Quad Center Auburn, AL 36849

Phone: 800-282-8769

E-mail address:

Web site URL:

Year Founded: 1856

Private or Public: Public

Religious Affiliation: None

Location: Suburban

Number of Applicants: 17,798

Percent Accepted: 69%

Percent Accepted who enroll: 34%

Number Entering: 4,160

Number of Transfers Accepted each Year: 1,980

Middle 50% SAT range: M: 520–630, CR: 500–610, Wr: Unreported

Middle 50% ACT range: 22–27

Early admission program EA/ED/None: None

Percentage accepted through EA or ED: NA

EA and ED deadline: NA

Regular Deadline: Rolling

Application Fee: $40

Full time Undergraduate enrollment: 19,812

Total enrollment: 23,187

Percent Male: 52%

Percent Female: 48%

Total Percent Minority or Unreported: 15%

Percent African American: 9%

Percent Asian/Pacific Islander: 2%

Percent Hispanic: 2%

Percent Native American: 1%

Percent International: 1%

Percent in-state/out of state: 69%/31%

Percent from Public HS: 86%

Retention Rate: 86%

Graduation Rate 4-year: 34%

Graduation Rate 6-year: 62%

Percent Undergraduates in On-campus housing: 14%

Number of official organized extracurricular organizations: 300

3 Most popular majors: Business, Education, Engineering

Student/Faculty ratio: 18:1

Average Class Size: 25

Percent of students going to grad school: 35%

Tuition and Fees: $18,260

In-State Tuition and Fees if different: $6,500

Cost for Room and Board: $8,260

Percent receiving financial aid out of those who apply, first year: 64%

Percent receiving financial aid among all students: 54%

Less than an hour’s drive east of Montgomery, the plains of Alabama give rise to Auburn University. The school, whose athletics department has produced stars like Charles Barkley and Bo Jackson, boasts some of the region’s top veterinary and engineering programs. But it is the student body that will most likely catch the eye of a passerby, especially if he or she hails from more northern lands. “Southern hospitality is alive and well here,” students declare, and this charm mixed with fun and academics keeps Auburn students smiling.

Bed and Breakfast (and Lunch and Dinner)

Auburn students electing to live on campus can choose from four clusters of residence halls, but the housing is not guaranteed to anyone, even freshmen. The more popular living areas are the Hill and the Quad, and dorms are either women-only or coed by floor. Many in-state students and upperclassmen choose to live off campus in one of the several apartment complexes near campus. Since many students opt not to live in dorms, Auburn provides an apartment guide and some helpful tips for students shopping the off-campus market. Tiger Transit is available to get students from point A to point B, and the Off Campus Association “gets you a good deal on utilities.”

There is no shortage of food options on campus. The two main dining areas, Terrell Dining Hall and War Eagle Food Court, are located at the southern and northern ends of the campus, respectively. Both have an assortment of fast food and local restaurants that cater to students on the go. Auburn offers a variety of meal plans to meet a wide range of needs, and the Tiger Card can be used “like a debit card” at local eateries and grocery stores. Students deposit funds into the account and use the swipes until the balance dwindles down again.

Students choosing to eat on campus can get all the basic sandwiches and burgers, or they can go for a smoothie at Chillers in War Eagle Court. The town of Auburn offers the traditional fare of Ruby Tuesday and family dining along with some establishments appealing to the younger crowd. Students frequent the Mellow Mushroom for a more gourmet pizza and head to Moe’s for “the best burritos in town.”

Cracking the Books

Auburn University was the first land-grant college in the Southeast (a result of the Morrill Act), and to this day its engineering and agriculture departments remain strong. But the University has become more diverse in its faculty and currently offers undergraduate degrees in 12 schools—agriculture, architecture, business, education, engineering, forestry and wildlife, human sciences, liberal arts, nursing, pharmacy, science and mathematics and veterinary medicine. Moreover, the University recently began a Bachelor of Wireless Engineering program which represents the first degree of this type in the nation. Students select their majors at the end of the second year, but changing majors is not difficult with the help of Auburn’s advising system.

“Most professors are more than willing to help you out. All you have to do is ask.”

The University offers plenty of options for study abroad. Auburn itself has a growing number of distinct programs, or students can participate in approved programs from other universities. One student who returned from a summer in Florence, a popular destination for art students, said “transferring credits was really easy.”

While Auburn students put in their time in Draughton Library (open 24 hours a day during finals), they do not often complain of being tremendously overworked. “Some students skip classes and don’t work that hard,” but workload largely depends on the course of study. If an Auburn Tiger is having some difficulties in the classroom, he or she can usually find plenty of support. “Most professors are more than willing to help you out. All you have to do is ask.”

Auburn professors have earned a reputation for being accessible and invested in their students’ educations, but the same cannot always be said about teaching assistants, especially in math and science courses. Students said some TAs have problems speaking clear English, which can make learning more difficult.

In preparation for life after graduation, Auburn provides advice and information for students interested in graduate or professional school. A senior in the College of Sciences and Mathematics said her adviser has helped her not only navigate Auburn’s undergraduate curriculum, but also apply to graduate schools. The University brings in representatives from schools throughout the region to speak to students about opportunities after graduation.

Frivolity, Fraternities, and Football

The social scene is alive and well at Auburn no matter what time of year, but students have different preferences for the seasons. During the fall, students don their best orange and blue to support their Tigers on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The on-campus stadium is regularly filled to capacity of over 85,000 raucous fans screaming “War Eagle,” and the surrounding areas are teeming with tailgates for each home game. Don’t be surprised to see Auburn students dressed up for this Saturday afternoon affair. The game is a place to be seen as well as show school spirit. The fun continues, especially after a win, at Toomers Corner after the final snap.

The stadium is bursting at the seams when in-state rival the University of Alabama comes to town the Saturday before Thanksgiving for the Iron Bowl. Students must make sure they get their tickets early if they want a seat at this perennially sold-out event.

Many students hit the fraternity parties Friday and Saturday nights. A significant chunk of the student body is Greek, but “parties are open for the most part.” In contrast to most other SEC schools, there are no sorority houses at Auburn. The sisterhoods have halls in dorms, mostly populated with sophomore members, and a chapter room. Greek organizations maintain a lively party environment with formal dances and band parties.

The Auburn police are usually present at larger organized events, but there is not a visible crackdown on underage drinking as long as students act responsibly. The police are strict on drunk driving. Since most students at Auburn come with cars and many live off campus, there is a volunteer designated-driver program to make sure every student makes it home safely.

In the spring semester, students focus their revelry on off-campus locales—apartments or downtown bars. College Park Apartments usually has something going on during the weekends. For good drink deals, of-age students head to Buffalo’s for a brew and then to Quixote’s, where “there is always a good band playing.” While the town restaurants might let things slide, bars have no problem carding, and they can be quite difficult to get into at times.

Apart from the night life, students engage in many social activities and student groups on campus. Students can try their hand at radio broadcasting on WEGL, do community service through Habitat for Humanity or Kiwanis Club, partake in theater and singing groups, and do just about anything else that might be of interest.

Getting Your Bearings

Two important landmarks on campus for new students are the Foy Student Union and the Haley Center. These two buildings are the hubs of student life on campus. Foy contains the War Eagle Food Court, a CD and game store, study lounges, student organization offices, an ATM and a mail drop. The Haley Center houses a cafeteria, lecture halls and the campus bookstore. The one thing these buildings don’t have is parking, which can be a “nightmare” on campus. Since most students are in-state or from surrounding areas, they drive to school from home, and having a car is “a big plus on the weekends for road trips to the beach.”

Go to one football game, and it’s easy to see the tradition that pervades the Auburn campus. Some students are third- or fourth-generation Tigers, but that should not scare away newcomers to the South. With pleasant weather and people, it is easy to understand why Auburn is one of the most popular universities in the region.—Adam Weber


If you come to Auburn, you’d better bring “your country music collection.”

What’s the typical weekend schedule? “Drink, drink, drink, go to a football game, drink, drink, and pass out.”

If I could change one thing about Auburn, I’d “move it to a more metropolitan area.”

Three things every Auburn student should do before graduating are “get every single flavor of milkshake at Cheeburger Cheeburger, participate in the cheesy ‘Hey Day,’ and run in the Cake Race.”


Copyright © 2011 by The Yale Daily News Publishing Company, Inc.

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