The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2014: Students on Campus Tell You What You Really Want to Know, 40th Edition
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The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2014: Students on Campus Tell You What You Really Want to Know, 40th Edition

by Yale Daily News Staff
     
 

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The Straight-Talking Student's Guide to the Best Colleges in the US

With this new edition, The Insider's Guide to the Colleges has been, for 40 years, the most relied-upon resource for high school students looking for honest reports on USA colleges from their fellow students.

Having interviewed hundreds of their peers on more

Overview


The Straight-Talking Student's Guide to the Best Colleges in the US

With this new edition, The Insider's Guide to the Colleges has been, for 40 years, the most relied-upon resource for high school students looking for honest reports on USA colleges from their fellow students.

Having interviewed hundreds of their peers on more than 330 university and college 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 choice 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 pick the perfect school

FYI sections with student opinions and outrageous off-the-cuff advice, to further help in college selection.

The Insider's Guide to the Colleges cuts through the glossy college brochures to get to the things that matter most to students trying to select a college, and by staying on top of trends, it gives those students and their parents the straightforward information they need to choose the school that's right for them.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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

“Savvy parents ad 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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250029386
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
07/09/2013
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
1024
Sales rank:
1,079,768
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

The Insider's Guide to the Colleges

40th Edition 2014


By Yale Daily News

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2013 The Yale Daily News Publishing Company, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-02938-6



CHAPTER 1

Alabama


Auburn University

Address: Quad Center, Auburn, AL 36849

Phone: 800-282-8769

E-mail address: admissions@auburn.edu

Web site URL: www.auburn.edu

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: 64%

Percent receiving financial aid among all students: 54%


There's much more to Auburn University than its storied football rivalry with the University of Alabama. Students at the South's first land grant university benefit from exceptional academic resources across 12 undergraduate schools. The first school in the nation to offer a Bachelor's in Wireless Engineering, Auburn isn't afraid of innovation, but is also steeped in almost 200 years of tradition. The Southern friendliness that permeates campus makes the Auburn family a close-knit group. Students and alums alike often address each other with a "War Eagles" greeting, the official battle cry of Auburn's beloved football team.


Get Schooled

Auburn has 12 schools for undergraduates, a mix of liberal arts and pre-professional programs. The schools of Architecture and Veterinary Medicine are particularly prestigious, but most undergrads take their classes at the College of Liberal Arts or the Ginn College of Engineering. Freshmen often end up in larger core classes like English Composition or Biology 101. Students generally don't find academic requirements, which are "designed to be flexible," too taxing. One hard-and-fast rule, though, is 12 credit-hours a semester; most students take around 15, usually across five courses. Those courses aren't easy, either: one Honors College student says teachers definitely "make you earn your grade." Auburn's most popular majors are Business, Engineering, and Education, and while class size "depends on your major," classes generally tend to shrink in the upper grades. Despite the school's large size, professors are known to make themselves available, often through their office hours. At the same time, "it's the student's responsibility to take that step forward," according to one senior. TAs don't have quite the same accessible reputation, and students say some have trouble speaking clear English.

Most Auburn students don't complain of being overworked. Come finals, though, Draughton Library gets "packed," and the Student Government Association provides massages and donuts to stressed-out students. The SGA also organizes on-campus events and concerts throughout the year.

Studying abroad isn't huge at Auburn, although the University offers a range of programs. One student estimates that about one in 10 participate in some sort of program outside the country, but it's largely dependent on major, with foreign language majors more likely to study abroad.

Each of the 12 schools does advising on its own, and "some are better than others," but students can take advantage of career services or more general student counseling. Overall, students feel they can always find someone to talk to.


Tiger Den

Most of Auburn's students live off campus. Housing is not guaranteed for anyone, even freshmen, but apartments near campus are comfortable and easily accessible, thanks to the university's Tiger Transit system. Those who stay on campus end up in one of three residence hall clusters — The Hill, The Village, or the Quad — each of which has easily accessible laundry facilities, kitchens and social space. Construction on another cluster is set to finish in the summer of 2013, as the university continues to expand its housing capacity. But the proximity of nearby apartment buildings, combined with the fact that 69% of students have a car on campus, means that the dearth of housing doesn't bother too many Auburn students. The same can't be said for parking, which can be a "nightmare," although the University is working to add more spaces. Other campus facilities include the Student Activities Center and the Health and Wellness Center, which includes a climbing wall and a tiger paw-shaped whirlpool.

Auburn students are generally content with their dining options, and the food is "always good quality," according to a sophomore. Terrell Dining Hall and the War Eagle Food Court feed the bulk of campus, with the University offering options like fajitas, make-your-own pasta, and other dining hall mainstays. Some commercial eateries operate on campus, and students can use their Tiger Card "like a debit card" for others in town. Food trucks are increasingly visible, and some local restaurants are so famous that they have become legends. One sophomore says that Momma G's deli, with its buffalo chicken nachos, is a "staple of Auburn tradition."


Southern Comfort

Auburn is a Southern school in more ways than one. The majority of students are "Southern born and bred," with roughly 60% from Alabama alone, and the region's rural vibe and agricultural history still permeate campus, according to one senior. Auburn students embody "Southern politeness," a stereotype they're proud to confirm even when face-to-face with rival football fans, who are "shocked at how welcoming we are." "On the whole," qualifies one student, "Auburn fans are polite and pleasant to interact with." That congeniality is perhaps best embodied by "Hey Day," an event organized by administration during which students are encouraged to wear nametags and "say hey" to their fellow Tigers.

Students here are fairly preppy and "dress more formally," while the campus as a whole is very conservative. Not surprisingly, around 20% of guys and 30% of girls at Auburn are Greek. Social life can revolve around frats, where many students will go to party all year round, but they certainly don't "control the whole campus," says one student. For of-age students, favorite local watering holes include Sky Café and the Bank Vault. Drinking is fairly prominent at Auburn, and campus police are said to be relaxed, but "Auburn isn't typically known as a drinking school." Given the number of cars on campus, drunk driving is a concern, but a volunteer designated-driver program offers rides to discourage risky behavior.

Students who are not in frats can find their niche in any one of the more than 300 student organizations on campus, ranging from Habitat for Humanity to WEGL, the student radio station. But part of Auburn's charm is its small-school feel, being a part of the "Auburn Family," and kids feel at home in the student population in general.


Set, Hike!

Part of what makes that community is, of course, football. On Saturdays throughout the fall and often extending well into winter, Jordan-Hare Stadium brims with 85,000 screaming, orange-and-blue clad Tigers who turn out to support their team. The tailgate scene is always a highlight, and students will dress up before heading to the games, sundresses and all. The school's official cheer is a rousing "War Eagle!" screamed at kickoff, and Auburn has had plenty to cheer for over the past few years. They even captured the BCS National Championship in 2010 behind Heisman winner — and current Carolina Panthers quarterback — Cam Newton, the latest in a long line of great Auburn athletes like Bo Jackson and Charles Barkley. After games, revelry spills out of the stadium to Toomer's Corner and its celebrated oaks, which students drape with toilet paper — a ritual known as "rolling" — after an Auburn win. The Iron Bowl, a game between Auburn and Alabama every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, is not to be missed.


"Even for those who don't care much about football, the experience and atmosphere are still wonderful."

When football season ends, campus refocuses around other hangout spots. The Foy Student Union houses War Eagle food court, a CD and game store, an ATM and a mail drop, as well as lounge space for students to kick back. At the other end of campus is the Haley Center, an academic nucleus containing lecture halls and the Auburn bookstore. Students also hang out at the library, said to be a social hub. In the spring, students gravitate towards off-campus apartment complexes in Auburn, where "there's usually something going on."


Something for Everyone

Auburn boasts the best of both worlds. With 12 schools and plush facilities, it offers anything that a large university can, housing aside. It's always easy to find something to do, and with nearly 20,000 undergrads, students are sure to meet someone who shares their interests. Auburn also offers something few other schools can: a highly competitive football team in college sports' toughest conference. At the same time, the southern friendliness that permeates campus makes the Auburn family a close-knit group. From the football field to the film club, veterinary school to liberal arts, everyone finds something they love at Auburn. That is, if they can find a parking spot first. — David Whipple


FYI

If I could change one thing about Auburn, I'd "add more parking."

Typical weekend schedule: "Tailgate a football game, win a football game, celebrate at Toomer's corner and then head to the frats at night."

Three things all Auburn students should do before graduating are "get a picture with Aubie (Auburn's mascot), climb to the top of Sanford tower and sign your name, and roll Toomer's corner."


Birmingham-Southern College

Address: 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254

Phone: 800-523-5793

E-mail address: admission@bsc.edu

Web site URL: www.bsc.edu

Year Founded: 1856

Private or Public: Private

Religious Affiliation: United Methodist

Location: Urban

Number of Applicants: 2,227

Percent Accepted: 60%

Percent Accepted who enroll: 23%

Number Entering: 292

Number of Transfers Accepted each Year: 101

Middle 50% SAT range: M: 520-650, CR: 520-640, Wr: Unreported

Middle 50% ACT range: 22-28

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: 1,389

Total enrollment: 1,389

Percent Male: 59%

Percent Female: 41%

Total Percent Minority or Unreported: 16%

Percent African-American: 9%

Percent Asian/Pacific Islander: 2%

Percent Hispanic: 2%

Percent Native-American:<1%

Percent International: Unreported

Percent in-state/out of state: 67%/33%

Percent from Public HS: 65%

Retention Rate: 86%

Graduation Rate 4-year: 60%

Graduation Rate 6-year: 69%

Percent Undergraduates in On-campus housing: 77%

Number of official organized extracurricular organizations: 70

3 Most popular majors: Business Administration/Management, Health/Medical Preparatory Programs, Pre-Law Studies

Student/Faculty ratio: 10:1

Average Class Size: 15

Percent of students going to grad school: 50%

Tuition and Fees: $25,586

In-State Tuition and Fees if different: No difference

Cost for Room and Board: $8,595

Percent receiving financial aid out of those who apply: 80%

Percent receiving financial aid among all students: 46%


Birmingham-Southern College prides itself on its reputation as a top-notch university, and the students here work hard to live up to BSC's expectations. Students manage the intense workload and credit the "loads of personal attention" to their success and survival.


"Life-long Learners"

As a four-year liberal arts college, Birmingham-Southern seeks to send out well-rounded, well-educated, and cultured leaders. As such, the academic requirements cover a broad range of subjects and interests. Freshmen have to take three "First-Year Foundations" courses in order to acclimate themselves to the college environment as well as to take their first steps as "life-long learners." Over the course of four years, students at BSC must accumulate at least one unit each of art, lab science, history, literature, a nonnative language, humanities, philosophy and religion, writing, math, and social science. After fulfilling these core courses, students must take two additional credits in humanities and one additional credit in math or science. Although there are no pre-professional majors, many take a difficult course load aimed at medical or law school. English, Business, and Education are, not surprisingly, extremely popular majors. Math and Science majors are rarer but remain a presence on campus. A highly selective honors program is also available to the most motivated and qualified students at BSC. The program offers accelerated courses and small seminars with an interdisciplinary approach. Those interested in the program are encouraged to apply as early as spring of their senior year in high school.

BSC requires its students to go even farther above and beyond the minimal requirements, and make use of its unique "interim term." The interim term, the "1" portion of Birmingham-Southern's 4-1-4 year, is a month-long period between the school's two four-month semesters in which students are free to explore one specific interest. One student used one of her four interim terms to design a course as a teaching assistant in an urban school environment. The student explained, "I decided how long I was in the classroom, what types of activities I would do, how I would be graded ... all of that." Although some students think the interim term can be a "pain," many say it also provides the opportunity to travel abroad without worrying about falling off a four-year track.

With all that Birmingham-Southern requires, "the workload can be tough"; however, students have advisors at their disposal and a strong support system. Professors are generally described as "great" and "absolutely approachable." Classes with good reputations may be tricky to obtain for freshmen (it's not easy getting that first-choice class), but amazing classes are definitely available. "[My professor] set up a fake crime scene ... roped it off, had a chalk outline of the body, fake blood everywhere..." said a student about his Forensic Science course. "We had to walk around, take it apart ... all the way to conviction." The bottom line remains: people at BSC take academics pretty seriously, and as one student affirmed, "people do what they've got to do."


Outside the Classroom: Like Wonder Bread?

Despite the high academic expectations, BSC students know how to balance the books with some much-needed down time. With Birmingham in their backyard and a variety of clubs and activities to choose from, students have a wide array of weekend options. Prospective students should be aware, however, that Birmingham-Southern has a definite Greek feel. "The frat scene is definitely the dominant social scene here ... the rush process starts during the summer," a freshman explained, "but the formal rush doesn't happen until the third week of school or so." The downside of having such a close-knit and supporting Greek system is that "what Greek organization you belong to has a large impact on who you're going to be friends with." As one student remarked, "It's sad in my opinion that in the cafeteria, people still sit at certain tables based on what fraternity, sorority, or sports team he/she is on." Still, students are quick to point out that the Greek life isn't for everybody at BSC — and that's okay. The Student Government Association sponsors movie-nights out, for example, and clubs such as "Chaos" and "Platinum" are a short drive away. And as most students have cars on campus — "if you don't, you can always mooch off someone else," according to one student — transportation is usually not a huge issue.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Insider's Guide to the Colleges by Yale Daily News. Copyright © 2013 The Yale Daily News Publishing Company, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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.


The Yale Daily News is produced by undergraduate students at Yale University. It is based in New Haven, Connecticut.

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