College Profiles & Rankings

The Economist’s College Ranking

Several years ago the Department of Education proposed its own college rankings. Many institutions serving the postsecondary market in the United States demurred.   

Consequently, the Obama Administration decided not to go forward with the ranking. It did, however, make its treasure trove of data available on the Education Department’s College Scorecard website, which went live September 12th.

What makes the information in the College Scorecard website so unique is it addresses how much better off is a student who attends one university instead of another. The US Educational Department, through its National Center for Educational Statistics, which runs FAFSA and the College Navigator site, garnered student loan documents and any student income tax returns over the past 10 years.

Yet, like any ranking system devised by humanity, even these hard financial data contain inherent imperfections:  they include only students who filed for financial aid, leaving out students from wealthier families who are likely to secure high paying positions upon graduation; they track earnings for only 6 years after graduation—students entering medical or other professional schools would show up as low, to no, earners; lastly, the chief purpose of college is usually not to maximize earnings of those who attend. Some seek to go into public service and that is not, by any means, a negligible or unworthy path.  

Acknowledging these flaws, The Economist determined it’s still worthwhile to let the numbers speak for themselves.

The Economist harvested a basket of factors to determine the expected median earnings of an average student attending a given university.  These include a campus’s  average SAT scores, sex ratio, race breakdown, size, and  whether it is public or private, religious affiliated, has an undergraduate business program, has a liberal arts program, attracts students who were politically left or cannabis inclined (the “Marx and Marley” index), and its geographical location.  These variables, according to the statisticians at the Economist, reflected 85% of the variation in graduate salaries: they appear statistically significant. Comparing real graduate median earnings with expected median earnings indicates whether a college is under or over performing.  

Once the numbers for the various colleges are reviewed, the returns are quite different from what one would expect. The scorecard contains data on 1,275 4-year non-vocational colleges. The website can be found here, and is a place where you may conduct your own ranking research.

Among the top 20 performers are (#6) Otis College of Art & Design, (#10) CSU Bakersfield, (#12) University of Pacific, (#19) California Lutheran, and (#20) CSU Stanislaus. If you decide to go to the website you’ll find for each college the expected median earnings, which is calculated based on the criteria mentioned above, then the actual median earnings distilled from the College Scorecard.

Otis with its communication arts, digital media, product design and toy design departments apparently does a good job of feeding its graduates into Hollywood, Mattel, and other industrial design companies through its job boards and internship programs.  The expected earnings of a graduate are $28,900, while the actual median salary is $42,000, an over-performance of $13,100.

The bottom performers in The Economist ranking are equally surprising. At the very bottom is Cooper Union, which underperforms by $16,000, Rice, by $9,800, Yale, by $9,800, Wheaton (IL), by $9,100, and Swarthmore, by $9,000. As mentioned, there are mitigating factors for these performances. One might, though, believe that where there is smoke there is fire.  In any case, it’s always best to be aware of how students fare at any given college. 

The Economist ranking, based on data from the College Scorecard, is a tool, controversial or not, to gain a sense of which colleges outperform expectations in terms of dollars and cents.


Researching a College: Grinnell a Case Study

The better you know prospective campuses, the better you can figure out which might fit in with your postsecondary expectations. If you don’t have any or few expectations formed as yet, doing some research will get your thoughts of college into motion.

A good place to begin a search is with guides such as Fiske, Princeton Review, The Ultimate Guide to America’s Best Colleges, and the Yale Daily News Insider’s Guide to Colleges. Many high school counseling offices and public libraries have these on their shelves.  The ubiquitous Fiske Guide to College contains a useful questionnaire for  the size, location and academics & extracurricular you might prefer.  

Supposing you narrowed your interests down to small liberal arts colleges with a solid track record of academic achievement, you might begin looking at such schools not only in California, but in the Midwest, the East, and possibly the South. Chances are one school that will pop up is Grinnell College in Iowa.  Right after Carleton, it’s one of the top liberal arts colleges in the region.  

From the guides you’ll learn it’s small, 1700 undergraduates and mandates a 1st semester writing tutorial modeled after the writing program at Oxford. With the assistance of a faculty advisor you may begin to design a major, or select among the 500 courses within 26 different majors across 11 concentrations.   

A quick analysis of the financial aid offerings can best be found at College Navigator, which is the website of the NCES, and has exact information on the average financial aid packages offered in the recent school year. Of the recent round of admits, 93% received financial aid with the average package of $31,000. Grinnell has an endowment of $1.83 billion, which until 2011 was run by Warren Buffett; on a per student basis, this is one of the wealthiest colleges in the country.   Now we’re off to the races to learn all we can about the alluring corn fields of Grinnell.

One source that I have found useful is Wikipedia. Its Grinnell write up is engaging—especially regarding Grinnell’s history. The College’s namesake, Joshua Grinnell, an abolitionist minister, was told by Horace Greeley in 1846 to “go West young man”. He did and established the college, which later moved to its current home in Grinnell, Iowa.  Most of the alumni and faculty perished in the Civil War, only to face a Cyclone in 1882 that wiped out the campus.  

Looking at Grinnell’s own website you’ll find ‘Grinnell at a Glance’, which is a flood of facts: 9:1 student to faculty ratio, 7th nationally in the percentage of PhDs per graduate, 15th for graduating female PhD earners, 11 Fulbright’s garnered in 2014, and  51% of Grinnellians have an advanced degree 10 years after graduation.

While many consider Division III athletics unexciting, over a third of Grinnell students participate in varsity athletics. Moreover, Wikipedia describes how Grinnell plays its own brand of basketball: continual full court press and a full line change every 35-40 seconds (like hockey). One of the Grinnell stars, Jack Taylor, scored 138 points in a 179-104 victory over Faith Baptist Bible; he is the only NCAA basketball player ever to have two 100-point basketball games to his credit.

The college has the wherewithal to recruit the best faculty (its professor average rating is 3.83 on Rate My The resources of the Burling Library alone, with its 1 million volumes, its bathroom graffiti (officially encouraged), Jungle Gyms and Amoeba Tables, Media room with over 7,000 documentaries and 22,000 audio recordings, exemplifies the weirdness yet abundant resources Grinnell offers it students.    

With a few college guides, a computer or Smartphone to access College Navigator, the Grinnell website, Wikipedia, and Rate My Professor, we’ve discovered a lot about Grinnell. If you’re drawn to a place that nurtures original thought, action and is capable of channeling idiosyncratic behavior, Grinnell warrants consideration.

Finding the Best Professors

When boiling down the college experience to its essence, students usually best remember getting to know one or two professors who were pivotal in sparking their curiosity and jumpstarting their motivation.

Richard Light of Harvard School of Education in his Making the Most of College, Students Speak Their Minds, describes the factors that define faculty who ‘make a difference.’ Professor Light interviewed over 1400 students to isolate his list of important factors


  1. Teaching precision in the use of language
  2. Sharing intellectual responsibility: expectations are that both teacher and student will learn through their encounters
  3. Connecting academic ideas with student’s lives
  4. Engaging students in large classes
  5. Teaching students to think like professionals
  6. Encouraging students to disagree with the professor
  7. Teaching the use of evidence: how to use evidence to make decisions and resolve issues
  8. Not being predictable: in class anything is fair game
  9. Integrating ideas from other disciplines


Undoubtedly, such a detailed list can help ferret out top professors. Princeton Review, though, in its Best 378 Colleges, boils faculty appraisal down to two key qualities: is the teacher interesting (a broad and subjective quality) and accessible. The review surveyed over 30,000 students across campuses and Lynn O’Shaughnessy, in her blog ‘The College Solution’ summarized the results noting professors in liberal arts colleges received higher scores than those in many private research universities (including the Ivy League), professors at private universities scored higher than those at state universities, and professors at ‘flagship’ state universities (e.g. UCLA, UNC Chapel Hill, and University of Michigan) ranked the lowest of all.

Obviously these findings throw into question the importance of brand name, or rankings, when selecting where the best educational value might be had.

Another Princeton Review (PR) publication, The Best 300 Professors, seeks to uncover who these paragons of professorial talent are. To create the book PR teamed up with Rate My and between the two identified more than 42,000 professors, of whom they then culled down to the final 300. The top five schools with the most top professors are not what one might expect. In ()’s is the number of top 300 teachers on the school’s faculty. Leading the list is Mount Holyoke, MA (14), James Madison, VA (11), Colgate, NY (10), William & Mary, VA (9), and Kenyon College (9).

One of the 300 is Joe Biel, CSU Fullerton, associate Professor of Studio Arts, who has taught at CSUF for over 8 years, and whose work is exhibited internationally. His capabilities can be gleaned from his students’ comments: “Joe is the man. He makes students want to learn, and he is extremely passionate about his work,” “If you don’t take his class it’s your loss. He’s that good,” and, “One of the best professors I’ve ever had.”

Another is Robert Winsor, PhD., a professor of marketing at Loyola Marymount University, who has published over 120 peer reviewed articles, many frequently cited in foundational research. He connects with his students: “He's hilarious, treats you like an adult, and really wants you to learn,” “There is no limit to what will happen in class,” and, “He makes you want to go into the marketing field!”

There are a lot of great teachers in America’s universities, and some very fine ones right here in your own backyard. During your undergraduate years it’s absolutely critical you connect with one or two of them, do some research with one or both, and learn the excitement of mutual discovery and exploration. It will make your undergraduate years unforgettable and your future more brilliant. 

Haunted Campuses

The New York University (NYU) application essay reads: ‘NYU is global, urban, inspired, smart, connected, and bold. What can NYU offer you, and what can you offer NYU?’ Whatever you might offer NYU, NYU offers you a place in the elite of haunted campuses, along with a very good scare above and beyond its annual tuition rate of $45,000.

Founded in 1831, NYU has over 20,000 souls buried beneath its main campus. The land comprising Washington Square Park, NYU’s Greenwich Village location, was a ‘potter’s field,’ a graveyard for the indigent.  It also served as a mass grave for the thousands who died in the Yellow Fever epidemic of the 1820s. The Old University building, one of the first buildings built on the campus, was haunted by a young artist who committed suicide in one of its turrets.

The former Asch Building, now known on the NYU campus as the Brown Building, was where on 25 March 1911the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire took place killing 146 garment workers, mostly young girls. The deaths occurred on the 9th floor. Today the 9th floor of the Brown Building contains the Center for Developmental Genetics; some have heard rustling noises, shrieks of desperation, and, on occasion, smelled smoke.      

NYU’s Provincetown Playhouse on McDougall Street is where Eugene O’Neill got his start on the road to becoming a Nobel Prize winning dramatist. O’Neill’s road ended with his passing on the 4th floor of the Sheldon Hotel, which is now Boston University’s Sheldon Hall.  Current residents claim the elevator stops on the 4th floor often for ‘no reason,’ ‘lights are dimmer there than any other floor,’ and students often hear knocks on their doors only to open to nothing.

At Cornell, Hiram Corson, a popular professor of English (1870-1903), claimed little difficulty communing with deceased authors and poets including Walt Whitman, Alfred Tennyson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Robert Browning. He added a whole new dimension to the Dead Poet’s Society. Cornell is rife with ghosts: there is a malicious spirit haunting the shelves of Olin Library; Jennie McGraw-on occasion-visits the clock tower; tuxedoed ghosts have been encountered by the staff of Willard Straight Hall; the ghost of Alice Statler whose name is on the Hotel School Auditorium is said to have ‘physically grabbed’ a Statler employee; and a group of students and their dog-killed in a 1967 fire in the Ecology House- often make their presence known by footsteps, strange lights, and an occasional phantom bark.   

The University of Virginia currently reports that two ghosts haunt the Alderman library. One, Dr. Bennett Wood Green a Confederate surgeon, willed his book collection to the library and now haunts it. Students report footsteps and a strange presence if in the collection after midnight. The second ghost, a physician who made house calls on the Garnett family in Fredericksburg, VA haunts the Garnett collection. One can only imagine the ire raised by an overdue book.

Closer to home, CSU Channel Islands was built on the site of the former Camarillo State Hospital (1936-1997) in which over a 1,000 patients died. Investigators of the paranormal have found the grounds of CSU CI active with visitations from the supernatural. Doors lock themselves, lights flicker and strange cries emanate from nowhere.

Cal State Fullerton also has its share of ghosts. In the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity house, located on the corner of State College and Yorba Lind Blvd, the ghost of Wendy Osborn, who was allegedly killed in the ravine abutting the fraternity, turns water taps on and off, flickers the lights, opens cabinets, and jumps on beds. Moreover, in 1976, in the basement of the Pollak Library South, a janitor went on a five-minute shooting spree killing seven. Today, doors slam in the basement restroom, and paper towels magically dispense flittering into the trash.

Though University of Pennsylvania lacks the ghostly visits of NYU, BU, Cornell, UVA, CSCI, or CSUF, it does contain the Penn Ghost Project. Here the study of ghosts, parapsychology, is a serious enterprise. Jeff McDaniel, a professor of religious studies and a member on the project asserts: “Even if ghosts are not a physical reality, they’re a sociological reality.” Perhaps Eugene O’Neill would agree.


The Case of Case Western

Name a college with a cutting edge computer science department which was the first university with a fiber-optic network in 1989, has a 1GB network today, is home to 16 Nobel Prize laureates, has one of the top biomedical engineering programs in the country, and counts among its alumni Craig Newmark, the founder of Craig’s List, and former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich. Johns Hopkins? Carnegie Mellon? No, Case Western Reserve.

Case Western Reserve is the product of a merger between Case Institute of Technology with Western Reserve University in 1967, resulting in what is now the largest private college in Ohio—with 4228 undergraduates—and the highest nationally ranked university in Ohio, at #38 according to US News and World Report. Case is composed of four undergraduate schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Case School of Engineering, the Bolton School of Nursing, and the Weatherhead School of Management, which is contained a Frank Gehry designed Lewis Building featuring undulating walls

The 155-acre campus is located 5 miles east of downtown Cleveland, adjacent to the Wade Park historic district in a neighborhood appropriately named University Circle. The circle contains 550 acres of cultural institutions including Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra, Botanical Garden, Museum of Art, and an assortment of major hospitals. Most of these cultural landmarks have joint programs with Case.  Moreover, if this isn’t enough to satisfy one’s cultural needs, Case is only 4 miles from the I.M. Pei designed Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (bring your ID and you get a free admissions ticket).  

While Case is primarily known for its science and engineering majors, in particular the Biomedical engineering is stellar and the polymer science major is one of the few such programs in the country, its ‘western reserve’ portion fosters the arts and sciences.  Indeed, there is excellent teaching and solid research in American Studies, Art History, and Psychology. Case also introduced SAGES (Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship), to replace the core curriculum with 5-6 small interdisciplinary seminars taken throughout the four years emphasizing reading, discussion, and intensive writing.

The atmosphere of the school is academically challenging, but extremely collaborative in spirit. Study groups are encouraged, and it’s relatively easy to find others working on problem sets to join in with.

Case also offers specialty majors and programs. In particular is its Pre-Professional Scholars Program (PPSP). Through PPSP freshmen are offered conditional places in Case’s highly regarded dental, law, social work, and, highly coveted, medicine schools.  

Like Northwestern and Boston University, Case is a proponent of learning through experience (clinical, hands-on, or experiential learning).  75% of the undergraduates participate in research, numerous theatrical productions, clinical nursing, and coop programs with local engineering firms during their undergraduate career. Community service learning tie-ins also abound with tutoring services in Cleveland high schools through such programs as Project Step Up.

What most of the 4,300 undergraduates at Case value are the low 9:1 students to faculty ratio, that 95% of classes are taught by faculty, and that many of the professors are widely accessible. Some departments such as Political Science and Physics have small class sizes allowing for almost individual attention.

While the tuition ticket price is an eye-popping $41,800, over 80% of the students have some form of financial aid with an average financial aid package, according to College Navigator, of $30,700.

If you’re considering Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Washington University (St. Louis) or Northwestern, do not overlook the Tartans of Case Western Reserve, a demanding campus with all that Cleveland has to offer.    

Go Midwest Young Man

Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune in 1871 told RL Sanderson, a correspondent, to go West, ‘where men are wanted, and where employment is not bestowed as alms.’ Had Mr. Greeley been around today, and the question was finding solid educational opportunities, he might well have altered his direction to the Midwest.

Soka University of America, the Newest Orange County Liberal Arts College

When first describing Soka University of America (SUA) in Aliso Viejo in Orange County it’s tempting to draw an analogy to Pepperdine in Malibu: both campuses are mere miles from the Pacific and have stunningly beautiful campuses…but then the analogy begins to falter.  

Grove City College, a Hidden Gem

On occasion people ask me where are the hidden college gems?

I have a found that the 50 Best Colleges list ( is a pretty good source of hidden gems. The list’s primary criterion is that college is for undergraduates, not graduate students—which eliminates many of the big names, such as Harvard or Northwestern. It surveys the record of achievement among a college’s graduates to determine whether they have the skills to succeed in the real world. It also considers whether a college offers a ‘diversity of courses’ free of dogmatism, ideology or political correctness, delivers academic rigor so that students master their subjects, and watches its expenses to avoid adding an unwieldy debt load that indentures many graduates for decades to come. 

True Values in Public Education

Consumers Digest in 2011 published its list of Top 100 college values; it included real values.

Number one on the list is Truman State University (TSU) (Kirksville, MO), followed by the University of Minnesota-Morris (UMM) (Morris, MN).  Both have out-of-state costs comparable to Cal State’s in-state costs, yet they offer substantially higher graduation rates, smaller class sizes, and a load of major selections that are not impacted. To this duo of public values add FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) which is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. FIT in Manhattan is one of the top five fashion design schools in the world (it includes Calvin Klein among its alumni), and has a COA under $30,000. This is a serious value.

Both TSU and UMM are public liberal arts schools with a dazzling array of majors to select among, but with core curricula that ensure students gain the foundations of liberal arts prior to graduation. The label of “Public Liberal Arts College” might be off putting to some. Yet, the best known public liberal arts colleges offer superb educations with graduates who are driven, innovative life-long learners and actors. A prime example of a public liberal arts college, which many public liberal arts model themselves on, is Thomas Jefferson’s alma mater William and Mary College (Williamsburg, VA).  

TSU is Missouri’s only public liberal arts college. Ironically, the oldest part of the campus, which dates back to 1873, was modeled on the University of Virginia, which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. Academically, TSU boasts a strong set of general education courses coupled with an interdisciplinary writing course junior year. The most popular major is business/accounting, yet it offers degrees in Russian, nursing, and even Athletic Training. TSU’s strategic plan is to “provide a liberal arts education that is financially accessible,” for all its 5,800 undergraduates while still maintaining a respectable 17:1 student to faculty ratio. Its out-of-state COA is under $25,000. Moreover, with an 89% retention rate, and a 74% four-year graduation rate, TSU is a screaming value.

UMM is about a third the size of TSU, only 1,690 undergraduates. Each student gets an academic advisor, enjoys a low student to faculty ratio of 13:1, and has 2/3rds of classes with fewer than 19 students. UMM’s six-year graduation rate is 60%; its retention rate is 81%. The curriculum includes five courses in “Skills for the Liberal Arts” covering writing, foreign languages, math, and art, and eight courses in “Expanding Perspectives,” covering history, social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. Its strongest programs include biology, education, psychology, English and management. Most impressive, over the last decade UMM has produced, per capita, the seventh most PhD graduates in chemistry in the country. All for a COA of just over $23,000.

Far from the remote Great Plains is Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) located in the Chelsea neighborhood on West 27th Street in Manhattan. The nine building campus includes TV and radio studios, design workshops, exhibition galleries, multiple computer labs and incredible special facilities that encompass numerous student displays along with the Annette Greene/Fragrance Foundation Lab, and the design research Lighting Lab, containing over 400 lighting fixtures. The school enrolls over 10,000 students FIT offers a range of associate’s (2-year) and bachelor’s degrees in Advertising, Fashion Apparel/Design, Fashion Merchandising, and Commercial Photography. Best of all, FIT is an affordable learning environment within the bustle of New York.

If you seek to gain a solid foundation in the liberal arts while gaining a degree in accounting, chemistry, nursing or even creative writing there is TSU. UMM provides an affordable intimate campus for the academically driven across dozens of disciplines. For the aesthetically inclined there is the design bastion of FIT in Manhattan. All have COAs less than the UC campuses, and comparable to the CSU campuses, while offering campuses quite different from those in California. Explore them. 

The Work College Alternative

Around the time of the Civil War, the United States had hundreds of work colleges in which students contributed 10-15 hours a week to their college community to offset their tuition costs and other expenses.

Today there are only seven work colleges, with Deep Springs being an eighth, though not recognized by the federal government as a work college since it does not seek federal funds. Interestingly, Deep Springs is the only two-year work college whose annual class of 23 students, after 24 months of gardening, tending herds, and fixing fences on its 50,000 acres of sage brush and desiccated expanse, go on to transfer to Yale, Amherst, MIT, and other highly selective colleges. Tuition and Room and board are offset by work, which all students perform.

The other six colleges include a range of schools that are all members of the Work Colleges Consortium (


  1. Alice Lloyd College (Pippa Passes, Kentucky)
  2. Berea College (Berea, Kentucky)
  3. Blackburn College (Carlinville, Illinois)
  4. College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Missouri)
  5. Ecclesia College (Springdale, Arkansas)
  6. Sterling College (Craftsbury Common, Vermont)
  7. Warren Wilson College (Asheville, North Carolina)

Alice Lloyd College, Berea College, and the College of the Ozarks do not charge tuition; consequently, Berea and the College of the Ozarks have respectively, 12% and 10% acceptance rates, making them two of the most competitive campuses in the country. Alice Lloyd College, whose mission “is to educate mountain people for positions of leadership,” was founded by the eponymous Alice Lloyd who journeyed to the Appalachian Mountains in 1915 from Boston to regain her health. What she established became the focal point of her life: providing an education for leaders spread among 108 Appalachian counties throughout five states.

Berea College accepts students from all 50 states and over 60 countries (generally no more than one student is admitted from each international country, all are admitted on full scholarship), with the majority of students (around three-quarters of its 1,661 undergraduates) hailing from Appalachia. Founded in 1855, Berea was the first coeducational and interracial college in the South. It is a Christian school whose mission is to “promote the cause of Christ.”  

The Wall Street Journal bestowed the name ‘Hard Work U’ on the College of the Ozarks, which the school trademarked and turned into the school motto. While the students put in regular 10-15 hour weeks ,(with bursts of 40-hour weeks during the holidays), the school distinctly values caring and character above all else, including intellect, which indeed does have its limitations. The 1000-acre campus overlooking Lake Taneycomo prohibits all alcohol on or off campus and has a 13 to 1 student to faculty ratio. Students do not pay one penny in tuition: all students work to cover their educational costs.

The types of jobs students perform range from tutoring, teaching assistance, janitorial, and general office work to the more exotic. College of the Ozarks has students working in an airport, servicing planes, and working as ground crews. It also has positions in a watermill. Berea College employs students in its Boone Tavern Hotel, college farms, and its campus electric plant. Sterling has a farm which nurtures midget rams (certainly a point of conversation on any student resume), while Alice Lloyd assigns students to its radio station, computer repair and day care services. Deep Springs is a working cattle ranch.

The best aspect of the entire work college experience is work doesn’t conflict with learning, rather it enhances it. All the issues surrounding work such as management of students by students, dealing with malingerers, setting hours, fair compensation, and  building integrity and self-confidence through actually being a pivotal part of the college community) come into play. Work colleges provide an inclusiveness missing from most colleges, even those that offer coop programs, internships, or work-study programs.  At work colleges everyone works, everyone studies and the two create grounded, engaged, and capable students.

It’s a shame only eight remain.

Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) and a Word from its Admissions Director

Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) and a Word from its Admissions Director

Few California high school students know of a small Jesuit liberal arts school located in the city of Worcester Massachusetts.

If their thoughts turn to Massachusetts colleges they might include the red bricks of Harvard, the eclectic mixture of buildings at MIT, the bucolic campuses of Amherst and Williams, or the alluring charms of Wellesley, Mount Holyoke or Smith. However, Worcester warrants consideration with its bevy of over 15 colleges including Worcester Polytechnic, Clark University, and, of course, Holy Cross.

Cooper Union: No Longer ‘Free as Water and Air’

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, located in Manhattan’s East Village with 1,000 students and an admission’s rate of 8%, was founded in 1859 by Peter Cooper, a successful entrepreneur who had designed and built the first steam railroad engine.

Cooper wanted to create a college, ‘equal to the best’ yet ‘open and free to all’ regardless of sex, wealth, or social status. Cooper Union is comprised of three schools: Irwin Chanin School of Architecture, the School of Art, and Albert Nerkin School of Engineering.

The engineering school offers both bachelors and masters degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering. Thomas Edison is a notable former student.

The architecture school, ranked among the five top architecture programs in the country, offers a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree.  Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, architects of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Redevelopment project, and the expansion of the Julliard School and the School of American Ballet, are Cooper graduates.

The School of Art’s 4-year BFA degree allows students to select courses from any of the school’s departments thereby creating their own program of study. Focus is on imagination and creativity. Milton Glaser is a famous alumnus whose graphic designs brand DC Comics, Target, and JetBlue.  

With the endowment of the land under the Chrysler Building in 1902, Cooper Union had sufficient funding to be tuition free through two world wars, a depression, and even the devastating crash of 2008; however, 2013 will put an end to its111 years of free tuition, leaving Cooper’s faculty, students, and future applicants shaking their heads in dismay— what happened?

What happened were miscalculations in managing its endowment. First, 84% of Cooper’s $667 million endowment is in one asset, the land under the Chrysler Building. John Michaelson, Chairman of Cooper’s investment committee stated having so much money in one asset, “is against everything I stand for”. Emory University in Atlanta, which in 2001 had over 60% of its endowment in Coca Cola stock, sold and diversified. Yet, Cooper’s board appears to have a sentimental attachment to the Chrysler Building, describing it as a ‘gift from the children of Peter Cooper.’ In 2006 the 666 Fifth Avenue Building, which doesn’t compare to the Chrysler building, sold for $1.8 billion; Cooper never explored the market.

When Cooper needed to upgrade the engineering facilities, instead of first arranging for a donor, Cooper built a $166 million building using the Chrysler Building as collateral, and then went searching for a donor—no one has come forward. In 2008, Cooper’s portfolio (excluding the Chrysler Building) was $169 million. By the end of 2012 it had sunk to $86 million and Cooper’s operations suffered a cash flow shortfall of $13 million.  

This left Cooper Union with two funding alternatives: donations (alumni contributions), and tuition. Cooper has not nurtured a charitable alumni base. It’s not easy to do. UCLA Anderson School of Management, to offset state funding declines is developing alumni giving; it takes time. This leaves raising tuition. Though Cooper’s consultants recommended charging a maximum 25% of posted tuition (listed at $38,500 a year) Mark Epstein and his Board of Directors elected to charge 50% (Olin School of Engineering transitioned from tuition free in 2010 to charging 50%-a precedent had already been set).

In April, Mark Epstein announced, “The time has come to set our institution on a path that will enable it to survive and thrive well into the future.” Cooper’s President, Jamshed Bharucha, asked faculty for advice on future revenue streams. When the Art School faculty refused to comply, early acceptance letters to art school applicants were not sent out. Mauricio Higuera, a senior art student, while protesting the tuition decision, told a group of about 200 students assembled at the Great Hall, where Lincoln had once given his Cooper Union Address: “For 150 years this building, these columns, has held a dream, a dream for free education for all. I propose we all join hands and give this institution a big hug, because it needs it.” The crowd encircled the building and complied.  

The Liberal Arts Alternatives- Public Liberal Arts Colleges

The most discriminating purchasers of college services, college professors, are keen on sending their kids to liberal arts colleges. Why? Liberal arts schools are usually small, smaller than many high schools. Most are composed solely of undergraduates, meaning accessibility to professors is unmatched: professors know this.  

Consequently, liberal arts colleges encourage and deliver many undergraduate research opportunities, even compared to major ‘research universities.’ Moreover, at the liberal arts colleges, professors teach introductory courses, with many interacting frequently with their students—and have countless informal meetings, which according the late Steve Jobs, are the most fruitful and memorable.

Regardless of all this professor access, many believe that attending a liberal arts college- to learn, read, write, analyze, communicate and think clearly will land students squarely in the unemployment line. Not according to Paul D’Arnieri , dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at University of Florida, “…liberal arts major can go into education, public policy, law, intelligence, as well as business--let’s not forget that many, many business leaders have liberal arts degrees.” (Fox Business 27 January 2012) Okay, but won’t the costs of these colleges saddle students with tens of thousands of dollars of debt? Certainly the sticker price of Swarthmore, Amherst, Pomona College, or Williams is over $50,000 a year, but there are alternatives.

Beyond the brand name private liberal arts schools there are a number of public liberal arts colleges. Many are a part of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) which consists of 27 public colleges spread among 24 states and a Canadian province. A full list can be found at Four of these public liberal arts colleges are included in Fiske’s Best Buys of 2013, which is based on “the quality of their academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance.” (Fiske Guide, 2013)  These include the College of Charleston (SC), Evergreen State (WA), Truman State, (MO), and University of Mary Washington (VA). Two other public liberal arts colleges for those wanting to be closer to home include Sonoma State University, with a cost of attendance (COA) of just over $23,000 and Southern Oregon University (which is part of the Western University Exchange program, WUE), with a COA of $25,000.

Yet another public liberal arts college, University of Minnesota, Morris, which for some odd reason did not make the Fiske list, is truly an exceptional value. The college is located in the middle-western portion of Minnesota, fairly close to the North Dakota border. The 125-year-old campus has a 42-acre historic district set in the middle of its 130-acre campus. Equally interesting is the campus is well on its way to becoming carbon neutral, as it obtains over half its power from a municipal level wind turbine (another liberal arts school in Minnesota, Carleton, just installed its second wind turbine generator—a popular energy alternative in the land of 10,000 lakes).

Academically all students begin with a first-year seminar featuring a five-course core under the name of ‘Skills for the Liberal Arts.” Eight courses are then required spread among history, fine arts, social science, natural sciences, and ‘international perspectives.’ Over two-thirds of the classes have 19 or fewer students, and all are taught by professors. Students find the academics competitive but highly collaborative.

The best news is that Morris does not charge non-residential fees. The annual tuition, room and board for a non-resident is under $20,000. For the right type of student, Morris represents a superb undergraduate value, as do many of the public liberal arts schools.

Only 3% of students coming out of high school go on to liberal arts colleges. In all likelihood of the students who even learn that liberal arts schools exist, most dismiss this alternative as too pricey, unprofessional, and small. That’s a shame because there are a lot of choices and opportunities for those bold enough to stray off the well-worn UC or CSU admissions path. Liberate your search and survey the great public liberal arts school opportunities.  

Knowing a College Well: An Exercise with Bucknell University

Any time is an ideal time to ‘test drive’ a college. Even though the bulk of your undergraduate years will be spent inside the classroom and library walls (at least they better be), knowing the campus and the community where you’ll be spending at least the next four years, possibly longer, is important. A good exercise to help you explore a school you’re serious about is to pretend you’re already there.

To begin, let’s choose a college. If you’re thinking of engineering, or chemistry, and have a penchant for liberal arts programs as well, Bucknell University in Pennsylvania might be of interest. We’ll want to gather as much information as possible by touring its website,, reviewing its course catalog,, researching its core requirements, and looking at its admissions rates (28% of applicants admitted last year), which can be readily found on the College Navigator site. 

The next step is to imagine you’re in Bucknell, nestled in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, a town rated 15th in the 100 best, small towns in America. You are now living in one of the five college-owned apartment buildings and you’re finishing up a meal at the award-winning Bostwick Cafeteria, which offers local produce and lots of healthy and vegetarian options. You might take a stroll among the 450 secluded, hilly acres overlooking the Susquehanna River, walking by one of the 100 buildings, the recently constructed, $8-million, Breakiron Engineering building. The place has the feel of a country club, which isn’t too surprising as it’s the sixth most expensive university in the country.

Now it’s time to choose your courses and consider which of the 50 majors and 60 minors are of most interest. If it’s chemistry, there is a lot to consider: a chemistry major with a minor in biology, or possibly a combined chemistry major with a liberal arts degree, which is a five-year program. There are a lot of options.  The university has writing requirements (all students are required to successfully complete three writing courses) and lots of undergraduate research opportunities; Bucknell will supply a stipend of $2,500 for the most promising ones.

Exploring the academic environment in greater depth, we discover Bucknell is comprised of two undergraduate colleges: Engineering (650 students), and Arts and Sciences (2,900 students). Additionally, Bucknell has no core curriculum, though the College of Arts and Sciences offers a “Common Learning Agenda” that consists of 6 courses of questionable efficacy. The student/teacher ratio is 10:1, not bad (and not too surprising in light of the generally small class sizes: 93% of the classes have fewer than 50 students.). Furthermore, the quality of the professors is high. 60% are tenured, and virtually all have terminal degrees (PhD).  The leading departments are engineering, computer science, accounting, economics, and chemistry. The acclaimed professors include Tristan Riley in sociology, Eric Tilman in chemistry, and Nancy White in Economics. You can do a fairly thorough examination of a portion of the faculty at ‘Rate My’,

Finally, the acid test of this exercise is to produce a concise list of the pros and cons of the school, preferably on one sheet of paper.

What have you actually accomplished with this exercise? Undoubtedly, it will hone your expertise on each college you review. Moreover, when you encounter Bucknell’s supplemental application essay question, ‘What are the three most important things Bucknell's faculty and students should know about you?” you can use your knowledge to create a convincing picture of your taking advantage of its resources. Should you interview at the school or with alumni, you’ll be well prepared. In fact, examining any school at this level gives you the knowledge that few applicants have. The admissions office will certainly be impressed by your knowledge, and awareness of the college equates to a high interest level.

The school will know you’re serious, that you care, and that you’ll probably be a dedicated member of its college community. It’s a good way to gain acceptance. It is an even better way to gauge your interest—and that, after all, is what this is all about.

Yale University in Singapore—the Liberal Arts in Asia—and its Discontents


  • Singapore becoming university hub for Asia
  • Dozens of top flight universities have joint ventures in Singapore
  • Yale NUS project creating tension in New Haven

The small city state of Singapore, with a population of just over 5 million, is quickly becoming the educational hub of Asia. Prior to the turn of the 21st century, Singapore offered postsecondary degrees almost solely through its two large flagship universities: National University of Singapore (NUS), and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Then, in January 2000, Singapore Management University opened its doors, followed by Singapore Institute of Management (2005), Singapore Institute of Technology (2009), Singapore University of Technology and Design (2011), and, coming soon, Yale/NUS (2013).

Although Yale already has a joint program with Peking University in China, the Yale/NUS liberal arts college will establish Yale’s permanent presence in the heart of Southeast Asia. The campus will begin its first class of 150 students in August of 2013 (actually in July—as the first class will be provided a month long orientation in New Haven, CT). The plan is for class size to increase, over the next several years, to 250 students per class, raising total enrollment to 1000.

Yale-NUS college will now be added to the already extensive list of alliances between US, along with European and Australian, universities and the various colleges and technical schools in Singapore: Chapman University in Film & TV production, University of Chicago Booth School of Business Asia Campus, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Johns Hopkins Division of Biomedical Sciences (NUS), Singapore Stanford Partnership (NTU), Singapore MIT Alliance (NTU), Cornell School of Hospitality Management (NTU), UN Las Vegas, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore…and this is but a sample of Singapore’s educational pulse.

While a number of the universities listed above are involved in exchange of faculty, specific course design and curriculum development, the Yale NUS joint venture will be a brand new university, anchored in Singapore, with  BS and BA degrees across, initially, 14 majors, awarded by NUS, yet with the full resources of the Yale Alumni available to all graduates. The government of Singapore, through NUS, is financing the entire program, which includes building a separate campus with three residential colleges. Each college will have its own dining, student facilities, quads, and rector, who will live among the students (all modeled upon Yale’s residential college system). Classrooms will be integrated into the residential colleges as well.

The cost for an international student to attend is 15,000 Singapore dollars per semester (about $12,000 US) and all students accepted will receive 50% scholarship for room and board which reduces room and board to $1,400 US per semester. Double the sum for the school year, and the total cost is well under US $30,000, which is competitive with the costs of many UC campuses (though flying half way around the world might add a bit to the calculation).   

Naturally, not all parties on the Yale side are happy about the coming premiere of Yale NUS. The joint venture with NUS was initiated by two members of the Yale Corporation (which is the governing body of Yale chaired by the President of Yale, a board of trustees, the governor of Connecticut, and alumni fellows who serve staggered 6-year terms) who were advisors on the Government of Singapore’s investment portfolio. The chief faculty critic, Seyla Benhabib, a political science professor, put the position of Yale’s faculty in very blunt terms: “Leaving aside this venture’s naïve missionary sentiment, one must ask: Do we need to go to Singapore to advance … a revival of the liberal arts?” (“What’s at Stake at Yale-NUS”, Yale Daily News, 4 April 2012) After which a resolution was passed by the faculty calling into question issues of civil and political rights within the state of Singapore (and the fact that the faculty will be involved with curriculum development and staffing—without having any voice in the decision.) This provoked President Levine of Yale to comment that the tone of Ms. Benhabib’s resolution “carried a sense of moral superiority that I found unbecoming.”

The launch of the Yale-NUS College is coming with its own brand of fireworks—adding just a splash of hot chili sauce to Yale’s Singapore Sling.

UC Davis, the UC System’s Pearl of the Sacramento Valley


  • UC Davis Applications Rise 2012
  • The Bike Culture
  • Challenging Academics
  • UG Research Emphasis
  • Run by Students for Students

Despite the buffets of budget cuts, the UC System is more popular than ever. This year, UC applications hit over 161,000, up 13% from last year. UC Davis, located just 15 miles west of Sacramento, best known for its biology, agriculture, and engineering programs, was up 5% from a year earlier with slightly more than 62,000 applications. This in the face of the ill-conceived Davis police pepper spraying of students protesting student tuition increases. The steady rise of applications-despite the pepper spray gaff-speaks to the resources and boundless educational opportunities Davis offers.

Davis is a large campus of over 23,500 undergraduates, yet, it has a much smaller and personal feel. Some of this can be attributed to its ‘bike culture.’ The campus consists of 5,300 mostly flat acres—including a 100-acre arboretum and over a thousand buildings webbed together by an extensive network of bike paths. A bike is essential student transportation at Davis. To keep the paths safe, there is a bicycle police force empowered to write tickets for infractions-even for issuing BUI (biking under the influence) citations.

Chances are the academic workload will not allow for many BUIs, as the 10-week quarter system, and the usual load of 3-4 classes, will demand the full sober attention of most students. If this academic pace doesn’t challenge, then possibly an invitation to Davis’s Integrated Learning Program, which is by selection from the incoming freshman class, or the Davis Honor’s program, which any ambitious freshman or sophomore might elect to enroll in, will ratchet up the challenge.

Davis is demanding. The College of Engineering, offering 15 majors, from biomedical to optical engineering, enrolling over 5,000 students, has a national reputation. The College of Agriculture has one of the top pre-veterinary medical programs in the country, and the best viticulture (winemaking) program; it also offers pre-professional programs in Landscape Architecture and Managerial Economics (reminiscent of Cornell U:niversity’s College of Agriculture with its variety of applied economics degrees).

If the rigors of a major are not enough of a challenge, or, to the contrary, are too overwhelming, changing majors, or even colleges, can be done with relative ease. Davis acknowledges that over three-quarters of its students will change majors at least once, and it seeks to accommodate. Within majors and departments there are faculty advisors, though most of the best advising comes from peers who are familiar with the structure of majors, the professors, and the challenging courses, and helps an advisee plan accordingly.

Davis places an emphasis on undergraduate research and internships. Davis’s ICC program assists students in obtaining research and internship positions. Over half of the UC Davis undergraduates work on research with a faculty member before they graduate; annually, more than 5,000 perform internships. Furthermore, to abet research efforts, Davis’s library system has over 3.5 million volumes, making it the 48th largest college library collection in the country and, through the UC Melville System, a student can access all books and resources from any UC library collection. A bus even runs regularly to UC Berkeley’s 27 libraries and 10.1 million volumes (the 5th largest library in the country) should a personal search there be required.

UC Davis, in many areas excluding its police department, sports an air of great efficiency. One key reason is it is a college that is run, to a great degree, by students for students. The campus’s Unisys bus system, which contains a preponderance of double decker British buses, is completely composed of student bus drivers. The Davis fire department consists of UC student volunteers. The COHO student union, which houses in its basement 18 bowling lanes, is almost completely run by students.

Davis, like many large public universities, is what you make of it. There is no reason a student cannot attain a Rhodes Scholarship, play on one of Davis’s 27 Division I teams, and become a volunteer fireman while majoring in viticulture, and minoring in chemistry or classical studies. Davis has the tools, departments, and people to enable unparalleled intellectual growth; the rest is up to you.   

Ralph Becker, Ivy College Prep, LLC, is a resident of Long Beach, he has been counseling students for the last 7 years. A former Yale Alumni Interviewer, he has a college counseling certification from UCLA Extension, and is the author of SAT Vocab 800 Books A, B, C, & D.


UC Davis, Sacramento Valley 위치한 UC 진주

  • 2012 application 접수 증가
  • 자전거 문화
  • 우수한 Academics
  • UG 리서치 강조
  • 학생자율 차지제도

엄청난 예산삭감에도 불구하고 UC대학들은 여전히 인기를 누리고 있다.  올해는 지난해 보다 원서가 13%상승하고 161,000개나 쌓였다.  UC Davis는 Sacramento에서 15마일 떨어진 곳에 위치하며, 생물학, 농학, 공학이 유명하다.  올해 원서는 5%가 상승한 62,000장이 접수되었다.  이번에 Davis경찰이 등록금 상승에 반대하는 학생을 향해 pepper spray를 뿌린 상황에도 원서의 꾸준한 상승은 Davis가 제공하는 우수한 교육기회와 자원을 증명하는 것이다.

Davis는 23,500명의 학부생이 있는 큰 캠퍼스임에도 불구하고, 작고도 개인적인 분위기를 갖게 한다.  이것은 ‘자전거 문화’때문이다.  캠퍼스가 5,300에이크의 평지로 100에이크의 식물원과 1000개가 넘는 빌딩이 자전거길로 연결되어 있다.  이 길을 안전하게 하기 위해 담당 경찰은 BUI (biking under the influence:음주금지) 티켓을 주며 지키고 있다.

위반자들은 10주간으로 이루어지는 쿼터제에서 3-4과목을 신청하기 어렵다.  정말 맑은 정신으로 공부해야 한다.  그래도 더 집약적인 공부를 원한다면, Integrated Learning Program을 신청하거나 Davis Honor’ program에 들 수 있다.  정말 도전을 하게 될 것이다.

Davis는 쉽지 않다.  공학대학은 15개의 전공으로 biomedial에서 안경공학까지 다양하며 5,000명의 학생이 있다.  농과대학은 전국에서 가장 우수한 수의학 예과와 비티컬쳐 (포도재배학)이 있다; 조경학과 경영경제학도 제공한다(Cornell 대학 농과대학의 다양한 응용경제학과 유사하다).

여기서는 공부가 너무 도전적인지 아니면 힘들든지 쉽든지, 전공 바꾸기가 상대적으로 쉽다.  ¾의 학생들이 적어도 한번 전공을 바꾼다.  그래서 전공 상담교수가 있어서 상담을 하여 가장 적절한 전공으로 안내하고 있다.

Davis는 학부의 리서치와 인턴십을 강조한다.  ICC프로그램은 학생들이 이런 기회를 갖도록 돕고 있다.  ½의 학부생이 교수와 함께 졸업 전에 리서치 기회를 갖는다; 또한 매년 5,000명이 인턴십을 가진다.  더욱이 이것을 돕기 위해 도서관은 전국에서 48위에 해당하는 3.5million의 책을 보유하고 있으며, UC Melvill system으로 학생들은 모든 UC 도서관의 책을 빌릴 수 있다.  더욱이 UC Berkeley의 27개의 도서관(전국 5위)과 10.1million의 책을 볼 수 있도록 왕복버스가 운행되고 있다. 

UC Davis는 경찰부서를 제외하고는 정말 효능적이다.  중요한 요인은 학생에 의해 운영되어 진다는 것이다.  캠퍼스의 Unisys버스체계는 2층의 영국스타일의 버스로 학생에 의해 운영되어 진다.  소방소는 학생들의 자원자들로 구성되어 있다.  COHO학생회는 18개의 볼링라인을 갖고 학생에 의해 운영되고 있다.

Davis는 다른 큰 공립대학들과 같이 여러분이 원하는 것을 찾을 수 있다.  포도재배학을 전공하면서 화학이나 고전을 부전공으로 택하면서, Rhodes 장학금을 받을 수도 있고, 27개의 운동부서에서 활동할 수 있고, 소방관으로 자원할 수 있다.  Davis는 가능한 도구와 전공부서를 갖고 있고, 비교할 수 없는 지성을 쌓을 수 있는 곳이다.  나머지는 여러분에게 달려 있다.

Tuition Free Schools to Combat Escalating College Costs


  • Span Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, Engineering
  • Work Study Options
  • Feature ‘Hands On’ Learning

While there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is such a thing as free tuition. A group of colleges offer students tuition free education with one exception: Olin School of Engineering has had to become only half tuition free as a result of its endowment faring poorly during the recent recession; it is, though, still a value at half the tuition price, and thereby warrants a spot on this list. The service academies (West Point, the Air Force Academy, Annapolis, the Coast Guard Academy…) are all free of tuition and all other expenses: they even give their cadets a monthly stipend; however, they do require post-graduate service commitments. The following ‘tuition free’ institutions, on the other hand, offer students the opportunity to study liberal arts, fine arts, and engineering, without a huge debt-load at the end of the experience or backend service requirements.   Let’s explore the schools by their curriculum.

Liberal Arts:

  • Deep Springs College ( is a two-year liberal arts institution, founded in 1917 and has only 26 students. Beginning the summer of 2013, it will begin admitting female applicants. The college is located on 5,000 arid acres, on the Nevada, California border. Tuition, room and board are free. In exchange, students work the ranch 20 hours a week. Most of the students, upon finishing their 2-year stint at Deep Springs, transfer to some of the most selective schools in the country. (A superb write-up of the school can be found in The Fiske Guide to Colleges, 2012.)
  • College of the Ozarks ( located in the southern Missouri Ozarks, offers majors in business, education and criminal justice. To offset tuition, the school requires each student to dedicate 15 hours per week in a work study program on its farm or in other workstations.  College of the Ozarks is a standard 4-year college.

Fine Arts:

  • Curtis Institute of Music ( is located in the heart of Philadelphia. If you’re seeking a degree in music performance and theory, and you are a top flight performer, this school warrants an application. Though only 4% of its applicants are accepted, should you be among this number, you will gain a superior musical education, tuition free.
  • Cooper Union (, in the Greenwich Village area of New York City, is well known for its programs, which emphasize design, in engineering, architecture, along with the visual and performing arts. The school has a lengthy history as it was here in 1860 that Lincoln’s speech propelled him to a presidential win. About 11 % of applicants are admitted.


  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering ( is located just outside of Boston in Needham, Massachusetts. It offers majors in electrical, mechanical, and general engineering. The school was founded in 2002, with a $490 million grant from the FW Olin Institute. In 2010, the year the school went half tuition free, 768 students applied, 16% were accepted.
  • The Webb Institute ( located in Glen Cove, New York, specializes in teaching its students how to ‘advance the art of shipbuilding.’ This is a 4-year intensive engineering program that features an annual 2-month internship (winter term) aboard a vessel. The school is tuition-free; however, room and board and extraneous expenses are not covered. In 2010, 73 students applied; 38% were accepted. Its only major is naval architecture and marine engineering.  

Gaining admission into most of the above institutions is, as you would expect, competitive. All approach learning with a lot of ‘hands on’ experience: Deep Springs you work the ranch; Ozarks, the farm; Curtis, you perform; Cooper Union and Olin, you participate in a lot of projects; and, at the Webb Institute you take an annual 2-month jaunt aboard a vessel somewhere in the world.  Best of all, however, each institution’s tuition (and half of Olin’s) is, as Peter Cooper, the founder of Cooper Union said, “as free as water and air.”   Ivy College Prep, LLC,, (714) 734-8100. Ralph Becker, a resident of Long Beach, has been counseling students for the last 6 years. A former Yale Alumni interviewer, he holds a certificate in college counseling from UCLA Extension, and has published SAT* Vocab 800, Books A, B, C, &D.

치솟는 등록금 피해 거의 등록금이 없는 대학 찾기

  • 인문학, 예술, 공학분야
  • 공부와 병행
  • 실습위주의 특징

요즈음 공짜 점심 먹기도 어려운데, 등록금이 거의 무료인 대학이 있다.  몇 대학들이 한가지의 조건을 달면서 등록금이 무료이다: Olin 공대는 현재 어려운 경제시기에 자산이 줄면서, 등록금의 50%를 받지만, 정말 가치가 있으므로 이 칼럼의 한 자리를 차지하게 되었다.  물론, 사관학교들 (West Point, the Air Force Academy, Annapolis, the Coast Guard Academy등)은 수업료와 모든 비용이 무료이며, 매달 용돈까지 있다; 한편, 복무의 의무가 있다.   반면, 다음의 ‘등록금 무료’대학들은 인문학, 예술, 공학대학들은 졸업 후 지게 되는 빚도 없고, 복무의 의무도 없다.  그러면, 교과과정을 자세히 살펴보자.

인문학 분야:

  • Deep Springs College ( 은 1917년에 세워진 2년제 인문대학으로 26명이 정원이다.  2013년 여름부터는 여학생도 받는다.  캠퍼스는 가주 근방인 네바다 사막에 5,000에이커를 갖고 있다.  등록금, 기숙사비 모두 무료이다.  다만, 일주일 20시간의 근로를 해야 한다.  대부분의 학생들은 2년 후 명문대학으로 진학하고 있다 (이 대학에 대한 우수한 평가가 The Fiske Guide to Colleges, 2012에 나와 있다).
  • College of the Ozarks (는 미주리 남부 Ozarks 에 위치해 있으며, 경제, 교육, 범죄학의 전공이 있으며, 등록금을 대신하여 주당 15시간을 농장이나 다른 일터에서 일을 하는 근로프로그램을 요구한다.  전형적인 4년제 대학이다.

예술 분야:

  • Curtis Institute of Music ( 는 Philadelphia의 중심부에 위치해 있으며, 음악연주와 이론의 학위를 원하고 훌륭한 연주가라면, 응시할 수 있다.  응시생의 4%를 선발하며, 여러분이 그 범위에 든다면, 우수한 음악교육을 무료로 받을 수 있다.
  • Cooper Union(은 뉴욕시의 Greenwich village지역에 위치해 있으며, 시각과 행위예술과 더불어 디자인, 공학, 건축학으로 유명하다.  1860년에 설립되었으며, 링컨의 연설이 대통령 선거에 이기게 한 유래도 있다.  응시생의 11%정도 입학된다. 


  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering ( 전기공학, 기계공학, 일반 공학을 제공한다.  2002년에 FW Olin 연구소로부터 $490million의 기부금으로 설립되었으며, 2010년에는 50%의 등록금을 받으며, 768명이 응시하여 16%가 입학되었다.
  • The Webb Institute ( 는 뉴욕의 Glen Cove에 위치해 있으며, ‘선진 조선술’을 전문으로 한다.  4년제의 집중 공학프로그램과 2달간 승선하는 인턴십 (겨울)을 요구하며, 등록금은 무료이다.  단지 기숙사와 기타 비용은 포함하지 않는다.  2010년에는 73명이 응시하여 38%가 입학했다.   주 정공은 해양 건축과 해양공학이다.

위의 대학들은 경쟁이 매우 심하다.  모든 공부는 실습위주이다: Deep Springs는 랜치의 일경험; Ozarks는 농장경험; Curtis는 연주경험; Cooper Union and Olin은 프로젝트에 참가를 요구한다.  그럼에도 불고하고 큰 매력은 Cooper Union의 창시자인 Peter Cooper의 말처럼 등록금이 ‘물과 공기처럼 공짜’라는 점이다. 

Carleton College: a Superb Liberal Arts College in Minnesota


  • In a League with Pomona College, Amherst, and Middlebury
  • Small Undergraduate Population, Expansive Cowling Arboretum
  • Excellent and Diligent Professors
  • Trimester System—Numerous majors
  • High Production of PhDs and NSF Winners

Even in the sub-zero frigidity of a Minnesota January, brains are exuding energy in Northfield, a town about 40 minutes from Minneapolis and St. Paul. ‘Carls,’ Carleton students, also known as “northern commies” by more conservative elements who find their politics a touch too left leaning, have just begun their second trimester.  If you can weather the Minnesota winter, and find enjoyment in talking with some of the most intellectually engaged students in the country, “serious students who don’t take themselves too seriously,” then Carleton College might warrant being added to any application list which includes the likes of Pomona College, Swarthmore, Middlebury, or Amherst.

Its student numbers are comparable to Williams College, with just over 2,000. Like Swarthmore, Carleton contains an arboretum: Cowling Arboretum is 880-acres and is directly adjacent to the college. All told Carleton consists of 1,040 acres, a fairly spacious campus for its 2,000 undergraduates. The campus also includes a Japanese Garden, the Goodsell Observatory, listed on the National Historic Trust, and two utility grade wind turbines, substantially reducing the campus’s carbon footprint and generating close to half of the campus’s energy needs.

Carleton is noted for its natural sciences and political science departments. With no graduate students, teaching is done by the faculty; its focus is on teaching. Teachers at Carleton are “approachable” and “generous with their time”. On Rate My, Carleton professors, as a group, score 3.54 in “Overall Quality”. (Yale professors score 2.59; Harvard, 2.95, Pomona College 3.59 and Amherst, 3.8). One of the many recommended professors is Al Montero, who teaches a challenging introductory course to political science, grades severely, yet appears universally loved. One student mentions Professor Montero as, “…a flawless professor. All his colleagues know it and his students do too. Is it scary to have a professor who is flawless? Yes. Is it amazing? Yes.”

Most classes at Carleton are small: over 60% have fewer than 20 students, with the average class size of 17.  Carleton has no formal course requirements, and few distribution requirements. Though similar to Hampshire College and Brown University, once a major and concentration is determined, the student meets with her department advisor and the required course path is configured. A BA is offered in 37 majors, and students can elect to design their own; additionally, students earn a ‘concentration’ which comprises interdisciplinary study in such subjects as neuroscience, or European Studies. More impressive still, Carleton offers 12 foreign language courses from Russian to Arabic. Over 70% of Carls study abroad.

Carleton nurtures success in its students. Its most recent class produced 7 Fulbright Scholars, and the highest number of National Science Foundation fellowships in the country. It regularly graduates more women who pursue a PhD in the natural sciences than either Dartmouth or Princeton (each of which graduates twice as many women). Overall, 70% of Carleton graduates go on to graduate school, most in PhD programs, not MBA type programs. Apparently, the Carleton natural sciences department's emphasis on field and lab work gives it substantial advantage over larger, research-driven universities. However, don’t think this display of academic excellence is serendipitous-- almost a fifth of Carleton’s recent class was composed of National Merit Scholars-- that’s a number greater than any other liberal arts school in the country. 

Yes, its cost of attendance (COA) is over $54,000, but more than half the recent class received need-based financial aid—over $27,000 was given in grants and scholarships. Also, Carleton charges no application fee for students who apply online, and it’s on the Common Application—so, to test the water costs nothing but time, compared to Stanford’s $90 application fee.

If the cold doesn’t kill you, then Carleton might give life to your undergraduate career. With a beautiful campus containing its own arboretum, a Japanese Garden, and the first campus night club, The Cave, there is always too much to do. Yet the excellence of the teaching, the small classes, the broad selection of majors, and the study abroad program make Carleton an alluring place to spend four years building a base for a lifetime of learning.   


Carleton College소개: 미네소타의 최고의 인문대학

  • Pomona College, Amherst, Middlebury와 유사함
  • 작은 수의 학생에 비해 웅장한 Cowling Arboretum
  • 우수하고도 부지런한 교수들
  • 3학기제에 많은 전공들
  • PhD와 NSF우수자의 배출

1월의 미네소타의 영하의 날씨에도 불구하고, Minneapolis와 St. Paul에서 40분 떨어진 Northfield 에서는 두뇌에서 에너지가 쏟고 있다.  Carleton의 학생들, Carls들이 2학기를 시작하면서 좌파로 기울면서 보수주의자들에게서 “북쪽의 공산주의자”라는 명칭을 갖는다.  만약 여러분이 미네소타의 겨울을 이길 수 있고, 전국에서 가장 지적인 학생들(스스로는 심각하게 생각하지 않지만, 심각한 학생들)과 토론하길 좋아한다면, Carleton College는 Pomona college, Swarthmore, Middlebury, Amherst와 같이 원서를 넣어야 하는 대학이다.

Williams College와 비슷한 숫자의 2,000명이 재학하며, Swarthmore와 같이 식물원을 교내에 갖고 있다: Cowling Arboretum은  880에이크이다.  교정 전체는 1,040 에이크이며, 2,000명의 학생이 다니기에는 정말 넓다.  캠퍼스에는 National Historic Trust에 등록된 Japanese Garden, Goodsell Observatory가 있으며, 두 개의 바람터번은 캠퍼스의 이산화탄소를 줄여주며, 에너지를 반 이상을 생산한다.

Carleton은 자연과학과 정치학이 유명하다.  교수들은 대학원이 없으므로 오로지 가르치는 일에 집중한다.  교수들은 접근가능하고 시간에 후하다.  Rate My Professor.com에 올라온 평가를 보면, 전체적으로 3.54 (예일대 교수가 2.49; 하버드가 2.95; 포모나가 3.54; 엠허스트가 3.8)이다.  정치학 입문을 가르치는 교수로 점수도 짠 Al Montero 교수는 정말 존경받고 있다.  학생의 글에는 “…흠없는 교수이다.  동료와 학생 모두가 그렇게 평가한다.  교수가 흠없다는 것은 두려운 것 아닌가?  그렇다.  멋진가?  정말 그렇다.”라고 쓰여 있다.

Carleton의 대부분의 수업은 소규모이다:  60%의 수업이 20명 이하이며, 평균은 17명이다.  이 대학에는 공식적으로 학업에 대한 넓이나 요구조건은 없다.  Hampshire College, Brown University대학과도 비슷하며, 학생은 학과장을 만나서 과목수강을 결정한다.  학사학위로 37개의 전공이 있으며, neuroscience, European Studies와 같은 학제간 연구를 전공으로 할 수 있다.  특히, 이 대학은 Russian, Arabic 등의12개의 외국어를 제공하며, 70%이상이 해외연수를 간다.

Carleton은 학생들의 성공을 장려한다.  7명의 풀브라이트 장학생을 배출했고, 전국에서 가장 많은 National Science Foundation fellowships수혜자를 배출했다.  Dartmouth, Princeton보다 많은 여성 자연과학자를 배출했다.  Carleton의 자연과학과는 다른 종합대학이 리서치 중심인데 비해, 필드와 실험실중심이다.  이런 결과는 우연이 아니다-이 대학은 전국 어느 인문대학보다 많은 1/5의 학생이 National Merit Scholars이다.  

다음 학비는 $54,000이 넘지만, 반 이상이 필요조건을 $27,000이상을 받는다.  또한 이 대학은 온라인으로 응시할 때 원서비가 없으며, Common Application을 이용한다.  스텐포드는 90불이나 받는다. 

정말 추위가 겁나지 않다면, Carleton에서 대학생활을 할 만하다.  Japanese Garden을 가진 식물원이 있고, 전국 최초 클럽인 Cave가 있는 아름다운 캠퍼스에는 항상 할 일이 많다.  우수한 교수진, 소규모 수업, 다양한 전공, 해외수학 프로그램은 정말 일생의 기초가 되는 대학 4년을 보낼 만한 곳이다.

Why Swarthmore Warrants a Glance


  • Beautiful Campus outside Philadelphia
  • Solid Engineering Program
  • Oxford-like Honors Program
  • Peerless Student Writing Support

While Swarthmore might be small in numbers, with fewer than 1,550 undergraduates, its breadth and depth seem unrivalled. Swarthmore is international in scope: Swarthmore students (Swatties) come from every state, and 49 foreign countries. Its student faculty ratio of 8 to 1 enables students to develop an intimate relationship with professors. The alumni base of 19,000 is active, accessible, and devoted. Swarthmore also has a track record of producing Nobel Prize and MacArthur Grant winners, along with numerous PhDs per capita, exceeding all but a handful of schools.  Couple all this with an endowment of over $1.2 billion, and there is a lot to like about Swarthmore.

Swarthmore’s 425-acre campus is a mix of suburban and arboreal splendor with easy access to central Philadelphia: a mere 20 minutes away by train. Inscribed throughout the campus are phrases such as “Use well thy freedom.”  Even the trees, shrubs and flowers bear Latin labels. Scott Arboretum, contained within Swarthmore, is comprised of extensive lawns, a creek, tree clad hills, and numerous hiking trails. The edifices of many of the campus buildings are composed of stones from local quarries. There is solidity, beauty, and an aura of intellectuality woven into the tapestry of the campus, and for good reason.

Despite the small number of students, the curriculum includes 32 major offerings, 7 foreign languages (including German, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese), and a full BS in Engineering with concentrations in electrical, mechanical, computer, and civil and environmental. Many engineering majors also take a full set of liberal arts courses and gain a BA as well. Swarthmore’s extensive course offerings allow that over three quarters of the classes have fewer than 19 students. This means becoming immersed in class discussions and gaining access to professors is a given.

The Honors Program, also known as the ‘External Examination Program,’ begins junior year. It’s comparable to the independent research program at Reed, or a tutorial at Oxford. The Honors seminar is composed of fewer than eight students who meet in either a special seminar room, or the professor’s living room, for weekly 5-hour meetings. The intensity and rigor is on a graduate school level. At the end of the two years, each student is subjected to a week-long series of written and oral tests administered by outside examiners. This is comparable to defending a thesis and taking comprehensive exams compressed into a week. It’s grueling, but those who master their subjects are undoubtedly ready for the rigors of a PhD program, which probably explains why a huge portion of Swarthmore graduates go on to become PhDs (in fact, Swarthmore is fifth on the list of schools producing the most science and engineering PhDs (from 1997-2006)—right behind Cal Tech, Harvey Mudd, MIT, and Reed).  

The writing assistance program at Swarthmore, called the Student Writing Associate Program, is also exceptional (and I’ve reviewed the writing assistance available at Carnegie Mellon, most of the Ivy League, Stanford, Occidental College, and the University of California). The program is designed to help all student writers at all stages of the writing process across all disciplines, in questions of structure, organization, and style to grammar and tone. A student writer can drop into the center, attend a workshop, or even set up a weekly tutoring session with a Writing Associate Mentor. To view Swarthmore student writing, go to Alchemy, (, which is an annual sampling published by the Program.  

Of course, not all aspects of Swarthmore are perfect. There is a thread of political correctness that is reportedly heavy in the English and gender studies departments. Additionally, for some students, the intimacy of just 1550 undergraduates can become claustrophobic. Obviously, like any school, it’s critical to visit before making a commitment; however, if you’re after serious academic rigor, learning how to write well, getting to know your professors well, being surrounded by both brilliant peers who are more collaborative than competitive, and a beautiful campus, then Swarthmore warrants a glance-- possibly even a searching stare.

Swarthmore 대학은 고려할 가치가 있다.

  • 필라 교외의 아름다운 캠퍼스
  • 우수한 공학 프로그램
  • 옥스포드대와 유사한 Honor Program
  • 최고의 Writing 프로그램

학부생이 1,550명이 좀 안 되는 Swarthmore대학은 작은 대학이긴 하지만, 학문의 깊이와 넓이에 있어서는 대적이 없어 보인다.  Swarthmore는 국제적이다: 전국에서 학생이 오며, 49개국에서부터 외국학생들이 온다.  교수대 학생의 비율은 1:8로써 교수와 잘 알게 되게 되는 것은 당연하다.  19,000명의 졸업생들은 활발히 학교를 위해 활동하며, 헌신적이다.  또한 Nobel Prize, MacArthur Grant 수상자들과 수많은 박사들을 배출하였다.  손 꼽히는 대학에 들며, 기부금도 $1.2 billion을 보유하고 있으며, 더 많은 장점을 갖고 있다.

Swarthmore의 캠퍼스는 필라 가까이(기차로 20분)에 교외적이며 숲의 장관을 이루고 있다.  교정 곳곳에는 “Use well thy freedom (자유롭게 잘 사용하시오)”의 글귀가 새겨져 있다.  나무, 숲, 꽃에 까지.  교정에 있는 Scott Arboretum에는 펼쳐진 잔디와 개울, 나무와 언덕, 여러 하이킹 도로가 있다.  교정의 건물들은 주변 채석장에서 온 돌로 지어졌다.  견고함, 아름다움, 지성이 캠퍼스를 수 놓고 있다.

작은 재학생 수에도 불구하고, 32개의 전공과 7가지 외국어(독일어, 러시아어, 중국어, 일본어 등)을 제공하며, 전기, 기계, 컴퓨터, 토목 등의 공학학위를 제공한다.  공학전공자들은 공학뿐만 아니라 전 인문학 과목들도 택할 수 있다.  폭넓은 강의를 제공하므로, 수강생은 19명 이하인 경우도 많다.  따라서, 토의와 교수와의 교제가 폭넓다.

Honor Program은 ‘External Examination Program’으로 불리며, 3학년 때 시작된다.  Reed대학의 리서치 프로그램, Oxford의 tutorial과 유사하다.  Honors 세미나는 8명 이하로 세미나실이나 교수연구실에서 주간 5시간씩 만난다.  대학원에서는 공부의 심도와 난이도가 대단하다.  2년 후에는 외부의 감독관에 의해 구두시험과 필기시험을 일주일간 본다.  논문과 종합시험에 비교될 정도이다.  힘든 과정이지만, 이렇게 준비하므로, 이 대학은 박사를 많이 배출한다 (1997-2006까지 과학과 공학에서의 박사배출이 5위이다: Cal Tech, Harvey Mudd, MIT, Reed다음으로). 

작문지도는 Student Writing Associate Program으로 불리며, 매우 우수하다.  이런 프로그램은 Carnegie Mellon과 대부분의 아이비 리그, Stanford, Occidental College, University of California에 있다.  이 프로그램은 학생들에게 전공에 따른 글쓰기 훈련과 더불어 문장 구조, 구성, 문법, 스타일, 어조 등을 지도한다.  학생들은 센터에 들려 워크샵에 참여하거나, 개인지도(Writing Associate Mentor)를 신청할 수 있다.  자세히 알고자 하면, 이 프로그램에서 매년 발간하는 Alchemy (를 보면, 자세히 알 수 있다.

물론 이 대학이 완벽하다는 것은 아니다.  한편, 영문과와 여성학과는 정치적으로 정의를 너무 외친다는 비판도 있다.  또한 어떤 학생에게는 1550명 밖에 안 되는 대학에서의 친밀성이 부담이 될 수도 있다.  그래서, 결정하기 전에 방문해 보는 것이 필수적이다.  한편, 정말 학문에 열정이 있고, 글쓰기를 잘하고 싶고, 교수를 잘 알고 싶고, 경쟁적이기 보다는 협동하는 동료들 사이에서, 그리고 아름다운 캠퍼스에서 공부하고 싶다면, 눈길을 이곳에 보내야 하며, 높이 바라보아야 할 것이다.

The Service Academy Alternative: Senior Military Colleges


  • Senior Military College Characteristics
  • Virginia Military Institute (VMI)
  • Top Liberal Arts Programs
  • Norwich University (VT)

The Service Academies: Military, Naval, Air Force, and Coast Guard (/imported-20110121194859/2008/9/2/attending-us-service-academies.html) provide excellent education and training for students intending to serve in the armed forces upon graduation. ROTC programs are another means to the same end: /imported-20110121194859/2011/4/8/the-rotc-reserved-officers-training-corps-scholarship.html. Then, there is a hybrid of the services academies and ROTC: the senior military colleges.

Each of the six senior military colleges is unique.  All are public save Norwich University (VT). All combine traditional students with a ‘Corp of Cadets’ save Virginia Military Institute (VMI ). There the entire class of 1,400 cadets is in ROTC. VMI’s ambience is Spartan, the discipline strict, and the curriculum focuses on engineering, the sciences, and liberal arts, the real liberal arts. At VMI, liberal arts is not composed of ‘fluff’ electives or deconstructed feminist studies, but a solid core curriculum of rigorous analysis, composition and readings of the Great Books such as Aristotle and Shakespeare. It has produced more Rhodes scholars (11 since 1921) per graduate than any other state college or university in the United States. Furthermore, each cadet is bound to adhere strictly to the Honor Code which emphasizes, “Excellence in all things: military bearing, discipline, and conduct…”  Upon graduation, cadets may either enlist in the armed forces (and many do), or pursue a civilian career.

VMI, and certainly the Citadel (SC), are steeped in tradition. VMI, the West Point of the South, includes among its alumni Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (famed general of the Confederacy), and George Marshall (heralded WWII General, creator of the Marshall Plan, and Nobel Prize winner). Eight VMI cadets who perished defending Shenandoah Valley against a Union siege at the end of the Civil War are now buried on its 134 acre campus.   

Probably one of the key reasons the senior military academy alternative is not on many application lists is because, as mentioned, there are only six such schools in the country and all except Texas A&M, the alma mater of Rick Perry, the current governor of Texas, are on the East Coast. The list of schools includes the following:

  1. Virginia Military Institute (VMI):  Lexington, VA—a public senior military college
  2. North Georgia College and State University: Dahlonega, GA—public senior military college also enrolling civilian students
  3. Texas A&M University: College Station, TX— public senior military college also enrolling civilian students
  4. The Citadel: Charleston, SC-- public senior military college also enrolling civilian students
  5. Virginia Polytechnic Institute: Blacksburg, VA-- public senior military college also enrolling civilian students
  6. Norwich University: Northfield, VT—private senior military college also enrolling civilian students

An example of a campus that mixes traditional students with cadets, Norwich University (VT), was founded in 1819 by Alden Partridge a former West Point superintendent, and is the granddaddy of senior military schools. It has served as a model institution for VMI and is where the ROTC program originated in 1916. Norwich, like its southern counterpart VMI, produced hundreds of officers during the Civil War—so many, in fact, that the class of 1864 contained a mere seven students. Today, it is a vibrant school with classes composed with equal numbers of cadets and ‘traditional students’ studying nursing, computer science, engineering among the 30 bachelor degree programs offered. In all areas of the campus and its activities, except in residential and military exercises, the traditional students and cadets freely mix.  

If you enjoy tradition, understand the importance of discipline, and seek an education that recognizes your individuality and your inherent need to excel, a senior military college might be a perfect fit. Attending one doesn’t obligate you to enlistment in the services, but all six provide superior educational experiences with value (VMI’s COA for out of state students is $40,000; Citadel’s $38,000; Norwich University’s $43,000), and all know how to create leaders bold in action. You might just find yourself at ease in one of them.

사관학교의 대안: 고급 군사대학

  • 고급 군사대학의 특징
  • Virginia Military Institute (VMI)
  • 최고의 인문학 프로그램
  • Norwich University (VT)

사관학교들: Military, Naval, Air Force, Coast Guard (는 졸업 후 해야 하는 일을 우수하게 수행할 수 있는 교육을 제공한다.  또한 ROTC 프로그램도 거의 동일하다고 본다 (/imported-20110121194859/2011/4/8/the-rotc-reserved-officers-training-corps-scholarship.html ).  그런데, 여기데 사관학교와 ROTC프로그램이 혼합된 대학이 있다: 고급 군사대학들이다.

여섯 개의 군사대학이 있는데, 모두 독특하다.  Norwich University(VT)만 제외하고 모두 공립이다.  그리고 Virginia Military Institute (VMI)만 제외한 다른 대학들은 일반 학생과 ‘사관생’(Corp of Cadets)이 같이 있다.  1,400명의 생도가 ROTC 프로그램에 들어 있다.  VMI의 분위기는 스파르타식이며, 커리쿨럼은 공학, 과학, 인문학에 초점이 되어 있다.  VMI의 인문학은 그저 그런 선택과목이나 대충 짜여진 여성학 정도가 아닌, 철저한 분석과  Aristotle, Shakespeare 의 명저들을 읽고 작문하는 견고한 커리쿨럼이다.  미국 내 어떤 주립대학보다 많은 로즈 장학생 (1921년 이후 11명)을 배출하였다.  또한 생도생은 ‘모든 것에서 우수할 것: 군사능력, 훈련, 행동…..’의 Honor code를 철저히 지켜야 한다.  졸업 후 에는 생도생들은 군에 지원하거나 (대부분 지원함), 아니면 일반 직업을 가질 수 있다.

VMI와 the Citadel(SC)은 전통에 뛰어나다.  VMI는 남부의 West Point로 불리며, 졸업생에는 Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson(전 남부정부군 사령관)과 George Marshall (WWII의 사령관, 마샬플랜 창시자, 노벨수상자)이 있다.  또한 8명의 VMI생도가 남북전쟁 말에 연합군에 포위된 Shenandoah Valley를 지키다 전사하여 현재 134에이크의 캠퍼스 안에 묻혀있다.

또 한가지 중요한 점은 군사대학이 6개 뿐이며, Rock Perry (현 택사스 주지사)가 졸업한 Texas A&M만 제외하고 는 모두 동부해안선에 있다.  리스트를 보면:

  1. Virginia Military Institute (VMI):  Lexington, VA—공립
  2. North Georgia College and State University: Dahlonega, GA—일반학생을 받는 공립
  3. Texas A&M University: College Station, TX— 일반학생을 받는 공립
  4. The Citadel: Charleston, SC—일반학생을 받는 공립
  5. Virginia Polytechnic Institute: Blacksburg, VA—일반학생을 받는 공립
  6. Norwich University: Northfield, VT—일반학생을 받는 사립

일반 학생과 생도가 같이 공부하는 Norwich University (VT)는 1819에 전 West Point교장이었던 Alden Partridge가 세웠으며, 정말 군사대학의 대부이다.  VM는1916년에  ROTC프로그램을 창설하였으며 모델 대학의 역할을 하고 있다.  남부의 VMI인 Norwich는 남북전쟁시 수많은 군인을 배출하였으며, 그리하여class of 1864는 겨우 7명뿐이었다.  현재 이 대학에는 일반학생과 생도가 반반이며, 간호학, 컴퓨터 공학, 공학 등 30개의 전공이 있다.  군사훈련만 제외하고는 모든 학생들이 자유롭게 어울리고 있다.

만약 여러분이 제복에 편하고, 훈련의 중요성을 이해하고, 뛰어난 교육과 함께 개인적인 우수성을 추구한다면, 이런 고급 군사대학일 잘 맞을 것이다.  또한 이 여섯 대학이 입대할 의무를 부여하지 않으며 정말 가치 있는 교육 (VMI의 교육비는 타주생이 $40,000; Citadel은 $38,000; Norwich Univ.; $43,000)으로 이 대학들은 리더를 양성하는 법을 알고 있다.  여러분이 간다면, 정말 잘 어울릴 수 있을 것이다.