Northwestern

Juniors: This one says college, that one says university -- What's in a name?

 

As you research colleges for an initial list of schools to which you may apply, understanding how they "name" or characterize themselves may provide important information. Whether a school is a “college” or a “university” can make a difference.

Most— but not all— colleges and universities offer a liberal education. That doesn’t refer to politics! “Liberal” in this case goes back to the original meaning of the word: “unrestricted.” It’s an educational approach where a student is called on to examine problems and issues from multiple vantage points and learns how to think, communicate, question, and probe. The rationale behind a liberal education is that the world is changing rapidly and training for a specific discipline or job is ultimately less practical than learning how to be ready for a world unknown.

Undergraduate education in the United States is dominated by institutions that hold to the notion that a liberal education is the best way to prepare for a life of significance, meaning, and means. There are, however, also terrificc options that do not insist students be liberally educated.

What’s in a name? Is there a difference between a college and a university?: Advice for Juniors Researching Colleges

As you research colleges this summer to come up with an initial list of schools where you may apply, understanding how they characterize themselves may provide important information. Whether a school is a “college” or a “university” can make a difference.

Most— but not all— colleges and universities offer a liberal education. That doesn’t refer to politics! “Liberal” in this case goes back to the original meaning of the word: “unrestricted.” It’s an educational approach where a student is called on to examine problems and issues from multiple vantage points and learns how to think, communicate, question, and probe. The rationale behind a liberal education is that the world is changing rapidly and training for a specific discipline or job is ultimately less practical than learning how to be ready for a world unknown.

Undergraduate education in the United States is dominated by institutions that hold to the notion that a liberal education is the best way to prepare for a life of significance, meaning, and means. There are, however, also terrificc options that do not insist students be liberally educated.

Here are the def nitions of the four general categories of selective four- year higher education

institutions:

Waitlisted? Next Steps...

Previously, we discussed factors you may need to consider in deciding whether or not to accept a spot on a waitlist and outlined questions to ask as you try to decide whether or not to remain on a waitlist. Today, we're outlining the steps you should take if you have received a waitlist letter.

Respond

If you have received a waitlist letter from a college, pay close attention to what it says. Usually you aren’t actually placed on the waitlist— the letter is telling you that you can choose to be on it if you want. In order to be placed on a waitlist you will need to respond by submitting a form or emailing the college. Typically, you are asked to respond by a set date. If you don’t respond or if you miss that deadline, you will not be placed on the waitlist. Follow instructions and respond accordingly.

Keith Todd, Admission Dean, Reed College, Answers 8 Questions

Founded in 1908, Reed College is a liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon, known for its rich intellectual life.  Dean of Admission Keith Todd joins us this month to answer not five -- but eight questions -- in the generous spirit of inquiry that exemplifies Reed College.

Located on 116 acres in a residential neighborhood, the Reed campus is just five miles from downtown Portland, and about 90 minutes from the Pacific coast.  Featuring a lake and Reed Canyon, a wooded wetland with abundant wildlife and native plants, the campus is home to 1400 students.

The quirky intellectualism Reed is known for is on full display even on their website, which reads like a series of droll literary vignettes -- with comic overtones. (Not to go too Reedie on you.) In fact, Reed has produced 31 Rhodes Scholars, as well as numerous winners of the Fulbright, Watson, and National Science Foundation fellowships. Classes average 15 students with a 10-to-1 student-faculty ratio. Reed offers 22 department-based majors (from Anthropology to Theater), 12 interdisciplinary majors (including History-literature or Mathematics-economics) and 6 dual degree programs (such as applied physics and electronic science).  And students can also work with their adviser to design alternate interdisciplinary majors.