Brandname Isn’t Always Best: Colleges That Change Lives

When you’re searching for your college, it’s always recommended to do some research into which school is a good fit for you. This includes taking a close look at their majors and minors, investigating their employment rate after graduation, and checking their tuition, but it can also involve taking a trip to the university to make sure it is the right fit for you.

Many think that brand name big-name colleges are the best options for them, when that may not necessarily be the case. However, smaller or lesser-known schools could be the perfect school for you!

One non-profit organization that shines the spotlight on some lesser-known, but incredible schools is Colleges That Change Lives or CTCL. They believe in first educating students along with their families, counselors, and public about the college experience, and since 1998 they have been helping these students find the college that will help them develop a “lifelong love of learning.”

CTCL also offers a scholarship to outstanding students who are attending schools in their program, anywhere from $100 to $4,000. Three of the prestigious schools in the CTCL program are listed below.

Reed College

Reed College is a private liberal arts school located in Portland, OR. Since 1908, they’ve only accepted students who are passionate about their work, interest, and learning. Unlike other prestigious schools in the country, Reed does not submit their data to reports, but 70% of students do go on to earn a graduate degree, and several go on to receive PH.D.’s.

The college focuses on traditional transcripts for their students, which includes feedback rather than letter grades and promote one on one access to faculty. This provides a great atmosphere that allows all students to pursue participation, research, and interaction.

Ursinus College

Ursinus College is located just south of Philadelphia, in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1869, the liberal arts college is private, independent, and prestigious. Known as being a school for top undergraduate research, the experience at Ursinus is regularly reported upon in national publications. Many of the students also go on to pursue medical, law, and business.

Ursinus is also widely known for its First-Year Experience and Common Intellectual Experience programs. This includes the freshman only dorms, advising, and seminar-style courses. Students also receive laptops in the fall of freshman year with preloaded coursework and software and it is replaced upon completion of sophomore year.  Ursinus requires students to finish an Independent Learning Experience project which includes internships, study abroad, independent research, student teaching, and a few other options.

Whitman College

Whitman College is always looking for students who are “involved.” This includes studies, your peers, your teachers, campus, and the community. Located in Walla Walla, Washington, the school focuses on liberal arts and sciences and has libraries and resource centers that are open 24/7.

Whitman regularly receives praise from national publications and dozens of students and graduates have received scholarships and awards for their work in the past 10 years. Almost all professors hold the highest degree in their field and many majors have combined programs with other schools in the region.

Choosing a college or university is a huge decision, for yourself and your family. It will change your life! It’s important to find the one that is the right fit for your ambitions, personality, and education. College Raptor can help you discover colleges you may not have considered! With our free match tool, you can be matched to colleges all around the US based on your academic achievements, major interests, campus preferences, and more! You can discover acceptance odds, overall match, and even potential financial aid information—all for FREE!

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