The Edge Our college admission blog

Wabash College

by Katie Z, Ph.D April 6, 2016


Men’s colleges “afford the sons of an astonishing number of diverse families the opportunity to attend places that are focused explicitly on assisting students with their journey from boyhood, to guyhood, to manhood.” – A New York Times opinion piece entitled, “The Success of All-Male Schools.” 

On the heels of The Edge‘s post about women’s colleges, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to focus on a men’s college for today’s 3026 Series school. Readers, meet Indiana’s Wabash College!

Wabash College is one of the country’s four male-only, non-religious, liberal arts colleges (should you be curious, the other three are Georgia’s Morehouse College, Virginia’s Hampden-Sydney College, and California’s Deep Springs College). Founded in 1832, its first faculty member, Caleb Mills, was a graduate of Dartmouth College. The founders and Mr. Mills worked to ensure that “the school was patterned after the conservative liberal arts colleges of New England, with their high standards.”

Boy At Board


The college has a reputation for strong academics, including an emphasis on “critical thinking, careful judgment, and effective communication” across its departments. Speaking of which, when you hear the terms “Division 1, Division II, and Division III”, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) may come to mind. In reference to Wabash College’s academics, however, these terms denote the different groups into which departments are categorized. Division I includes the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics & Computer Science, and Physics; Division II encompasses Art, Languages & Literature (both classical and modern), English, Music, Philosophy, Theater, Religion, and Rhetoric; and Division III is home to Economics, History, Political Science, the Education Studies Program, and Psychology. Among these, students may choose from 25 majors, and also a variety of minors. In order to graduate, all seniors, beyond meeting other requirements, must also pass “a written comprehensive examination in his major field” and an oral examination with a three-professor committee.

Now, in case (after all the talk of divisions, above) you’re wondering, Wabash athletes / the Little Giants compete in the NCAA’s Division III – the school has produced more than 270 All-Americans! Along these sporty lines, I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know about the Monon Bell Classic, a football rivalry between Wabash College and DePauw University that dates back to 1932, when the bell was first introduced. Wabash has won the last seven games and is also ahead in the overall rankings, 41-37-6. Over the years there have been a number of bell heists (no small feat given that the bell weighs about 300 pounds!), including the famous Operation Frijoles, in 1965, which was written about in a Sports Illustrated article, “Pranks For the Memories – A Brief History of Harmless Mischief”. To learn more about the rivalry, click here!

Some other interesting attributes of Wabash College?

  • They say that at Wabash there is only one rule, the Gentleman’s Rule: “The student is expected to conduct himself at all times, both on and off campus, as a gentleman and responsible citizen.”
  • Of over 1,000 schools, ranked Wabash 50th for Best Universities & Colleges by Salary Potential. The college also does relatively well on its College Scorecard report, for instance, ranking well above the national average on the share of students who return after their first year, graduation rate, and students paying down their debt. Also of note here is that 24% of students hail from families earning less than $40,000, so the college can be proud of the socioeconomic diversity in its student body.
  • The Liberal Arts Plus program includes co-curricular initiatives that “cross disciplines to educate Wabash men to critically lead, think, and live humanely.”
  • There are nine national fraternities at the college. The first was established in 1846, and most fraternity members live in their respective houses throughout their undergraduate studies. To learn more about Greek life (and residential life) at Wabash, click here.
  • The college offers immersion learning trips that are free for students – “Faculty can apply for grants to take their class to locations that will bring home the ideas and concepts discussed in the classroom. Recent class trips included Turkey, Germany, Mexico, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Russia, Denver, south Florida and Chicago.” Cool!
  • Aptly-named The Bachelorthe college’s student paper is published every Friday and has been “the student voice of Wabash since 1908”!

For more information about the college, click here – and if you’re impressed by all that you’ve read here, definitely take the time to visit Wabash’s admissions page. As they proudly say at Wabash College, “It won’t be easy. It will be worth it!”

Women’s Colleges

by Katie Z, Ph.D March 20, 2016


As you may or may not know, there are a number of different types of colleges and universities out there. For instance, some students may seek to apply to a historically black college or university (such as Morehouse College), a hispanic-serving institution, a tribal college or university, or a school with a specific religious affiliation. Today, however, we turn our gaze to women’s colleges.

OnCampus3There are a number of reasons why a student may consider applying to a women’s college, first and foremost of which is the fact that she is a woman (or perhaps a transgender student – see, for instance, “When Women Become Men at Wellesley” and “Where Do Their Loyalties Lie?“). Secondly, many have commented that they are motivated to apply to a women’s college in order to be inspired by powerful women. For example, from Barnard College‘s website: “Through it all, our students have the great fortune to be surrounded by women mentors and role models—in the faculty, throughout the College leadership, and among our outstanding alumnae who are an endless source of inspiration.” Others believe that they would be more likely to thrive at an institution where gender bias is far less of an issue. Also of note, from the Women’s College Coalition website, is that women’s colleges “have educated a higher percentage of low-income, racially diverse and first-generation students than traditional co-ed colleges and universities, public or private, for more than a decade.”

Furthermore, alumni of women’s colleges have shined a very positive light on their experiences as undergraduates and on life post-graduation. A 2012 report entitled “What Matters in College After College“, for instance, reported that 81% of alumni from women’s colleges believed that their alma mater had been “extremely or very effective” in preparing them for future employment. Furthermore, 72% of respondents reported that they had “benefited very much from a safe campus environment.” Graduates of women’s colleges were also more likely to have completed their undergraduate studies in four years or less (87% at women’s colleges versus 79% at liberal arts colleges versus 54% at flagship public universities), and were nearly twice as likely to go on to complete a graduate degree as their counterparts at public universities (51% versus 27%). A few other things you should know about if you’re considering applying to a women’s college?

Colleges With Women’s Undergraduate Programs

Agnes Scott College – Georgia

Alverno College – Wisconsin

Barnard College – New York

Bay Path University – Massachusetts

Bennett College – North Carolina

Brenau University – Campuses in Georgia and Florida

Bryn Mawr College – Pennsylvania

Cedar Crest College – Pennsylvania

College of Saint Benedict – Minnesota

College of Saint Mary – Nebraska

Colorado Women’s College – Colorado

Columbia College – South Carolina

Converse College – South Carolina

Cottey College – Missouri

Douglass Residential College – New Jersey

Hollins University – Virginia

Judson College – Alabama

Mary Baldwin College – Virginia

Meredith College – North Carolina

Midway University – Kentucky

Mills College – California

Moore College of Art & Design – Pennsylvania

Mount Holyoke College – Massachusetts

Mount Mary University – Wisconsin

Notre Dame of Maryland University – Maryland

Russell Sage College – New York

Saint Mary’s College – Indiana

Salem College – North Carolina

Scripps College – California

Simmons College – Massachusetts

Smith College – Massachusetts

Spelman College – Georgia

St. Catherine University – Minnesota

Stephens College – Missouri

Sweet Briar College – Virginia

Trinity Washington University – Washington D.C.

University of Saint Joseph – Connecticut

Wellesley College – Massachusetts

Wesleyan College – Georgia

Soka University of America

by Katie Z, Ph.D February 28, 2016


A few days ago I stumbled across an eye-catching article from U.S. News & World Report entitled, “Colleges With The Most Students Who Study Abroad.” Having studied abroad in France as an undergraduate, an experience I can’t write enough good things about, I read on with great interest. Which college was tied for first, having had 100% of its 2014 graduates study abroad? Why, it was California’s Soka University of America!

100% of the school’s graduates studied abroad?! Now that is impressive!



After this small taste of what Soka University has to offer, along with the discovery that “Soka” is a Japanese word meaning “to create value”, I was determined the learn more. Readers, welcome back to the 3026 Series!

To begin with, study abroad (and “in a country in which the student’s language of study at SUA is the principle language spoken“) – how do they do it? Exploring the university’s website, I came across this: “A unique aspect of the curriculum at SUA requires that all students participate in a semester studying abroad during their junior year. The cost of study abroad is included in tuition.” Cool! But it doesn’t end there. Reading on, I came across another gem of a fact – “About 60% of our students come from the US and 40% have come from more than 40 other countries.” Imagine sitting in such a diverse classroom! I consider this a great attribute of the school.

The campus itself is located about one hour north of San Diego and one hour south of Los Angeles and, as is pointed out on the school’s website, is “surrounded on 85% of its border by the 4,000 acre Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park“, has architecture “reminiscent of Tuscany, Italy”, has “more than 50% of the campus devoted to natural and landscaped open space”, and is located only three miles from the beach – idyllic!

What else? Well, how about this? Soka University was recently ranked very highly by US News & World Report for “best value, diversity, and happy freshmen”, along with ranking first for “Foreign Student Factor” and “Faculty Resources.” The university can also boast of an impressive 8:1 student/faculty ratio. More? Well, Soka University offers free tuition to students whose families earn $60,000 or less. Further, the school shines at (in particular, earning an A+ mark for housing, diversity, and weather), and also has some noteworthy achievements on the College Scorecard. Of what do I speak?  A below average annual cost for federal financial aid recipients ($10,450), an above average graduation rate (88%), and 96% of students returning after their first year (the national average is 67%), to name but a few examples.

And, of course, academics. Undergraduates at Soka University of America earn a B.A. in Liberal Arts (there is only one major!) and have a concentration in either Social & Behavioral Sciences, Environmental Studies, International Studies, or Humanities. As seniors, SUA students also do a Capstone Project, the goal of which is to “gain in-depth knowledge about a topic within your field of concentration, drawing upon all the skills and knowledge you have developed during your career at Soka.” To learn more about academic life at Soka, check out the Soka University of America Catalog. Finally, if what you’ve just read has piqued your interest, then a visit to the school’s admissions page is a must. A value-creating educational experience, including a fantastic study abroad experience, may well be in your future!

Wheaton College

by Katie Z, Ph.D February 16, 2016


It wasn’t too long ago that we moved to a new house, and every so often, in our mailbox, we find letters, catalogues, or junk mail addressed to the home’s prior occupants. Now, the vast majority of this doesn’t garner much attention, but recently an alumni magazine from Wheaton College made an appearance in our stack of mail and, intrigued, I began to flip through its pages. Readers, you’ve probably already guessed where I’m going with this. Yes! Welcome to the next installment of the 3026 Series!

WheatonNow, the first thing to note is that there are a handful of colleges and universities out there with very similar or sometimes even identical names. Take, for instance, Cornell College (in Iowa) versus Cornell University (in New York). Wheaton is another perfect example, as you can find a Wheaton College in both Massachusetts and in Illinois. My home’s former owner attended the former, and it is this school to which we look today, an investigation beginning with the aforementioned appearance of the Wheaton Quarterly in my mailbox.

You may be surprised to learn that colleges’ alumni magazines are actually a great source of information about the schools, as one of the goals of these magazines is to keep those in the alumni community up-to-date on college events and other happenings on campus and around the world. This being the case, in order to give you a brief look into life at Wheaton College, I thought it prudent to provide you with the highlights from the latest issue of the Wheaton Quarterly. To begin with, on the magazine’s back cover we discover that the college is located at 26 East Main Street, in Norton, MA. In flipping through the pages, we further learn:

  • Faculty, students, and staff bear witness to some spectacular fall foliage on campus each year.
  • The college’s First-Year Seminars program, which focus on “topics of contemporary relevance and concern” will soon be celebrating its 30th anniversary. One of the First-Year Seminar teachers explained, “What I want for my students to develop as a result of this class is really a sense of ownership for asking questions and the sense that curiosity will be rewarded.” Well said!
  • Wheaton has partnered with MassChallenge, an organization that “helps early stage entrepreneurs win”, in order for students to “contribute their energy and expertise to MassChallenge start-ups as they provide project-based and internship-based support in a variety of areas.” I like the sound of that! To learn more, click here.
  • In October of 2015, the college hosted the “inaugural Lyons* Pride 5K”, raising over $5,500 for athletics programs. ncsa
  • College Recruiter ranked Wheaton first on its list of “Hidden Gem Colleges for Employers Hiring Business Majors.” Click here to learn more about the college’s Business & Management major!
  • Among the 437 students in the Class of 2019, you will find “a Junior Olympics qualifying fencer, a ski instructor and mountain rescuer, a competitive fiddler, a Carnegie Hall performing pianist, an Italian opera singer and an Arabic translator”! To learn more about the college’s current freshman class, click here.
  • The dining hall had undergone renovations and has now reopened “with a new look and new menu offering made-to-order sandwiches and stations for cooked-to-order meals, and dedicated serving areas for students who have food allergies.”
  • The college’s president, Dennis Hanno, is quite an innovative fellow! He worked to established The Wheaton Edge (a program guaranteeing that “all students in the Class of 2019 and beyond will have the opportunity for a funded internship”), along with a summer program for high school students at Wheaton College called Discover@Wheaton. What the alumni magazine focuses on, however, is a program he created called WILL – the Wheaton Innovation and Leadership Laboratory. This program is based in Rwanda and helps participants, many of whom are high school-aged, to become community leaders and entrepreneurs. This is accomplished through the offering of week-long seminars, many of which are taught by Wheaton undergraduates, and is helping to transform the college’s identity into one of a “globally engaged liberal arts institution.” To learn more, click here.
  • Current and former students are doing very cool things out in the world – this issue of the magazine tells stories of a photography project in India, a career in neuroscience, giving aid to HIV/AIDS survivors in Africa, carrying out cancer research in China, signing a professional soccer contract, fighting crime in New Orleans, improving public housing (working to provide not only shelter but “a foundation of stability so that families can move up and out of public housing”), using a 3D printer to create prosthetics, working as both a software engineer and circus performer (really!), helping to create a positive school environment at a charter school in Brooklyn, playing tennis in world championships as an octogenarian, performing at the San Francisco Fringe Festival – and the impressive list goes on!

Are you curious to learn what the College Scorecard has to say about Wheaton? Click here. Furthermore, if any of this has sparked your interest, as it did mine, visit Wheaton College’s admissions page. Perhaps you will one day count yourself as a Wheaton Lyon!*

*Yes, Lyon is spelled with a “y” – click here to learn the story behind the name!

Morehouse College

by Katie Z, Ph.D January 18, 2016


In honor of the great Martin Luther King Jr., today’s blog post brings us back to the 3026 Series and puts into the spotlight Dr. King’s undergraduate alma mater, Georgia’s Morehouse College. During his high school years, World War II was raging on in Europe and, as a policy to help recruit new students at a time when many were putting their studies aside, Morehouse College put into place an initiative through which all high school juniors who passed its entrance exam could begin their studies at the college. MLK, who had already skipped the 9th grade, took and passed the entrance exam, which earned the 15 year old entrance to Morehouse College in 1944. MLKjrMartin Luther King Jr. was not the first in his family to attend the college, as his grandfather and father had also attended Morehouse, graduating in the Classes of 1898 and 1930, respectively. While at the college, MLK studied sociology and also came into contact with many individuals who would help to shape the man that he would become, including the college’s then-President, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, and his favorite teacher, Dr. George Kelsey, who “set an example of what an ideal minister could be, someone who could combine the tradition of religion with the issues faced in the modern world.” Today, Morehouse College is home to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, which includes “drafts of the I Have a Dream speech, King’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, and sermons from his ministry and personal notes.” Wow!

Morehouse College is a liberal arts, all-male, historically black college, located in Atlanta. Established in 1867, just two years after the end of the Civil War, the school was originally called the Augusta Institute. Throughout the college’s rich history, its mission has remained the same: “To produce academically superior, morally conscious leaders for the conditions and issues of today…Morehouse is poised to become the epicenter of ethical leadership as we continue to develop leaders who are spiritually disciplined, intellectually astute and morally wise.” In terms of the college’s rigorous academics, students select one of 26 majors across the college’s three academic divisions: Science & Mathematics, Humanities & Social Sciences, and Business Administration & Economics. Morehouse College is also a member of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, the world’s “largest consortia of African American private institutions of higher education.” Furthermore, the college can boast of producing a number of Rhodes Scholars, those who earn postgraduate awards “supporting outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford, and providing transformative opportunities for exceptional individuals.” Very cool! If you’d like to learn more about Morehouse College, click here. And if you have a dream of attending Morehouse College, you should definitely visit the admissions page – it’s the first step towards achieving that goal!

Whether you end up attending Morehouse College or another institution, you can’t yet know what the future holds for you as an undergraduate student. However, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Don’t be afraid to take those first steps on the journey to college – it’s a journey well-worth making!

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