I recently spent an afternoon at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. FSC is a small, private college of roughly 2,600 undergraduate students. The school offers more than seventy areas of study, from traditional liberal arts disciplines such as history and philosophy to pre-professional programs, including business, nursing and education. Want to study citrus science? FSC may be the place for you.
Florida Southern was founded in 1883 and is the oldest private college in Florida. Most college guides rank its campus as one of the most beautiful in the country. The campus sits adjacent to Lake Hollingsworth and features 13 buildings designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, In fact, FSC boasts the largest single-site collection of Wright-designed buildings in the country. Florida Southern's campus also includes a number of contemporary buildings that are unusually striking. I've been to hundreds of beautiful colleges over the years, but the FSC campus is in a class by itself.
The small city of Lakeland is halfway between Orlando and Tampa and is just a short ride from campus. Lakeland has a number of restaurants, from Indian-Pakistani to Creole. Lakeland's historic Polk Theater shows both current and classic movies. While I was in town, 2020 Oscar winner Parasite was playing at The Polk.
Reasons to attend Florida Southern College
Denison is a liberal arts college in Granville, Ohio with about 2,300 undergraduate students. Currently two former Vinik EPS clients are happily attending – one is a freshman studying Political Science and the other is a junior studying Exercise Science. Today Annie and Laura met with Ryan Motevalli-Oliner, a Senior Assistant Director of Admission, and we learned about several exciting new updates.
THREE new majors
TWO new academic concentrations
ONE new performing arts building
The Michael D. Eisner Performing Arts Building is scheduled to open in early 2019 and will provide a new home for the Departments of Music, Dance, and Theatre. Michael Eisner was a member of the Denison University Class of 1964.
We enjoyed our visit yesterday to Juniata College in the small town of Huntingdon, PA. Juniata is about 3.5 hours from Washington, DC and is located halfway between Altoona, PA and State College, PA. With about 1,600 undergraduates, Juniata offers a close-knit community at a liberal arts college known as one of the "Colleges that Change Lives" (www.ctcl.org). Here are some pictures from our visit and some interesting facts we learned after a campus tour and a meeting with our local admissions representative, Steven Simons.
If you are looking for a small liberal arts experience and don't mind the rural location, consider adding Juniata to your list!
If you've been on at least one college visit, you know the standard drill - go to the school's website and sign up for an information session given by the Admissions office, followed by a student-led tour. Anyone who has attended more than one campus visit probably knows all about blue-light phones, meal plans and quidditch teams! (If you get bored on your next trip, spice things up with this college tour bingo game).
But what if you have a special interest or want to know more than just the basics? There are some colleges out there offering unique options to help give prospective students a more in-depth view of what it is like to study at their schools. Here are a few fun options!
Are you a runner? At the University of Oregon, you can join student ambassadors on a 3.7 mile tour of running trails around campus. The students run at a "comfortable pace" and stop frequently to point out University of Oregon landmarks. Running tours are offered at 8:30 a.m. the first and third Friday of each month.
Prefer biking? During warmer months at Portland State (PSU), you can take a 3.5 mile bike tour around the main campus with multiple stops at Portland State landmarks. PSU provides the bike!
Beach bum more your style? Eckerd College in Florida invites prospective students to Sunday night cookouts on the beach at its "South Beach Supper Club." Get to know current students while relaxing on Eckerd's waterfront campus.
Play an instrument? At Sewanee (University of the South), you can have dinner with the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra and participate in a dress rehearsal for the last concert of the season. After you register and send them a YouTube video of you playing your instrument, they'll send you electronic copies of music to practice for the dress rehearsal. Other "Behind the Scenes" tour options at Sewanee include Art, Theatre, and Choir.
Like to make things? Case Western Reserve University offers tours of its "maker space," the Sears think[box]. This new facility is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship providing space for students and community members to tinker away.
Interested in Jewish life? The University of California, Berkeley Hillel offers a student-led tour highlighting Jewish student life at Berkeley. You can contact them to set up a tour, or download a "Jewish Campus Tour" map.
Good off-campus dining options a must? Supplement your campus visit at University of Wisconsin with a Madison food tour. Or check out the Taste of New Haven after your tour of Yale University.
Excited about research? At Allegheny College, you can sit in on weekly research presentations during the summer. At this interdisciplinary forum, students present short overviews of their summer research projects every Tuesday afternoon.
Always wanted to try a Segway? During the spring and summer at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, prospective students can tour North Campus via a Segway tour. A brief training and a waiver are required!
Art buff? Landmarks, The Public Art Program of The University of Texas at Austin, offers unique art tours that provide a fun and informative way to learn about works of art in the Landmark collection while enjoying the beauty of UT's main campus. There are nighttime tours, dog tours, and a self-guided interactive option you can download.
For more ways to make college trips fun and tailor campus visits to your interests, check out our new Get U Going campus tour planning service!
Planning a college visit soon? Check out The 34 Most Beloved Food Joints In College Towns Across America (Dinosaur BBQ and Collegetown Bagels both made the list!).
For pictures from our campus visits, check out the photo albums on our Facebook page.
Today I spent the morning touring the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), an excellent mid-sized public university located about 15 minutes from downtown Baltimore. UMBC offers Division I Athletics, and prides itself on opportunities for research, community service, and internships. The Shriver Center exists to help students integrate classroom and applied learning, and community service is even noted on students' UMBC transcripts. The school is well known for STEM education, but also boasts a brand new Performing Arts and Humanities building. If you have a chance, check out the president's TED talk on UMBC's innovative Meyerhoff Scholars program!
Ever think about going to school in Texas? Here is what it takes to get into the University of Texas - Austin from out-of-state. UT-Austin has about 40,000 undergraduates - 95% from Texas and 100% Longhorn fans! At a school this large, you can study anything from Geoscience to Information Studies. And the campus is only blocks from downtown Austin, a city known for live music, great food, and eclectic shops!
The University of South Carolina is a state school full of spirit and located in the state capital, Columbia, SC. The campus has about 23,000 undergraduate students, with 65% from in-state, and offers 96 majors in 15 different schools. Here are some interesting facts I learned on my visit:
I enjoyed my visit to the College of Charleston, only a few short blocks from my hotel in the downtown historic district. College of Charleston is a truly urban campus but with plenty of green space and easy access to the water. With just over 10,000 undergraduate students, it is a manageable size while still offering the resources of a large university. Here are some facts I learned about the school:
This week I also visited University of Mary Washington, a gorgeous campus in Fredericksburg, VA (about an hour south of DC). There is lots of construction going on with exciting new initiatives and facilities scheduled to open soon. With around 4,000 undergraduate students, UMW is small enough for personalized attention while also large enough to offer a wide variety of academic and social opportunities. Here are some details from my visit: