Choosing the right college can be one of the biggest decisions that a young peron can make in their life. College is about the future, and every student who is faced with the daunting task fears choosing the wrong one and ultimately ruining their chances at success. Fear not, teenage world, the almighty college visits are there to help you make your choice!
In my previous episode of "College Countdown" I recounted my visits to three schools, John Carrol University, Cleveland State University, and Duquesne University. Since then I?have visited more schools and learned more about what makes the 'perfect college'.
I visited Walsh with a friend who had a sibling that was already attending the school, so I was automatically biased towards likeing the tiny campus before I?even laid eyes on it. The pristine little campus was located on the outskirts of Canton, with a little plaza and a park right across the street. It was far enough away from any major city to carry an overcrowded feeling like Cleveland State University, but was still near enough to Akron that it was not isolated.
The campus overall was very neat, and all of the buildings were picturesque. The dorms were arranged in quads, and apartment style living was avaliable for upperclassmen. Larger rooms that housed four students and had a bathroom and common area were avaliable for upperclassmen and freshmen on the honors track.
As a Catholic University, the campus also included a picturesque chapel where masses were held several times throughout the week, although students were not required to attend.
The academics at Walsh ranged from English to Math and Science, although their influence was heaviest in the medical and scientific felids.
Overall the school had a quite charming effect, and I personally loved the small school feel. The campus was all close and easily walked across, but it was also spread out enough that it didn't feel claustrophobic.
Walsh is a great school for anyone seeking a good education, regardless of their religious beliefs.
School Size: Around 2,800 students
Location: Canton, Ohio
Tuition: Approx. $23,700
Average ACT acceptance: 21
Average GPA acceptance: 3.3
Student retention rate: 76%
St. Vincent College
Firstly, as this is the first actual 'college' I have reviewed, let me make it clear that the difference between colleges and universities is very simple. Universities offer a wide range of degrees, while colleges usually focus on one specific area of study. Colleges also tend to have a smaller student body than universities. This being said, St. Vincent's was a particularly science and business oriented school, although it did have degrees in fields such as music and philosophy. This is the case with most liberal arts schools.
The campus was small, but well spaced and carpeted with grass wherever it would fit in. Some of the buildings at the school were almost old enough to be historic, while others had been recently remodeled and had the gleam of new technology.
The school had been an all boy's college until recently, although it had shared students with the neighboring Seton Hill University, a traditionally womens school.
Dorms at St. Vincent came in a variety of styles, but the ones we were shown on our tour were unique in that they were separated into sections, where a small number of individual rooms connected with a common area and a large bathroom that was shared by only a dozen or so people, as opposed to an entire floor.
The school's mixture of old and new created a unique environment that had a homey feel while still seeming much like a school.
As one might guess by the name, St. Vincent is a catholic school. Just behind the academic buildings there is a large cemetery where priests and graduates of the college are buried. This may seem a little creepy, but the small graveyard was actually pretty and was a nice addition to the campus with its walking and running trails.
St. Vincent College:
School Size: Around 1,900 students
Location: Latrobe, PA
Tuition: Approx. $28,000
Average ACT acceptance: 23
Average GPA acceptance: 3.53
Student retention rate: 83%
Seton Hill University
Once I had already traveled to Latrobe to see St. Vincent's with a friend and her mother, we decided to make the short trip over to neighboring Seton Hill to see her mother's alma mater.
Much like St. Vincent's, Seton Hill was a small campus with a historic background. The first thing you saw when approaching the campus was a long drive lined with trees on either side, leading up a sweeping hill. Most of the buildings were old brick, and the campus had the feeling of a scene out of the famous book series "Harry Potter," especially with the Seton Hill mascot running around, the griffon.
As another Catholic university, Seton Hill also sported a large chapel complete with rows of intricately carved pews and high ceilings. This was settled in amid long hallways with stone floors and stained glass windows.
Seton Hill was a liberal arts school, but most of it's artistic degrees, such as studio art, theatre, and dancing, were located off campus in downtown Greensburg, PA. It was a short distance to travel, but it could be a turn off for students searching for one of those specific degrees.
The school had a variety of clubs and student groups, but had more girls sports than boys, because girls had been on campus much longer.
Overall, Seton Hill was a charming school with a good atmosphere for small-community people.
Seton Hill University:
School Size: Around 2,250 students
Location: Greensburg, PA
Tuition: Approx. $29,000
Average ACT acceptance: 22
Average GPA acceptance: 3
Student retention rate: 74%