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January 25, 2010

College Reviews, Part Two

This Extra Ink was written by Betsy C.

Last week, I offered Extra Ink readers my best tip for getting published in Teen Ink. I told you to submit college reviews, and that's absolutely true: it's one of the most useful features of our magazine, yet we get surprisingly few submissions.

I've received a few responses asking how to write a great college review. I encourage all of you to check out the whole college review section of our website; but just for fun, I'm offering some of the 'cream of the crop' reviews right here on Extra Ink. They're short, sweet, and to the point--I hope you find them helpful not only when you're writing your own college reviews, but also when it comes time for you to search out your own future alma mater.

Stanford University, by Alexandra B.

Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University, one of the country's top research and teaching universities, is an excellent and prestigious school. It was founded in 1891 and has had high standards ever since.

The 8,180-acre tobacco-free campus has beautiful facilities with a lot to do. There are 40 recognized religious groups and many opportunities to perform public service. There are 590 student organizations and clubs. The school mascot is Cardinal (the color) and the school colors are red and white.

Stanford has many traditions, but the most interesting is that at midnight under the first full moon of the autumn -quarter, seniors kiss freshmen. Freshmen can't keep cars on campus, but the Marguerite shuttle is there to take them around. There are live performing arts for students to enjoy. There are many places to eat on campus and a library in which to study, read, and go online.

Housing options include dorms, apartments, and cooperative houses, and the campus is secure. The University Department of Public Safety, Stanford police, and medical care on campus keep students safe.

Stanford has over 40 fields of study, including medicine, engineering, and business. Stanford also offers study abroad programs in Australia, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Cape Town, Florence, Kenya, Kyoto, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Oxford, Paris, and Santiago.

The school has 35 varsity sports, including squash, fencing, archery, and lacrosse. Seventy-five percent of classes have 15 students or less, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 7:1. Stanford accepts scholarships and grants from federal agencies, state agencies, and private organizations. The university gives out Perkins, Stafford, and PLUS loans to applicants who qualify for financial aid.

Stanford is a wonderful school that I am considering as one of my options for college. For more information, visit www.stanford.edu.

Miami University, by Abby C.

Oxford, OH: Nestled in the small town of Oxford, Miami University is a beautiful school. All the buildings are pretty red brick and impressively tall trees spread across campus to make for a remarkable autumn. At first glance, Miami University is absolutely picture perfect.

So what's the catch, right?

At first, I couldn't find anything about Miami that didn't appeal to me. It's a beautiful school in a small town with a successful hockey team, a student population of 15,000 and impressive academics. The students play hard, but they work hard, too. When I went back to Miami a second time, though, I saw it in a new light. It was still beautiful and still had all the qualities I had fallen in love with, but as I wandered the streets of Oxford, I realized there's not much to do in town. If you like Mexican food you're in luck because there are quite a few Mexican restaurants. There's a Cold Stone Creamery, an incredibly small Starbucks, and a few really expensive clothing stores that I doubt people actually shop at, and that's about it.

Also, there seems to be a "type" of student who enrolls at Miami. Observing the students between classes, I noticed that most of the girls seemed to be wearing huge sunglasses, Ugg boots and North Face jackets while carrying Coach purses. While this is not a bad thing - I couldn't survive a Minnesota winter without my cozy Uggs - it's just something I noticed. In fact, every single girl on my tour also fit that description. Coincidence? I think not.

Overall, though, Miami is awesome. There's always something going on, and the tasty Tuffy's Toasted Rolls in the Student Union are to die for. Miami offers a great education in a beautiful place at a somewhat affordable price. Put on your North Face and check out their website at muohio.edu.

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