OnCampus Blog

What college can be: Towards a more open-ended definition

As I begin this series of blogs I’m tempted to use a more prescriptive title: “What college should be”. The differences between these two simple words are not merely grammatical in nature; they are indicative of a broader approach to finding what it is you need. “Should” points to something already visible or even tangible. “Can” doesn’t point, it opens up. As I’m writing I keep cupping my hands near my heart, and then lifting and opening up my arms until…

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Rising costs of college somewhat irrelevant

As a nation we appear split down the middle on issue after issue, but on one thing we agree: the rising cost of college is alarming. More unsettling, however, is that those high prices we often hear quoted in the media represent tuition and fees only; room and board, and what college administrators refer to as “indirect costs” are left out, perhaps to ease sticker shock. In the future I’ll address the numbers you should be using (Cost of Attendance…

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Studying Solo

The word “college” suggests a group of people — students, professors, administrators and the like — however, the real meaning of college is singular. Despite all the evidence of how effective learning in a group setting can be, in the end it must be a solo act. You sit in class, you study among others in a library, you belong to a study group that meets after hours in the student union; but those people are not responsible for your…

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Consider the possibilities

What if college was all you could ever imagine and more? What if your four years (or less) were filled from day one with stimulating courses, professors dedicated to the very best undergraduate teaching, and a true engagement in the life of a campus community? What if each year, each semester you could measure tangible personal growth and maturity? And what if this “dream college” extended not only beyond graduation into a life of learning, but also to the very…

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