When we first started our running feature “50 Colleges, 50 States,” I mentioned that part of our goal was to expose you to schools that you may not have heard of in places you may have never considered. In our efforts to accomplish that goal, we counselors have learned SO much! When I’m looking for a college to profile, I look up every college in a particular state and go visit websites. I’m looking for things that make a school unique. For this post on an Iowa college, I read up on the 60 schools in the state and was able to narrow it down to one, although it wasn’t easy! My advice – Crusaders, don’t overlook Iowa! There are so many amazing schools. For the purposes of this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at Cornell College.
College in the Spotlight: Cornell College
Location: Mount Vernon, Iowa (20 miles from Cedar Rapids – about a 4.5 hour plane ride from Boston)
Enrollment: 1,200 undergrads
– There must be plenty of (understandable) mix-ups, because Cornell College comes out and reminds us on their website that they are not in Ithaca (the location of Cornell University). The two schools are somewhat related – their namesakes were distant cousins.
– Cornell has a unique academic schedule called “One Course at a Time.” Instead of semesters, students follow blocks. During a block, you take one class for 18 days. Class meets for about four hours each day, and everyone is done by 3pm, which leaves time for co-curricular activities. There are 8 blocks during the academic year, so you take the same amount of classes as students at other colleges, but you get to focus completely on one class at a time. Some classes take place entirely off campus – a recent Museum Studies Seminar was conducted in Chicago, and one Macroeconomics Seminar took a block-long tour of China. At the conclusion of each block, students have a four day break before the next class begins.
– It doesn’t seem possible to be bored at Cornell College. The Student Life Office maintains a great blog detailing all the fun and interesting things going on around campus. One recent fun thing – Cornell did their own version of Cash Cab! Staff members picked up students dressed in purple and white (Cornell colors) in a college golf cart and offered them a ride to class. Students were quizzed on Cornell trivia throughout the ride. Get an answer wrong and you’d be kicked out, left to walk to class. As long as you kept getting questions right, you’d be driven to your destination…and given a free pen (no cash!).
– We all know that college is expensive. One of the things worth looking at when considering a college is their four-year graduation rate. An amazing 93% of Cornell students finish their degrees in four years or less.
Want to learn more? Visit http://www.cornellcollege.edu