Connecting with Professors: Tips from a Communications Expert

Communication: it’s how knowledge is shared and ideas are spread. Most importantly, it is something you are in total control of.

On a college campus, there are so many potential social interactions you can get yourself into that can be beneficial not only to your success in college, but your success in life.

This type of networking is going to take effort. This means taking initiative and doing things like striking up conversations, joining student clubs, going into office hours, and getting out of your comfort zone when it comes to making social connections.

How to Communicate and Connect with Professors

Best Games for Groups, Gatherings and Parties

Getting people together is an important aspect of building community. It’s how true connections are made and friendships are built. One of the best ways to easily build rapport between individuals and new groups is having a game night. Games ease people out of their comfort zones and get people to open up and come out of their shell in a fun and creative way. Whether you are hosting a party, game night, new group orientation, or just have a group of friends who want to get together, here we offer some to the best games to play for parties, get-togethers, and group meetups. These games will promote community, help people get to know each other better, and provide good laughs and conversation.

Best Games

The Future of College Admissions

“You get what you give.”

This saying, known in some circles as words to live by for finding true purpose in life, will soon have meaning to the college admissions process.

There is growing concern that the current state of college admissions is flawed.

Many college officials are taking notice to a path to college acceptance that relies too heavily on personal accomplishments (grades and test scores). This promotes a selfish, me-first, everyone-against-each-other mentality rather than a care for the common good of others and greater good of society.

Turning the Tide Report

A recent report by the Harvard Graduate School of Education reveals a plan to be implemented over the next two years to improve the weight of community service and involvement in the admissions decision.

When the Dean of Admissions at all Ivy League schools get together and agree on something, you better listen.

The college admissions process is a major roadmap for how students choose to shape their high school experience. The future of college admissions will look at what students are doing to make the world a better place.

If you are a current high school student, there are a few things you can start doing that can help you get accepted to the college of your dreams.

The Future of College Admissions

Best Bikes for College: Tips from a College Bike Expert

Bringing a bike to college is not only a great idea for ease of access in getting around campus, but also in the affordability and fun it provides as both a transportation device and a hobby.

While bringing a car to campus isn’t always an option for some students, it’s nice to have some way to easily (and affordably) get around. This is where having a bike in college comes in handy. Having a bicycle in college is such a convenience you will see some students pick one up who haven’t ridden in years.

Regardless of how far you will be living from campus, a bike can even become useful for travel between classes, given how large some university campuses are. A bike can also be used to help carry your heavy book bag to and from class when equipped with a rack and panniers.

“A bike that can support a rack with panniers is the best bike for all college life.”

Whether you are a frequent rider, or a student who hasn’t been on a bike in a while and is considering picking one up, we'll take a look at some of the top bikes for college students as well as offer some tips for safety and maintenance when bringing a bike to college.

Best Bikes for College

10 Free Online Classes that will Prepare you for College

Colleges want students who take initiative in their learning. One way to do this is through MOOCs by making an effort to learn on your own time.

Known as massive open online courses, these online courses allow anyone with an Internet connection to pursue an interest in learning.

Why should prospective college students take MOOCs?

Students preparing to enter college can take these courses to ease the transition to college by getting a taste of college-level coursework. These online courses allow students to dive deeper into a subject they have an interest in and get a head start on their prospective college major.

Taking these classes demonstrates interest and shows a passion for learning. It is a chance to set yourself apart from others and provide yourself with a well-rounded education or solidify experience in a specific subject.

If you are applying to colleges, completing these courses can help prove that you're university-ready.

That’s how MIT found Battushig Myanganbayar, the student from Mongolia who stood out in a MOOC and was accepted into the school.

“Given that we know how rigorous MITx classes are, seeing a student’s performance in that class can help calibrate us to their readiness for an MIT education.”

Benefits of Taking MOOCs

  • Can help close the college readiness gap
  • Further your education
  • A cheap and easy way to explore a possible major
  • Gives you an idea of college-level coursework
  • Can help cover any subject gaps in your transcript records
  • Gain added experience in a specific subject
  • Keep yourself busy over summer break

Here we provide 10 MOOCs that will prepare you for college. Now, one may not have time to take all 10 of these courses, but this list helps narrow it down from the hundreds of MOOCs that are out there to a specific few useful online courses that will prepare incoming college students. Many of these are self-paced courses you can take at your own schedule, and the great thing is, they are free to take.

College MOOCs

Hardest Colleges to get into

MIT is one of the hardest colleges to get into

Admission rates hit an all-time low for many schools when the Class of 2019 admission statistics were reported, making it very difficult to get accepted to these high-profile universities. Here we examine the updated list of the hardest colleges to get into and examine the numbers behind America's most selective universities.

Hardest Colleges to get into

College Study Strategies: Organize a Study Group

Dr. Richard Light, a Harvard researcher and Professor of Teaching and Learning at Harvard Graduate School of Education, was sent out on a mission to find the single best predictor of college success.

After ten years of research and surveying 1,600 Harvard students, he found a key element to university achievement: the ability of a student to either join or create a study group.

We encourage you to incorporate this successful study strategy into your routine: Find or create a study group for your classes.

College students in a study group

Study Groups

America's Most Expensive College Dorms

For the 2014-2015 school year, the average cost of room and board is priced at $9,804 for public colleges and $11,188 for private colleges. To no surprise, colleges in California, New York, and the Boston area charge a bit more and top the list of most expensive dorms.

The highest-priced dorms can be found in New York, where students get to enjoy the conveniences of living in Manhattan and fabulous skyline views from high-rise dorms.

Going to school in New York can be quite an experience for a first-year college student, but one that comes with a hefty price tag. Looking at tuition and fees alone, NYU ranks 57th in highest cost. However, when room and board is factored into college cost rankings, NYU becomes the 3rd most expensive college in the nation with an estimated room and board expense of $16,782.

If you’re going to rack up college debt, it may as well come with a million-dollar view. Here’s a look from a dorm room in Founders Hall, a traditional first-year residence hall at NYU.

View from Founders Hall at NYU

Most Expensive College Dorms for 2014-2015

America's 100 Most Expensive Colleges

No two things are more stressful to a prospective college student than the question of getting accepted and determining if they can actually afford attending the school of their dreams. The cost of college is no joke, and is something we have tried to put a spotlight on since we started ranking expensive colleges back in 2007, as it is a troublesome debt many students will carry for years to come.

The list of the 100 most expensive colleges by total cost (tuition + room & board + required fees) are all private and range from $56,000 all the way up to $65,000 per year. This is a significant jump in price from the average private university cost of $42,419 and (obviously) the average cost of attending a public in-state college at $18,943.

With most of these schools surpassing the $60K per year mark, incoming students can expect to see a price tag of over a quarter-million dollars for their 4-year degree when expected yearly increases in tuition are taken into account. When you consider only about a third of students complete their degree within four years, you can see how students can really rack up student loan debt.

While the majority of these colleges offer great financial aid packages to those with need, it’s important to note there are still students who are paying these exuberant prices. At Duke University (#44 on this list), for example, about 50% of its students are paying the fully listed price of $60,533.

If you needed your holiday dinner table discussion topic, here it is: The 100 Most Expensive Colleges for 2014-2015.

Where does your college rank? Share it on facebook and Twitter.

Top 100 Most Expensive Colleges by Total Cost

College Total Cost
1. Sarah Lawrence College 65,480
2. Harvey Mudd College 64,427
3. New York University 63,472
4. Columbia University 63,440
5. University of Chicago 62,458
6. Claremont McKenna College 62,215
7. Fordham University - Lincoln Center 62,192
8. Bard College 62,012
9. Dartmouth College 61,947
10. Scripps College 61,940
11. Oberlin College 61,788
12. Trinity College (CT) 61,756
13. Pitzer College 61,750
14. Bard College at Simon's Rock 61,735
15. Northwestern University 61,640
16. University of Southern California 61,614
17. Haverford College 61,564
18. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 61,529
19. Fordham University - Rose Hill 61,472
20. Drexel University 61,383
21. Johns Hopkins University 61,306
22. Tufts University 61,277
23. Amherst College 61,206
24. Wesleyan University 61,198
25. Carnegie Mellon University 61,186
26. Vassar College 61,140
27. Penn 61,132
28. Williams College 61,070
29. Occidental College 60,972
30. Cornell University 60,964
31. Connecticut College 60,895
32. Tulane University 60,861
33. Eugene Lang College (The New School) 60,852
34. Franklin & Marshall College 60,799
35. Georgetown University 60,768
36. Brandeis University 60,750
37. Bates College 60,720
38. Hampshire College 60,715
39. Barnard College 60,700
40. Boston University 60,694
41. University of Rochester 60,668
42. Boston College 60,622
43. Southern Methodist University 60,586
44. Duke University 60,533
45. Pomona College 60,532
46. The George Washington University 60,460
47. Washington University in St. Louis 60,355
48. Bennington College 60,310
49. Union College (NY) 60,240
50. Stevens Institute of Technology 60,168
51. Colgate University 60,145
52. Bucknell University 60,140
53. Carleton College 60,102
54. Pepperdine University 60,082
55. Hobart and William Smith College 60,034
56. St. Lawrence University 59,972
57. Hamilton College 59,970
58. Reed College 59,960
59. Skidmore College 59,942
60. Bryn Mawr College 59,890
61. Yale University 59,800
62. Smith College 59,674
63. Dickinson College 59,664
64. Babson College 59,614
65. Swarthmore College 59,610
66. Bowdoin College 59,568
67. Colby College 59,500
68. University of Notre Dame 59,461
69. Brown University 59,428
70. Olin College 59,225
71. Middlebury College 59,160
72. Lafayette College 59,155
73. Wellesley College 59,038
74. St. John's College (MD) 58,896
75. Kenyon College 58,890
76. Wake Forest University 58,838
77. Gettysburg College 58,820
78. Harvard 58,607
79. Wheaton College (MA) 58,511
80. Stanford University 58,388
81. Villanova University 58,244
82. MIT 58,240
83. Vanderbilt University 58,220
84. St. John's College (NM) 58,208
85. Davidson 58,146
86. Chapman University 58,048
87. College of the Holy Cross 58,042
88. Emory University 57,768
89. Macalester College 57,691
90. Ursinus College 57,580
91. Northeastern University 57,490
92. University of Richmond 57,470
93. Providence College 57,383
94. Drew University 57,366
95. Worcester Polytechnic Institute 57,304
96. Colorado College 57,162
97. University of Miami 57,034
98. Fairfield University 56,960
99. Loyola University Maryland 56,880
100. Denison University 56,850

Data compiled by


Total Cost = Tuition + Room and Board + Required Fees

The fees included in the total cost only include fees that are required for all undergraduates. These fees typically include items like the Student Activity Fee, a Facilities Fee, and a Technology fee. You won't see any fees by major, orientation fees for incoming students, or medical insurance fees included in these costs. Many other fees can be optional and can vary per student and per major. A Student Health Insurance Fee, for example, is obviously not going to be required for a student already on their parents’ insurance plan. Some colleges have their yearly budget for students listed slightly higher than what you see here. This is because some colleges also add in the estimated costs for books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation costs.

Tuition numbers were taken directly from each college's website in fall of 2014.

This list only takes into account colleges that offer bachelor's (BA) degrees at traditional 4-year undergraduate colleges, so you will not see any junior colleges or music conservatories on this list, or schools like Landmark College (costs over $60K) who offer students an Associate of Arts (AA) degree.

The price tags shown for these schools do not mean that they are financially out of reach. Many schools provide financial aid packages that meet 100% of a student's financial need (Cost of Attendance - Estimated Family Contribution). Some colleges even eliminate tuition altogether for lower income students.

To get a better understanding of what you will actually be paying, be sure to use net price calculators that each school provides on their website. These typically take about 10-15 minutes to complete, but can provide a more realistic figure of what you can expect to pay. (For a complete list of colleges and links to their net price calculators visit

Also see colleges with the highest room and board.

Take the Next Step

Get started toward a degree today:

College Search for Beginners

Starting the college search process

The college search process is long and grueling and often leads to some stressful decision making. Deciding on what college to attend can become an overwhelming experience, and for good reason. After all, there are hundreds of them across the country, all great schools for different reasons. Your first step is to take a deep breath and relax. You want to be completely in control and focused as you go on to make this decision.

Here we’ll point you to some useful resources and cover some important topics to get you started in the college search process. In the end, it is you that makes the decision of where to attend college. Parents, teachers, counselors, college search books and websites can only guide you so far. Only you know what you truly want in a college.

Understanding College

First, let’s get a few myths out of the way.

Read: The Difference Between High School and College.

Types of Colleges


Community College or 4 year
Online or Campus
Public or Private
In-State or out of state

Planning Ahead for Admission to College

College Search 101