University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN


Enrollment:  21,000 undergraduates

Public, 4-year, Coed                          Calendar:  Semester

Residential campus in a large city of approximately 433,000 people (2010)

Location – The Knoxville McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) is a short 16-minute drive from campus. The city of Knoxville is offers a “blend of small-town charm and big-city opportunities” with student-friendly and upscale dining and entertainment. The Tennessee River runs along the southeast side of campus, perfect for “sailgating” before football games.  The Knoxville area has four seasons with fall temperatures typically around 80 degrees and winter lows close to 30 degrees. Students are able to visit the Great Smoky Mountains situated approximately 60 miles from campus, and Nashville is only a three-hour drive.

Campus – Big Orange.  Big Ideas.  Rich traditions abound on this large campus that is currently undergoing a major campus beautification program.  Featuring 560 acres of buildings and green space, UT has a bus system that runs along the perimeter of campus transporting students from one end to the other.  However, walking to classes and amenities is very doable and helps students avoid the “freshman fifteen pounds.”

Buildings are constructed mainly of red brick and the interiors are being updated with the latest technology to support classroom learning.  The stunning Hodges Main library is filled with computer stations for research, small rooms for meetings to collaborate on projects and huge comfortable chairs for studying.  New buildings include:  John D. Tickle Engineering Building and Min Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building.

The Neyland Football Stadium and the Thompson-Boling Basketball Arena sit prominently on the campus grounds and students fill both venues to support their beloved Volunteers.

Academic Strengths

•     Business

•     Engineering

•     Forensics

•     Communications – Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations

•     Architecture

•     Nursing

•     Veterinary Medicine

•     All freshmen are required to take the First Year Studies and Academic Support class designed to teach students how to be successful in college.

•     70% of classes have less than 30 students

•     The Student to Faculty Ratio is 15 to 1, impressive for a large public institution

 New Sorority Village – Large, beautiful sorority houses are being built on one street, creating a village of Greek life absent fraternities that are strategically located on the other side of campus.  A bus stop sits conveniently at the top of the sorority circle to transport young women to the heart of campus.

Student Life – Students can request the type of residential hall they would like to live in.  Turn in your housing agreement quickly.



•     UT does consider legacy as a factor for admission

•     To be considered for one of the largest merit based scholarships; an additional Competitive Scholarship Essay is required (looks for leadership experience).

•     Academic Common Market – Students can check the academic common market website for majors that are offered at UT, but not available in their home state and then be eligible for Tennessee instate tuition.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY                                                         Cambridge, MA


Enrollment:  4,500 undergraduates

Private, 4-year, Coed             Calendar:  4 – 1 – 4

Residential campus in urban setting

Location – MIT is located in beautiful Cambridge, MA with the edge of campus running along the Charles River, and only one mile from bustling Boston.  The campus is a fifteen minute drive from Logan International Airport and easily accessible by public transportation.  Students walk a half-mile to the impressive campus from the Kendal/MIT station on the “T.”


All buildings are connected to each other through a maze of tunnels, and each building is designated by a number rather than named after a famous alumnus.  Majors of study are also listed by a “code” number.  MIT continues to incorporate modern architecture into its collection of traditional grand structures on campus.

Academic Strengths – MIT is recognized internationally as a leader in engineering, science, and math.  The Electrical engineering and computer science programs are ranked as some of the best in the nation.  Students in these fields can earn a five-year-degree that includes a professional master’s degree.  MIT also boasts an excellent biology program that is a leader in medical technology and the search for designer genes.

Noteworthy Academic Programs

•     Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP):  a year-round program for student/faculty research projects.  Students can earn course credit or stipends for conducting research.  Most students at MIT do research.  They can participate in research freshman year and take advantage of research opportunities offered through study abroad.

•     MIT offers a general engineering degree.

•     Features the oldest school of architecture in the country.

•     Provides cross registration with Harvard and Wellesley.

•     Special facilities:  Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, Institute for Learning and Memory.

•     Pass/No Record grades in your first semester.  Students can find out their grades, but they never go on their transcript.

Student Life

The best and the brightest apply to MIT, which is known as a hotbed for the intellectually brilliant student. According to the Admissions Officer at the Information Session, “MIT looks for students who want to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to solve a problem in the world.” The school has a strong emphasis on collaboration and working together.  “If you are doing homework alone, you are doing it wrong.”

More than 95% of students live on campus all four years in one of 12 residence halls. Students from all grade levels live together in each dorm, with the option of staying in the same dorm all four years if desired.  Studious as they may be, MIT undergraduates enjoy participating in Greek Life too.  Fraternity and sorority houses are located close to campus, as well as across the Charles River.  And MIT students show their lighter side through performing clever pranks called “Hacks” on MIT’s signature Dome which has been transformed into R2-D2, featured a police car perched on its top, and sported other ingenious decorations.

Admission to MIT is need blind.  Aid is need based.  MIT does not offer merit scholarships. Students should submit both the FAFSA and CSS Profile.






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