<span>21 ACT Colleges: Best Schools That Accept a 21 ACT Score</span>

21 ACT Colleges: Best Schools That Accept a 21 ACT Score

The ACT is an entrance exam that many colleges use as part of their admissions process. The ACT is made up of four academic categories: Mathematics, Reading, English, and Science, as well as an optional Writing portion. Scored on a scale of 1 to 36, the ACT has 215 questions that need to be answered in 2 hours and 55 minutes. 

 

Is a 21 ACT Score (50th Percentile) Good?

A 21 ACT score is a little bit better than the average score of 20.8. Because of this, a 21 is a commonly accepted score at many schools, but it may not make you competitive at selective schools. 

Looking at this from another angle, a score of 21 puts you at the 50th percentile, meaning you scored higher than 50% of test takers — which is certainly something to be proud of. It also means that 50% of test takers scored higher, too, putting you in a bit of a limbo where you’re almost competitive, but not quite. 

 

What Colleges Can I Get Into with an ACT Score of 21?

A decent number of colleges will consider an application featuring a 21 on the ACT and we’ve compiled a list of these schools below. While a standardized test is only one part of the application, these institutions have a history of accepting students who earn a 21.

 

Should I Retake the ACT with a 21 Score?

If you have time and the ability to retake the ACT, it’s worth putting in a bit more effort to increase the competitiveness of your application. ACT score reports come with a breakdown of the tests four subject areas, so take a closer look at which subjects need improvement and devote extra study time to them. Remember that the essay portion of the exam doesn’t get factored into the overall score so budget more study time for the other sections.

Before the retake date, practice a few test-taking strategies.  For example, the ACT doesn’t penalize you for a wrong answer, so work on eliminating incorrect multiple choice options to make an educated guess. Remember, if you get stuck on any question, don’t spend too much time dwelling on it. Instead, move on to other questions that are quicker to answer and take a second pass at more difficult ones if there’s time.

For seniors, there are typically dates available to retake the test during the fall semester, but it may or may not be in time for earlier college application deadlines. If there isn’t time, focus on amping up the rest of your application. College admission offices look at applications as a whole and your ACT score is just a single component. Consult your college counselor for advice on composing a well crafted personal essay, and be sure to continue devoting proper study time to all classes to maintain a good GPA. With an ACT score of 21, a quality application to go along with it might be all you need!

 

21 ACT to SAT Equivalent

A 21 SAT score is equivalent to earning between a 1060 to 1090 on the SAT. While the score you earn on one test may not be what you’d earn on the other, it may be an indication. 

If the ACT doesn’t seem to be working for your test-taking style, it may be worthwhile to take a practice SAT to see your potential score. The tests require different types of time management, tools, and even have different content.   

 

Scholarships for a 21 ACT Score

Scholarships earned for your ACT or SAT, or based on your GPA, are typically referred to as merit scholarships or merit aid. A 21 ACT score isn’t likely to earn you much merit aid, but there are plenty of other types of scholarships you can earn outside of those for merit. Start searching today for scholarships based on your location, life circumstances, passions, extracurriculars, and more. 

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is 21 a good ACT score?

A 21 ACT score puts you right at the national average, making you eligible to apply to a number of schools. It offers you a slight competitive edge, but won’t make you competitive for most selective schools. 

 

What colleges can I get into with a 21 ACT score?

With a 21 ACT score, you’re eligible to apply to a number of schools and, among your Target institutions, you can include California State University-Fullerton, Montclair State University, and Eastern Michigan University. Remember that your ACT is only a portion of what colleges consider when evaluating students, so be sure to align your GPA and write a compelling personal statement.    

 

What percentile is a 21 ACT score?

A 21 ACT score puts you at the 50th percentile, meaning you scored higher than 50% of test takers. 

 

What is the SAT equivalent of a 21 ACT score?

A 21 ACT score is equivalent to earning a 1060 to 1090 on the SAT

 

What scholarships can you get with a 21 ACT score?

A 21 ACT score likely won’t earn you much merit aid, but there are numerous other types of scholarships you can apply for, including those for location, life circumstances, extracurriculars, and more. Start applying today to build up a nest egg that will offset the cost of college tuition! 

 

View all scholarships

 

 

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The University of Texas at San Antonio

The University of Texas at San Antonio is a 4-year public research institution and the largest university in the San Antonio region. UTSA encompasses nine colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees as well as an Honors College. Between...

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I didn't think I could learn more from the basic classes than everyone needs, but I have. There are some points that weren't even mentioned from my high school classes.

” – Priscilla from Laredo, TX

California State University-Fullerton

California State University-Fullerton is a 4-year public research institution in Orange County and a campus of the Cal State system. Cal State Fullerton has the largest student body out of any California State University school and has been...

“…

Many of the professors at Cal State Fullerton are very knowledgable in their respected area of study, and show a great deal of passion about the topics they teach. The education is of a very high quality, and the curriculum is very intellectually...

” – Jenny from Los Angeles, CA

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is the result of a merger between Indiana University and Purdue University and offers degrees from both institutions. IUPUI hosts 17 schools granting degrees in over 350 areas of study. Additionally...

“…

IUPUI is a really good school that offers a large variety of courses. I've learned alot so far and the Professors are really considerate, helpful, and professional. If you are a student that takes your education and future seriously, this would be a...

” – Laquanda from Indianapolis, IN

Portland State University

Originally founded to educate returning World War II veterans, Portland State University is a 4-year public institution in the heart of Portland. The PSU campus encompasses eight colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 120...

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When it comes to how much you learn I believe that it is up to you to take classes that are interesting and a little bit challenging, because the classes that are easy tend to get boring and not teach you as much.

” – Brittany from Tigard, OR

San Francisco State University

Originally founded as a teacher training college, San Francisco State University is a 4-year public institution and a Bay Area-based campus of the California State University System. SF State offers bachelor’s degrees in 77 fields of study and...

“…

I have enjoyed all but one teacher in my first year here at SF State. My teachers are committed to giving me the best education they can and that's a lot to ask for from a state school.

” – Liza from Bolinas, CA

Radford University

Radford University is located on a 204-acre campus in Radford, VA, and features six unique colleges with 108 degree programs. RU provides an honors college with competitive housing, programming, and advising, as well as the Office of High Impact...

“…

Professors are willing and able to help students during his or her specificed office hours. The stronger your will to learn, the more you will gain from each course.

” – Taylor from Blacksburg, VA

Clark Atlanta University

Formed by the merger of Clark College and Atlanta University, Clark Atlanta University is an Historically Black College and University affiliated with the United Methodist Church in Atlanta. CAU is home to colleges of Business Administration...

“…

try to go to all your classes and get to know the professors because they can really help you out if you're having trouble.

” – Tia from Atlanta, GA

Morgan State University

Founded in 1867, Morgan State University is an Historically Black College and University in Baltimore and Maryland’s preeminent public urban research institution. A member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Morgan State offers degrees in more...

“…

This school has alot to offer. We are very diverse and very welcoming.

” – Chelsea from Germantown, MD

Montclair State University

Montclair State University is a 4-year public institution in northern New Jersey and the second largest university in the state. Montclair State is home to 11 colleges and schools conferring over 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees and the...

“…

Montclair has a lot of Majors and programs!!! And you will also learn from the people you meet. there are a lot of facilities and resources available on campus. Research is also on the rise at this institution.

” – Benjamin

California State University-Fresno

California State University-Fresno is a 4-year public school and the second largest university in the Cal State system. Fresno State encompasses eight colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees. In addition, Fresno State has been designated...

“…

Even when taking my general ed. classes, I've learned more than what I've expected. The teachers that I've had this semester all seem thrilled about teaching and hearing student responses.

” – Zachary from Fresno, CA

St. Thomas University

St Thomas University is a private institution located in Miami Gardens, Florida. STU is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and Archdiocese of Miami, and their institution goal is to “form[] a community of co-learners that teaches and worships...

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Professors are great. Whats best is the same class sizes; they allow for a more personalized education. Plenty of areas of study to choose from, however, the classes in less demand are on rotation so you might have to wait a semester to take a class...

” – STU Bobcat from FL

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University is a 4-year public institution in Norfolk and a doctoral high research activity university. ODU hosts colleges of Arts & Letters, Business, Sciences, Education, Engineering, and Health Sciences as well as an Honors College...

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Old Dominion Professors are very professional and informative when it comes to detailed lectures & assignments.

” – Efrem from Chantilly, VA

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Part of the University of Wisconsin system, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a 4-year public school and the largest university in Milwaukee. UWM confers degrees in over 195 academic programs and the university is one of two doctoral-degree...

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Some of the classes are very fast paced and the information is pounded in your head. Professor to student interaction is limited with larger class sizes. Smaller classes, discussions, and labs are much more beneficial and more conducive to...

” – Mike from Franklin, WI

The Evergreen State College

With campus along the shores of Puget Sound, The Evergreen State College is a public liberal arts institution in Washington’s state capital of Olympia. Evergreen offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees without formal majors and...

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One of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. I've learned about different types of people, and the importance of community. In my first class during fall quarter, my teacher gave us a book to read, showed us a film she made in relation to the...

” – Emerald Engrum from Burien, WA

University of California-Merced

Founded in 2005, the University of California-Merced is a 4-year public research institution in northern California and the first American research university opened in the 21st century. UC Merced is home to colleges of Social Sciences, Engineering...

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Obviously, just like any other school, if you put your mind to it, study, and do the work, you'll learn. Putting in effort to what you want to accomplish is the key. I am currently a freshman and am about to finish my 1st semester here. I'm taking...

” – Gabriel from Hercules, CA

Southwestern College

Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Southwestern College is a private school in southern Kansas. Southwestern confers bachelor’s degrees in 24 fields of study. As part of its technological initiative, Southwestern issues a laptop to every...

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This school has several faculty members who are here for the soul purpose of helping your get your desired degree. My favorite thing about these staff members is that even if one person can't help you, then you always have another staff member to...

” – Cody from Wamego, KS

University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia is a public, 4-year, R3 doctoral research university. UWG offers over 85 academic programs, and is home to an Honors College. UWG is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and...

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There are always those easy classes, but for the ones that aren't so easy--learn how to use your time wisely.

” – Stephanie from Temple, GA

Tennessee State University

With two campuses in Nashville, Tennessee State University is the only state-funded Historically Black College and University in the state of Tennessee and part of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. TSU grants bachelor’s and graduate degrees in 77...

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I learn a lot of things here. This college is a great place to be. I love the experience!

” – Amber from Memphis, TN

Indiana State University

With campus a short walk from the Wabash River, Indiana State University is a 4-year public institution in western Indiana. ISU confers bachelor’s degrees in over 100 academic majors and makes over 70 degree-granting programs available entirely...

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Within just my first year at ISU, I gained the skills I need to succeed. My professors, teacher assistants, college advisor and employer have provided my with the knowledge required inside and out of the classroom. The teaching staff was extremely...

” – Nursing Student

College placeholder image

Wesleyan College is a private, 4-year, women’s institution. Founded in 1836, Wesleyan was the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to woman, and its 200-acre, wooded campus has since been added to the National Register of Historic...

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Each class offers its own, unique challenge for students. With a 10 to 1 student to professor ratio, the discussions are dynamic and intellectually stimulating. Faculty offer the best quality of education possible, and are determined to see you...

” – Francesca from Macon, GA

Coastal Carolina University

With campus a short drive from the Atlantic Ocean, Coastal Carolina University is a 4-year public liberal arts institution in South Carolina. CCU confers bachelor’s degrees in 74 academic areas of study. In addition to the academic facilities on its...

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I am writing to inform you of the great things Coastal Carolina University has done for me. I'm sure many of people have mentioned how college will be some of the best years of one life, because that is what was told to me before I entered college...

” – Davon from Charleston, SC

Valdosta State University

Founded as a normal college for women, Valdosta State University is a public institution in southern Georgia and part of the University System of Georgia. Valdosta State confers degrees in over 100 majors, minors, and certificates. Additionally, VSU...

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Valdosta State's staff is about as friendly a group of people as you will find anywhere else. I am in my second year here, and I feel more confident about reaching my goals every day. Being an Honors student, I worried about the potential workload...

” – Steven from Valdosta, GA

Heidelberg University

Heidelberg University is a private, liberal arts institution established in Tiffin, Ohio. Students graduating from Heidelberg are all given the option to enroll in the school’s Plus One Advantage program, which registers students in a 1-year Master...

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I attend Heidelberg University's music program. I've at least doubled my knowledge about music, and I've only been here a semester! You will definitely learn, and the work is challenging but not difficult. I really think you will enjoy going here.

” – Katelyn from Coshocton, OH

University of New Mexico-Main Campus

Located near old Route 66 in Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico is New Mexico’s flagship public university. UNM is home to 12 colleges conferring bachelor’s degrees in 94 academic programs and its Health Sciences Center is New Mexico’s largest...

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I am learning a lot here at UNM. They are a top of the line school with excellent professors, GAs, and TAs. UNM has managed to find some of the mos interesting and qualified professors, GAs, and TAs. Last semester I took Philosophy 101 with Ethan...

” – Juan from Tijeras, NM

Marymount University

Founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Marymount University is a Roman Catholic institution in northern Virginia and the first Catholic college in the state. Marymount encompasses schools of Arts & Humanities, Business, and Sciences...

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At Marymount University, you will learn a lot, not only the needed necessities for your intended majors, but just all around information that is vitally important. Right now i am a freshman in the 2009/ 2010 school year, and I am a Fashion...

” – Tynisha from Lorton, VA

Central Washington University

Originally founded in 1891 as the Washington State Normal School, Central Washington University is a 4-year public institution. Central Washington is home to six colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees in over 135 academic majors as well...

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The profs here are truly amazing and very understandable. They are very approachable and ready to help you study and learn. Also a wide variety of classes and foriegn languages you can choose from so make sure to keep an open mind!

” – Katherina from Tacoma, WA

Colorado Mesa University

Colorado Mesa University is located in Grand Junction, Colorado on the beautiful Western Slope of the state. At CMU, the student is the hero of the story. The university exists to guide students to broaden their horizons and reach their goals. CMU...

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There is a lot of variety at Mesa. Whether you want to become a nurse or a dancer, there are classes for just about any profession an incoming student can choose from. And even if that person hasn't decided what they want to do yet, they can take a...

” – Jennifer from Grand Junction, CO

Western Illinois University
Western Illinois University is a four-year public university, with a traditional, residential campus in Macomb, and a branch campus in Moline. The Macomb campus, comprising 1,000 acres in west central Illinois, provides residential living spaces...

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I would say that there are many opportunities to learn here at Western, but sometimes I feel like I am not always getting quite the quality education I desire. It is a public state-funded college after all. Although I occaisionally feel like I'm...

” – Wren

Tuskegee University

Tuskegee University is a 4-year private school and an Historically Black College and University in east Alabama. Tuskegee offers bachelor’s degrees in over 65 academic majors and is the only HBCU to house a fully-accredited College of Veterinary...

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You learn soo much at Tuskegee, im a history major here, so my schedule is pretty easy. lots of room for electives. If you are a guy then you should try and stay in young as a freshman, thats the best male freshman dorm. the other one, bethune looks...

” – Gabriel from Tuskegee, AL

Kean University

Founded in 1855, Kean University is a public school in northeast New Jersey and the state’s first public post-secondary institution of higher learning. Kean grants undergraduate degrees in over 50 areas of study and graduates the most teachers in the...

“…

Kean University is a great school to attend if you like diversity, a beautiful campus, and a great education.

” – Brianna from Piscataway, NJ

North Carolina A & T State University

Founded in 1890, North Carolina A&T State University is a public Historically Black College and University and the state’s first land-grant university for people of color. N.C. A&T is home to nine colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees...

“…

I just graduated from A&amp;T in May, and I feel more than ready to begin my Master's of Accounting program at The Ohio State University. Not only am I prepared, but I also managed to get a scholarship for my Master's and for the CPA Exam (which I am...

” – Winnie from Greensboro, NC

Bowling Green State University-Main Campus

Founded in 1910 as a teacher’s college, Bowling Green State University is a 4-year public research institution in northwest Ohio. Bowling Green State is home to eight colleges conferring undergraduate degrees as well as an honors college. In addition...

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BGSU has great entering freshman programs that help you learn and understand a lot about the campus. It also is good for undecided students and it helps you find your major quicker. There are also many places that offer free tutoring and the teachers...

” – Nia from Cleveland, OH

Lamar University

Named for the second president of the Republic of Texas, Lamar University is a 4-year public school in southeast Texas and a member of the Texas State University system. Lamar encompasses five colleges granting bachelor’s and graduate degrees in over...

“…

Even though the beginning of the classes are reviews from what I learned in high school i'm still learning new things that I find useful.

” – Di'Andra from Houston, TX

Wright State University-Main Campus

Named after Wilbur & Orville Wright, Wright State University is a 4-year public school in Dayton. Wright State features eight colleges and three schools granting degrees in 295 academic programs. In addition to classroom space, Wright State hosts the...

“…

I am working on a degree in Computer Engineering.
I have already learned SO much in my first year there.
One of the latest projects was to program a video game.

” – Mik? from Ravenna, OH

University of Baltimore

Originally founded as a night school for law and business students, the University of Baltimore is a public institution and part of the University System of Maryland. UB confers degrees in over 70 undergrad and graduate academic programs. In addition...

“…

UB Is focused on the individual

” – Gunnar from Baltimore, MD

Texas A & M University-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce is the second-largest of the 11 campuses in the A&M system. The public research campus features an agricultural center, which includes artificial wetlands, a native prairie reserve, an equine arena and boarding facility...

“…

The classes here are really small which is great for me because I grew up in a small town. However, there are a lot of students that go here are from Dallas Texas. Big or small if you get involved it never gets boring.

” – Brooklyne from Commerce, TX

Jackson State University

Founded in 1877, Jackson State University is a public Historically Black College and University in the Mississippi state capital of Jackson and one of the largest HBCUs in the nation. A member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Jackson State is...

“…

great teachers, available tutors for every subject

” – Maia from MI

Tarleton State University

Originally founded in 1899 as a liberal arts college, Tarleton State University is now a public state university with five campus locations and a member of the Texas A&M University System. The largest non-land grant agricultural institution in the...

“…

At Tarleton I learned a lot both academically and about myself as a person. College opens up so many doors to learn about life. The way Tarleton goes about its education and family like feel on campus just benefits its students in so many ways

” – Laura from Dallas, TX

Barry University

Founded by the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 1940, Barry University is a private institution in the Miami metro area and one of the largest Catholic universities in the southeast. Barry is home to eight colleges and schools conferring undergraduate and...

“…

This School excels in every program that they provide. Barry makes sure that you learn everything that you need to learn that will help you in future classes and in your career. Teachers are always there to help you and they allow questions at...

” – C.Symoane

Weber State University

Founded in 1889, Weber State University is a 4-year public school in northern Utah. Weber State awards undergraduate degrees and certificates in over 225 academic programs with a focus on integrating scholarship and community. For recreation, Weber...

“…

I love the teachers here! They really try and reach out to the students and help them with what they need and beyond. By them caring and helping me out with problems or questions I have, I have learned a lot more than I expected I would. It's easy to...

” – Jorian from Ogden, UT

Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University is a public school in California’s wine country and one of the smallest campuses in the California State University system. Sonoma State grants bachelor’s degrees in 46 academic programs including the only Wine Business...

“…

I am planning to major in Criminal Justice and minor in psychology and they have really good programs for both of them. The classes are small (about only 20-30) with some classes as big as 80. I like that the classes are small enough for me to get...

” – Cassie From San Francisco, CA

Savannah State University

Founded in 1890, Savannah State University is an Historically Black College and University in east Georgia and the state’s oldest public HBCU. A member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Savannah State grants bachelor’s degrees in 30 academic...

“…

Savannah State makes tons of learning opportunities available to you, but you have to seek them out on your own. Going to class is not enough! The library has great hours, and there are a dozen tutors on campus. If you utilize these your grades will...

” – Simone from Beaverton, OR

Columbus State University

Originally housed in a renovated hosiery mill, Columbus State University is a public institution in western Georgia. Columbus State encompasses colleges of Business, Letters & Sciences, the Arts, and Education conferring undergrad degrees in 46...

“…

The teaching staff at Columbus State University is excellent. All of the professors are very knowledgeable, helpful, and do their best to create an experience conductive to learning. All the Professors welcome questions (even in larger classes,)...

” – Alex from Stockbridge, GA

Eastern Washington University

Situated on a 300-acre campus in Cheney, Eastern Washington University is a 4-year institution that’s been an accredited 4-year-degree-conferring entity long before it took its current name in 1977. Since opening its doors in 1882, EWU has grown to...

“…

I am learning a lot it especially in the history class I took in the spring. My professor was had a lot on knowledge about the subject and he enjoyed teaching.

” – Latisha from Marysville, WA

Stevenson University

Stevenson University is a private university with a liberal arts curriculum. Stevenson offers more than 28 academic programs, as well as more than 21 bachelor's and master's online for flexible learning. SU has extensive Bachelor's to Master's...

“…

The teacher go the extra mile to break down the material and explain it more depth if you don't understand. They want to expand your mind on their subject at hand.

” – Michael from Windsor Mill, MD

Eastern Illinois University

Eastern Illinois University is a 4-year institution in Charleston featuring four colleges on a 320-acre campus. EIU offers 60 bachelor’s degrees, which can be complemented by any of the 85 minors offered, as well as four areas of undergraduate study...

“…

The Gen. Ed. classes are all enjoyable and my major classes were taught by teachers who knew their subjects very well.

” – William from Schaumburg, IL

University of Charleston

Founded in 1888, the University of Charleston is a private school situated in Charleston, West Virginia and is a designated military-friendly school. UC is home to the Erma Byrd Gallery, which houses over 100 pieces of art created by local female...

“…

UC is a pretty expensive school, but they also help students with everything. When I was going to school there they handled almost all of my financial aid and course scheduling. All I really had to do was show up, learn and get awesome grades. I have...

” – Jennifer from Charleston, WV

Bowie State University

Founded in 1865, Bowie State University is the oldest Historically Black College and University in Maryland and one of the ten oldest in the United States. Bowie State encompasses colleges of Arts & Sciences, Education, Business, and Professional...

“…

So far, I have found the professors to be very knowledgeable in their fields of study.

” – Jasmine from Clinton, MD

Humboldt State University

Humboldt State University is a 4-year public institution in Arcata, CA, and is the northernmost campus of the California State University system. HSU is an Hispanic-serving institution conferring bachelor’s degrees in 51 academic majors. HSU also...

“…

The natural beauty up here with the redwood forest is really unsurpassed. I feel the school is a good choice academically for those in the natural sciences (which is what I am doing and is a major reason I chose to go there). Finally, the community...

” – Dion from Thousand Oaks, CA

Clayton  State University

Clayton State University is a 4-year public school in the Atlanta metro area and part of the University System of Georgia. Featuring a 214-acre park-like campus, Clayton State confers undergraduate degrees in over 60 academic majors and minors. In...

“…

The professors at Clayton State are so wonderful. They connect with the students on a personal level which encourages you to want to learn even more. They make sure you get your times worth in class and it's rare you will leave confused

” – Alexa from Stockbridge, GA