<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. 

 

View all scholarships

 

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 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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There are plenty of classes that you can take! UTSA offers a varity of different subjects taught by various professors that widens your choice of which classes to take and from whom you should take it from. &#13;
I am currently a Psychology major and all...

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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...

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Most of your G.E.'s are going to be a joke. Your major classes will be the ones that are informative and interesting.

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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...

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IUPUI is an incredible institution to start a new chapter of your life and education. I've always been told that you usually learn something new everyday, but at IUPUI I learn gobs of new information everyday! With over 250 degrees from 21 schools...

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Portland State University is a high quality education that provides both flexibility to the busy student and abundant resources for success, through their many outstanding teachers, helpful graduate students, and various other bodies. The student...

” – Chelsea from Woodland, WA

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...

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The school offers a wide variety of options in classes and majors, and there is something for literally everybody. The teachers are very committed and always welcome students to visit them during office hours whenever needed and as often as possible...

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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...

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Radford University has some of the best professors I have ever encountered who teach in very inventive and interesting ways that help with retaining information, no matter what the subject is. When difficulties in a classroom occur, the LARC has...

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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...

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Become very involved in the classroom environment. You will learn so much just by engaging in conversation with your professors and fellow classmates about the readings assigned and the issues going on in the community. You also will learn a lot of...

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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...

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Along with the education I am receiving in the classroom, being so far away from home gives me the opportunity to really grow up. I have learned so much about myself in the year and a half that I have been here. I value the lessons I am learning...

” – Briana from Clarksville, TN

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...

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Each one of my courses has its own challenges and keeps me on my feet. Class size arent huge at all and you can have one on one discussions with the professor during their office hours. It is a great learning institution and your professors will...

” – Neftali from Passaic, NJ

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...

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There are many wonderful general ed courses one can choose from, whether it be 'Fundamentals of Public Speaking' or 'Introduction to Biology'. Also, every department has wonderful faculty and staff, each one ready to assist you in the best way...

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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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so far its been good. hope things stay like this throughout all four years.

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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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Subject material is distributed evenly through out the semester, so students can comfortable learn and retain information. Just try not to fall behind.

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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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I love ALL of my classes. The teachers are very knowledgable. The best part is that if you are having trouble in your classes. We have free tutoring in the library! Also we have SI's (Supplemental Instruction students) They sit in your classes with...

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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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People are nice here. It rains a lot. School is as easy or as challenging as you want it to be.

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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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Student to Professor ratio is great; I chose UC Merced over other universities I got accepted into because of this. To be honest though, it all depends on what type of person you are. We're all adults here, it is a matter of personal choice and...

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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...

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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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The professors here know what they are doing. The University is very strict on who the hire to teach each student. Each professor is different but all of them tend to care about the students their well-being.

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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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TSU is an great school, full of educational opportunities, networking, and fun. You will become apart of the family. It is vital to stay on top of your work and paperwork at Tennessee State University.

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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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I started last year with the intentions of being a physical therapists and was really looking forward to the challenges. Unfortunately being away from home for the first time and the hard class schedule put me behind fairly quickly. As a freshman you...

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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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Wesleyan College never has a dull moment.
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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 feel coastal is a great school. It satisfies and goes beyond a college experience. I feel happy and safe here.

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VSU is a great institute to further your education. I must say that I am learning a lot. My teachers are great and if I need further assistance they are willing to meet with me during office hours, or e-mail. If this is not enough, VSU has a tutoring...

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The programs here are moderately challenging. Purpose with distinction is the school motto and it explains a lot about the university from an academic standpoint. If you apply yourself and study, you will be successful and opportunity will come your...

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UNM pushes a lot of self responsibility, so I have learned quite a bit about how to mind my own finances and career goals. It does offer support though, so it's not like they just abandon you. You just have to be responsible enough to go and get the...

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Marymount is a school centered around community,with its small class sizes and many clubs and on-campus activities there is always something to do and someone to hang out with. There are many ways to get involved around campus and take advantage of...

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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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I have not been in a SINGLE class that I have not learned so much from! Every professor I have had make class fun, interesting, and extremely enjoyable! My grades have been higher than they have have here at CWU.

” – Taylor from Manchester, WA

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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The academics within the school are definitely top of the line, and the teachers all seem to know their subjects absolutely thoroughly. It seems as though the University Board staffed their school very well.

” – Brandon from Monument, CO

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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Not only does Western Illinois University offer a great deal of programs, but there is also a wide variety of people on campus helping to enhance life experiences.

” – Samantha from East Dubuque, IL

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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From academic lessons to life lessons I have learned alot and I just finished my first semester. It has taught me alot and I believe that I have grown so much in the past couple of months.

” – Keiasha from Tuskegee, AL

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...

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Kean University is an institution with endless of opportunities. It is vibrant and a diverse school , interacting with people from all parts of the world. It has a strong academic base preparing our students for the workforce.

” – Melissa from Linden, NJ

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...

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We get hands on experience with the teachers. The classes are small enough to interact with your peers in a group discussions or class room discourse. There are also computer labs in almost every building and residential hall so that everyone can...

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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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The class size and the accessibility to the professors during class and also during office hours is what has made me succeed. The class size at Bowling Green is well sized and very comfortable which makes it easy to build a relationship with your...

” – Caitlyn from LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, OH

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...

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lamar university has small classrooms so professors can pay attention to all student needs. all faculty and staff are willing to help students accomplish their goals both inside and outside the classroom. lamar university has several hangout...

” – Cynthia from Beaumont, TX

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...

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You will learn a lot in one quarter. 10 weeks seems like a long time, but it will fly bye and you will have to keep up. By the time winter break comes along you will definitely be ready for the 6 weeks off! The teachers are willing to help...

” – Kyle from Jamestown, OH

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...

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UB is fun, sporadic, entertaining, and most importantly educational. UB is a great place to learn and grow through the various programs that are offered. There are specialization designed to meet specific needs of those looking to work in particular...

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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...

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I am currently looking into the Honors College at Texas A&amp;M Commerce. Students are required to complete 21 hours of honors classes by the time they graduate, and complete an honors thesis on any subject they choose by their senior year. All in all...

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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...

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The professors at Jackson State University are enthusiastic about teaching. They encourage the students to have a college-level attitude and come in ready to work.

” – Terica from Decatur, GA

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...

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The classes here are extremely in-depth, especially the Honors classes. I feel as though I have learned more in my first semester than I ever did in high school. The classes are challenging, which is something that I enjoy. Also, the teachers care...

” – Ashley from Killeen, TX

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...

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This school teaches me things that I never knew.

” – Geoffrey from Miami, FL

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...

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Weber State has been an excellent and affordable school for those seeking a higher education. It is a place where one can study and feel safe from many of the problems plaguing our society. It is also a place where each student can enter the pathway...

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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...

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As a music education major, I am taking six music classes my first semester. The teachers seemed to want me to get into the classes I need and sat down with my for over an hour, one-on-one, to help me get the education I need. I'm in 3 general...

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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...

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I love my HBCU. In every department I have had the opportunity to work with, someone is always ready to help you do better. Building connections is key, but if you do the experience is great, and you can truly get anywhere from here.

” – Chantel from JACKSONVILLE, FL

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...

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I have found that a majority of the Faculty and Staff members at CSU love their job. They want to teach and they want you to learn. Since the class sizes are relatively small it isn't difficult to interact with other students in study groups or group...

” – Taylor from Columbus, GA

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...

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College is a whole new experience compared to high school! In and out of the classrooms you learn a lot about yourself, your new community, college, your favorite subjects, and new cultures! The professors here are great, and if you do happen to fall...

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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...

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Courses here are great and the professors are very helpful! They want you to pass and will help you in every way that they can.

” – Chelsea from White Hall, MD

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...

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The instructors aren't strangers to the students out here; they help A LOT. Lots of office hours. Lots of help outside of class, along with extra practice, etc.

” – Raquel from Chicago, IL

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...

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University of Charleston is a 4 out of 5 stars. The faculty and staff, as well as the campus is so friendly and welcoming. Also the location is in the capitol of the state, so there's a lot of history behind it; only downfall for me was it's far from...

” – Gabrielle Johnson from Tempe, AZ

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...

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

” – Jasmine from Clinton, MD

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...

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My classes are all diverse, but you have to challenge yourself.

” – Hayley from Bothell, WA

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...

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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