<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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You'll learn as much as you put into it, just like anything else. Ask lots of questions of your professors: you'll learn and look like you're giving it a good amount of effort.

” – Korina from San Antonio, TX

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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Fullerton is a great school, that makes you feel welcomed. There are various ways to become involved. It has very friendly and approachable professors.

” – Jessica from Whittier, CA

Originally founded as a small branch college, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a 4-year public university and an Hispanic-Serving and Minority-Serving institution. UNLV encompasses 16 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in...

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I am already enrolled at UNLV to begin my first semester in the Spring of 2011. I have many friends who attended UNLV for the Fall semester &amp; from what I have heard, the classes are packed full of learning experiences. They require much work, focus...

” – Aubrey from Henderson, NV

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 professors that I had during my first semester at SF State were very helpful. I learned new things and got to review things that I have nearly forgotten. If a professor has office hours, use them, during those time your teacher can help you with...

” – Stefeny from San Jose, CA

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 has such a great learning atmosphere. The professors here are always willing to work with students inside and outside of class to make sure that you're confident about the material you're learning. The school also provides a Learning...

” – Sarah from Roanoke, VA

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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Clark Atlanta University is a great HBCU to attend for a plentiful of reasons. I would describe the atmosphere on campus as being scholarly, united and fun. The tuition may be steep but CAU is a private college and students receive the knowledge that...

” – Nailah from Minneapolis, MN

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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The Professors at Montclair State University are all very well educated. They are very understanding and are available during their office hours to help students out. I have no trouble following my teachers during their lectures and they give me a...

” – Cassandra from Union, 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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I will learn alot from the teachers at fresno.

” – Darius from Gardena, CA

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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It is a safe and quiet campus. The professors are always available to your needs. You will never be bored because there are always activities and events held during Common Hour where you can meet new people and get your net-working skills going.

” – Jamecia from Miami Gardens, FL

Founded in 1849 as a teachers college, Eastern Michigan University is now a 4-year public school in Ypsilanti, MI. EMU is home to five colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in over 200 academic majors and minors. In addition to classroom space, EMU...

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Completing an undergraduate degree in Marketing, as well as a Master in Business Administration from Eastern's College of Business, I found the faculty to be involved, supportive, and incredibly dedicated. You will learn from industry-leaders. I left...

” – Stephanie from Toledo, OH

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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ODU is a great school. The instructors are friendly and easy to contact. They are very fair and very understanding. They are knowledgeable in their fields of study and they are able to give a lot of information on the topics. The professors give so...

” – Kyana from Richmond, VA

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

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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The teachers at UC Merced are very knowledgeable in their fields, and are always open to questions. Most teachers will set up appointments if you can't make it to office hours. The library is a good place to study, and the fourth floor is a strict...

” – Jensen from Cottonwood, CA

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

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.

” – Rashaunna from Stone Mountain, GA

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 have learned many things while here. Since some classes are small, its easier to have a connect with the teachers. Being at TSU also teacher how to be independent.

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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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Depending on which classes you take, they can be easy or challenging. It depends a lot on how much work you put into it. For myself, I am taking 15 credit hours, which is just the right amount. I have learned a lot through my classes this semester.

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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 is a women's college founded in 1836. It has a pretty campus. The school is usually very quite which is good for concentrating on school.

” – Daeun from Macon, GA

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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At Coastal all the classes are usually a good teacher to student ratio. Therefore, you feel very satisfied it what you have learned. All the teachers i have had have been a great help and will work with you whenever you feel as if you aren't learning...

” – Jenna from Centreville, VA

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 University is a very intellectual college. They have both average and rigorous courses. The professors actually care about you succeeding and the classes are small so that the teacher:student ratio is acceptable; helping to stimulate...

” – Tempest from Valdosta, GA

Founded by a Baptist minister in 1887, Campbell University is a 4-year Christian institution in central North Carolina. Campbell encompasses eight colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees in over 100 majors, concentrations, and tracks. As...

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Wow. Such an incredible place to learn, make friends, and begin a new journey in life. Even as a commuting student, the employees really help you transition into the colege life and atmosphere.

” – Alex from Benson, NC

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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Warm, inclusive environment with friendly faculty. Fantastic opportunities for abroad studies. Size is just perfect - not so large that you feel overwhelmed, but not so small that you feel like you haven't left high school either!

” – Jaime from Berea, OH

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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Marymount has a huge variety of courses you can take. I am personally an Interior Design student and love the classes I am in! All the professors are so helpful!

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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'm a running start student here at Central and the staff is amazing. There are small classes so a student gets to know the professor, and the professor knows them by name. This school has a great music and teaching program.

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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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Not only do I learn a lot in the classroom, but outside as well. Our professors always make them selves available to help whenever students need extra help. I have studied at other universities where getting a study group set up is difficult, at Mesa...

” – Rose from Bennett, 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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When I first started my classes i wasn't sure what to expect. i had never been in a lecture hall before and it was definetely interesting trying t come up with unique ways to make my notes organized. it was very challenging when it came to a few...

” – Kelsey Engle from Plainfield, IL

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 a beautiful, uplifting school that is full of diversity and activities that will always keep you busy. Kean is a great place for education and great place to start a lifetime with friends. It's a place you'll be happy with for sure...

” – Alex from Morris County, 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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Being a current Laboratory Animal Science major, I have learned an immense amount of new material that is just so fascinating to me in this major. I have always desired to be a Veterinarian, but I didn't have that much experience before I came to A&amp;T...

” – Tatiana from Las Vegas, NV

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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Bowling Geen Stae University is a very diverse campus. I admire it because the faculty and staff reach out to the students because they genuinely care about them. I honestly feel like BGSU has so many different opportunities for students to network...

” – Brandii from Detroit, MI

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 is the very definition of Southern hospitality. The professors are flexible and enjoy working with students who have the drive for education. The campus is not too large or too small and is perfect for and uncrowded learning...

” – Michael from Austin, 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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So far, most of the classes I have taken here I have actually found at least somewhat interesting and applicable to real life. Even when you have to take classes that are outside of your main field of study, you're still learning things that will...

” – Mallory from Hamilton, OH

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 have learned more than I ever imagined while I've been here. Personally, I believe the history and political science professors are outstanding.

” – Justin from Saginaw, TX

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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Going off past speakings of my friends...JSU is where its at. Teachers are great...big campus to meet multiple friends...its just great

” – Durand from Detroit, MI

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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Academically, this school has a lot to offer. Most of my teachers are extremely helpful, and if they aren't, chances are there is an Supplemental Instructor or tutor that would be more than willing to assist you with any questions.

” – Brianna from Stephenville, 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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the classes are small and broken down specifically by major.

” – Ke'Yondra 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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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

Virginia State University is an Historically Black College and University in central Virginia and the nation’s first fully state-supported university for African Americans. The VSU campus hosts colleges of Business, Education, Agriculture, Humanities...

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Virginia State University is the most amazing experience I could've ever been apart of. It makes me feel right at home and makes sure you have all the opportunities I'm are searching for. There is no other place I'd rather be Virginia State...

” – CaSondra from Schenectady, NY

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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I love it.
I love it.
I love it.

” – J from Glendale, CA

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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The class sizes really help with learning the material. they're small enough to be able to ask questions in class, and have the teacher still hear you from way in the back. The teachers also want to make sure you understand where the concept they're...

” – Jessika from Lynnwood, WA

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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The teachers here at SU are very straight forward and are very concerned about your grades and status in the class. If it looks like you're falling behind they take the time to ask you what can they do to help you.

” – Joshua from Waldorf, 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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Yes...I love living on campus and my teachers are great. Just remember if you need help in a class ask for help!!!! GO TO OFFICE HOURS!!!!!!!1

” – Victoria from Northlake, 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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MUST be hard working, willing to get help

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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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 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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Clayton State University is an unique school. This school offers a varies of programs and resources to that can be tailored to fit your needs and wants. Clayton State might be a small campus but it impact of the world is huge.

” – Amber from Morrow, GA

Originally founded as the Girls Industrial College, Texas Woman's University is a school primarily for women in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and the largest such university in the United States. Although TWU is designed for women, the university...

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I have learned so much in my freshman year here it's AMAZING. The teachers are great and are willing to help you with any problems you are having. There are centers to go to for writing help and much more.

” – Asha from Houston, TX

Founded in 1896 - Wingate University is a comprehensive, independent and growing university located in Wingate, NC, just 25 minutes from Charlotte, NC. At Wingate, students blend in-class learning with out-of-class application and have a life...

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Work hard in high school, so they will offer you a large scholarship. Visit the campus. It's really beautiful. :)

” – Shelley from NC

Frostburg State University is a public, 4-year institution established in the state of Maryland. FSU offers a wide variety of degree programs, many of which are unique, such as Adventure Sports Management, Forestry, and Ethnobotany. The school bases...

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Very dedicated to informing students of important information and school events. Great place to stay concentrated on school work. Teachers here are very friendly.

” – Cameron from Clinton, MD

California State University-Northridge is a public university in Los Angeles and one of the largest single-campus universities in the nation. CSU Northridge encompasses nine colleges and schools conferring 68 bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, CSUN...

“…

CSUN is a smaller university, but has a lot to offer and is close to home for many people. The advisers are always there to help and make sure you are on task and recommend programs to get into that help accelerate your graduation process. There are...

” – Jennifer from Pacoima, CA

With campus along the coast of the Long Island Sound, the University of Bridgeport is a private institution in southern Connecticut. UB is home to colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, and Health Sciences offering degrees in over 125 academic...

“…

The university is warm, welcoming and dedicated to their students. Expect to receive a packed pamphlet full of activities and ways for you to get used to the campus and surrounding area. Also, the dean and professors are very active in the lives of...

” – Rachael from Torrington, CT