Blackburn College
Carlinville, IL, USA

Reviews

Blackburn College
3.49 Average Rating

Katie from Chicago, IL

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
As a private liberal arts college, Blackburn does a great job providing interdisciplinary education. Whether it be Chemistry and English or History and Performing Arts, any pair of academic programs can compose an enriching study for you here. Professors engage you on a personal level, making it clear that learning at Blackburn is much more than reading and being tested on a text. Outside of the classroom are many student activities that expose you to the local culture and get you to participate in the community as a knowledgeable young person.
Am enjoying being here
Blackburn's small campus provides a load of opportunities for you to develop as an individual. Not only will this college move you to break the ice -- it encourages you to stomp all over it. Nearly everyone will learn your name quickly, making anyone a potential friend. Because students play such an important role on campus (in the Work Program and in academic departments), making these new friends so quickly comes in handy and helps you network. The school's theater productions welcome first-time players, and student publications like the Burnian offer substantial ways to be heard on campus. No matter what your interest is, Blackburn finds a way to work for you!
Bang for the buck
Already the most affordable private college in Illinois, Blackburn has an incredible knack for helping you save your money. It offers many scholarships to incoming students -- freshman and transfer alike -- and keeps students aware of loan opportunities and financial aid programs. In addition, required participation in the Work Program (about 10 hours per week in an on-campus job) reduces tuition by over $2,000 and takes off more each year you're here. Most academic programs have well priced books and materials, and students often cooperate to trade textbooks to save money. Financially, Blackburn is sharp and efficient.
Tips for prospective students
Living on campus is a huge component to your experience here, so avoid commuting or going home every weekend. Once you're on campus, immerse yourself in the culture here; if there's something you feel is missing, you have the power to introduce it! Love books? You can rally up other book-lovers and create an extra-curricular activity group. As a Blackburn student, you have immense influence. It's your job to take charge of your experience here from the first day and to make it an incredible time!
Great for these types of students
Blackburn is awesome for hard-working students who care about their futures as professionals and as people. It works for those who work themselves to full potential or are curious to find their full potential. Academically, Blackburn's largest programs are Science and Education, but students of every discipline will find something for them here. Socially, Blackburn is phenomenal for students looking to escape their shells and develop strong interpersonal skills with everyone on campus.
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Amanda from Momence, IL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Blackburn was a life-changing experience for me. At first, I only attended to follow my sister to school. Yet, the work program, small class sizes, and the amazing faculty and staff developed a passion in me that I plan to pursue through graduate school and beyond.
Tips for prospective students
Keep an open mind. At Blackburn, you will work in one of the twelve departments on campus, which could include anything from cleaning the dorms to calling prospective students. You may find the work not to your taste, but there is always room to move up in the work program or switch jobs entirely.

Take chances. Blackburn offers you major opportunities to shine. The college is small, but allows students to take leadership roles in work, clubs and organizations, sports, and classes.

Schedule your time and stick to it. Working an extra 10 hours a week (which lowers tuition and grants valuable work experience) can also take a big chunk out of your free time. Always remember that you're here to learn above all else, so make sure you plan study time as well as fun periods.
Academic Rigor
There is not an easy major on campus, but some are more demanding than others. Blackburn boasts a very strong Natural Sciences division which require a junior and senior double semester seminar, yet other divisions are quickly upping the ante to make their seminars and course load just as challenging. The newly formed English and Communications department will implement two semester seminars next year, and the Art Department has a Sophomore Review (half semester), Junior Seminar, and Senior Seminar (one semester each) which both include a seminar exhibition show.
Dorm Life
Many of the dorms are very old on campus, and I live in the first dorm ever built (crafted by students that went through the work program nearly a century ago). They may not be be newest dorms, but they are not lacking in community. The comradery shared between students on my floor is strong, and many people know us as 3rd floor Stoddard kids. Graduated friends still visit our dorm often and hang out with us, which is something I never would've expected at a small college in a sleepy town.
Food and Dining
I think this is about the only thing that Blackburn really lacks. The food here really isn't that good unless you are crazy about buffets everyday. They serve a lot of chicken, and the salad bar items are not always fresh. They have a fast food alternative called Snack Bar, but during rush hours it is plagued by long lines and very slow service. All in all, the togetherness that meals bring keep students eating the school food as well as provide us a common grievance, which is a good conversation starter.
What to do for fun
Carlinville, where Blackburn presides, is a very sleepy town. Yet, the Campus Activities Board holds student events every weekend. These include live musicians, comedians, free bowling and movie nights, and bingo, just to name a few. Individual dorms also host smaller events like bonfires and movie marathons. Yet, if you want excitement off campus, you will probably have to drive about 40 minutes to Springfield or an hour to St. Louis.

If you are from a small town, this kind of environment should be no problem, but a student from a big city might find this place to be slow and boring.

Though there is one thing that the area has to offer: it's very scenic. Sloping hills, a cobblestone square, and historical buildings pepper the town, making it amazing for walks and even hikes if you go to Lake Carlinville or Beaver Dam, which also offer fishing.
Bang for the buck
I don't think many schools can beat Blackburn in this department. The program grants you four years of work experience, a chance to earn paid hours, and an intimate class setting and strong education for the price tag, which is much lower than most private institutions in Illinois.

Most majors even require an internship before graduation, granting students even more work experience, which is extremely valuable especially in today's unstable job market.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Nearly every building is supposedly haunted on campus, but I think the one tradition that is most known here is Butler rock, which, as the story goes, was dropped off in front of Butler dorm from a nearby quarry.

The interesting thing about the rock is that in the dead of night, students paint it to promote events, clubs, or social issues. No one knows when it will be changed or who will change it, but it's tagged every few weeks. It's been anything from a pokeball to a sign promoting breast cancer awareness. It's really amazing to see what students will create. This year there is also a rock painting competition, which will award the different faces of Butler rock in categories such as Most School Spirit and Most Artistic Design.
Great for these types of students
Anyone hailing from a small town and feels comfortable in that type of setting will most likely enjoy Blackburn. I also encourage students seeking leadership and work experience to attend here.
Clubs and Activities
Though I'm not active in many clubs, there are over 30 here at Blackburn. They have department related clubs as well as sporting and hobby clubs, and if they don't have a club you'd like to join, you can create one.
Greek Life
There are no fraternities or sororities here, for better or worse.
Campus Safety
The college is small and not that well lit, but I've never felt scared walking around campus, not even alone at night. If you ever feel threatened or uneasy, there is a security department run by students who can escort you on campus at any time.
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Debbie from Steger, IL

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
It's great place to be yourself and make friends. The work program gets you involved with more people and makes the college experience more enjoyable. Classes are small so there is more opportunity for one on one from teachers.
Tips for prospective students
Don't be scared by the work program. It's really beneficial and makes you deal with real world problems. Also, don't be afraid to make friends. Everyone is really nice.
Academic Rigor
The classes are hard but not impossible to pass. The professors are really helpful and actually care about your progress.
Dorm Life
Most dorms are quiet and everyone is respectful of privacy and keeps the noise level down when asked.
Food and Dining
The food is decent. It depends on what they make if it's good or not. Considering the fact that the students work in the cafeteria, it isn't bad.
What to do for fun
Every Friday and Saturday there is something free to do on campus or you can go get a free movie or game of bowling in. What is happening each weekend is posted on a calendar where everyone has access to it.
Bang for the buck
It's the cheapest private school in the country and good scholarships are offered. I feel as though I am getting my money's worth. They give many merit-based scholarships.
Great for these types of students
Great for Education majors.
Clubs and Activities
There is a wide variety of clubs and activities to join.
Greek Life
No fraternities or sororities.
Campus Safety
Part of the work program is campus safety. There is someone on duty all the time and so far nothing has happened on campus.
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Justina from Waukegan, IL

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Blackburn college is very adapatable. This school is very career focused, teachers as well as students. The campus is a huge part of the community.
Tips for prospective students
If you are really about your business and want a serious degree, small classes interest you. Blackburn is the right college for you. There are new classes almost every semeter and if you like you can start any organization here. It's a great place to start your own business and help get it off the ground
Academic Rigor
For my first year at a 4 year college Ive had lots of help from peer tutoring as well as teacher's holding seperate tutoring sessions for their classrooms. I took 6 classes and passed them all. balancing out my schedule with work and doing plays and having time for interesting clubs.
Dorm Life
I love my roommate. Blackburn matches it's students dormmates by work assignments, career choices and personal choices. It worked for me.
Food and Dining
There is always a variety of foods. Special meals for vegans and vegatarians. If your not interesting in dining in you can visit snack bar and where there is a variety of take out.
What to do for fun
There are always free movie night, bowling night bingo games and much more on campus. I can always hang out with friends. When I like my time alone I'm creating, I love fashion and writing. I also started and fashion club on campus were we design clothing and have fashion shows.
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Joshua from Carlinville, IL

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Blackburn offers many classes for a wide variety of people. Having just built a new $1mil+ science building in the last 5 years, Blackburn's science program is booming. The teachers have every intention of making you learn, which is wonderful.
Am enjoying being here
Living on campus is a wonderful thing. You get to socialize with many new and interesting people. The campus is small, so you'll meet quite a few people rather quickly.
Bang for the buck
Being a work/study college, Blackburn doesn't start off costing very much. The work program takes off a chunk of tuition every semester, and each student must work a minimum of 10 hours a week. Most classes are fun and entertaining, which helps in the learning process.
Tips for prospective students
Get used to a lot of people knowing your name before you know theirs.
Great for these types of students
Blackburn is great for hard working students look at either Education or Science majors.
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