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Hey everyone, I am currently attending Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, and it is the best decision I have ever made in my life. Seriously, I couldn't imagine going to college anywhere else in the world. The people here are friendly, and what stood out to me the most when I was a prospective student visiting was the atmosphere which seemed basically like one big family. After you apply, they invite you to a scholarship weekend in the winter, and it is a huge, campus-wide event. I think in the February scholarship weekend (which I attended) had over 150 prospective students all visiting and staying the night with host students. Sometime during the weekend I had an interview with a four person panel, which was an excellent opportunity for me to express myself and show the college who I was as an ambitious, successful, and outstanding citizen (of course that's how virtually everyone attempts to portray themselves, so I introduced them to my own unique character as well). The presidential scholarship you receive (either $13,000, $15,000 or $17,000 per year) is based entirely off of your interview and how you conduct yourself throughout the weekend. The people here are amazingly unique, and even though there are different social groups (or "cliques" as some would say) they all fit together really well, everyone accepts everyone else. No high school immaturity here, at least in that regard.
Also, for you prospective science majors out there, we have a brand new, platinum certified energy efficient, state-of-the-art science building which was just erected in 2008. Four stories tall, and two walls are entirely glass, so it doesn't seem dark and dismal all the time. I think it also won an architecture award from the state of Wisconsin or something. The academics are outstanding, as Beloit is a private college, and we have a very good anthropology department and museum. A famous figure from Beloit's past involved with anthropology, Roy Chapman Andrews, was actually the original inspiration for the Indiana Jones character as he was a fossil collector and discovered many previously unknown information pertaining to dinosaurs, etc.
I will admit, the sports are less than impressive, although we do have the occasional talent in various sports. If you were an athlete in high school and don't think you are good enough to pursue sports in college, you may want to reconsider because there are many opportunities on the sports teams here. I am on the cross country team and the tennis team. I might have been good enough to make a division two tennis team, but I am among the slowest on Beloit's division three cross country team. However, I am thankful because it allows me to stay in shape. It feels good to run.
Beliot costs somewhere in the ballpark of $44,000 dollars, and the average scholarship package is over half of that. Because we are a small, private, liberal arts college of approximately 1,250 students we don't have the big bucks, but we do have heart, a nice campus, and a decent budget. The science building is a prime example of that. AS for our "liberal" connection, I don't know of any college that encourages thinking outside the box as much as Beloit. The curriculum here is designed to help students learn how to use their mind in the most effective, creative, and innovative ways possible. While visiting for the scholarship weekend, I sat in on a class in which the students were presenting on the topic "Should there be a daily value for breathing". It was very interesting, and as they argues for or against establishing a daily value, the students probed all sorts of angles including differences in metabolism, lung capacity, quality of air, etc. Afterwards I talked with the professor and during our conversation, I mentioned other colleges I had applied to, among them Princeton University. He then exclaimed "Ah, my brother went there!" and told me some wonderful things about Princeton. One phrase he said stands out in my mind, even now, and is probably one of the defining moments in my decision to attend Beloit. He said, "In Princeton, they go in geniuses, they come out geniuses. Here at Beloit, they come in from all different backgrounds, and they come out geniuses."
Now, obviously the college can't add IQ points to each person's register, but what he meant by that was that the ability to think critically and innovatively is one of the most central themes in a Beloit College education. And that, my friends, is why I chose Beloit College. I had much better scholarships to other schools, and I had been accepted to more prestigious schools, but Beloit College made the difference by simply being different, in the best way possible.