There are thousands of colleges in the United States. Each one has something different to offer prospective students, and each has successful graduates who speak with pride about their alma mater. However, there are a few schools that stand out because they provide an educational experience that is tailored to the needs of students who are seeking more than just a standard 4-year degree. Each college in this list stands out because it has something unique and original to offer.

Webster University: to Earn Your Degree While Studying Abroad

Webster Sign 1915

The flagship campus of Webster University is located just outside of St. Louis, but the college has campuses on four continents. This makes it an ideal choice for students who want the experience of studying abroad while maintaining a continuity in their education. The Global Citizenship Program prepares undergraduates to work, compete, and contribute on the global stage.

Bard College at Simons Rock: To Get a Jump Start on Your Dreams

Bard College

Every year, there are so many bright students who either drop out of high school, or who simply coast until graduation. Bard College at Simons Rock gives these students an alternative. The average incoming freshman is a young 16.5 years of age. Keep in mind though, that not every high school student can bypass their last two years of high school and head into this school. The students (also known as rockers) at Bard College must demonstrate a track record of being curious learners with serious academic goals. Once they do make the cut, there is no babying involved. Students are treated as capable adults who have something valuable to contribute.

Reed College: to Join an Alumni Class of Excellence

Reed College

Reed college is one of the most intellectually rigorous liberal arts colleges in America. Reed was the first college in the United States to add fine arts requirements to its liberal arts programs. Reed college alumni have gone on to win major international awards. It also has an impressive list of other accomplished graduates including:

  • Pulitzer Prize Winner Gary Snyder
  • Author Janet Fitch
  • Wikipedia Co-founder – Larry Sanger
  • Television Chef – Steven Raichlen
  • Apple Co-founder – Steve Jobs

Bennington College: To Design Your Own Future

Bennington College

The founders of Bennington College believe that students are responsible for their own education. Because of this, the curriculum at Bennington is self directed. Each student works with an adviser to plan their education, and then evaluates their own progress and receives feedback from instructors on their achievements as well.

Blackburn College: To Learn and be Debt Free


Every student at Blackburn College participates in a work program that allows them to gain work experience, and help offset the cost of their education. Not only is this work program nationally recognized, it is entirely run and staffed by Blackburn students. This is a great school for anybody who wants to reduce or limit their student debt. Students hold jobs on campus, at local businesses, with local law enforcement, and at nearby schools.

Cornell College: To Tackle Higher Education One Class at a Time

Cornell College

Imagine attending college and being able to focus on one course at a time. Students who attend Cornell college are able to do just that. Because they are able to focus on one discipline at a time, students gain a much deeper understanding of the subject matter. Just 18 days after a student starts a class, they are finished and have earned their credits. In addition to this, all students adhere to the same time schedule. This gives each student plenty of time to spend with their peers and to participate in on and off campus activities.

Earlham College: To Learn and Become a Better Person Through Quaker Values

Earlham College

Quakers believe in pacifism, activism, service, and that the pursuit of truth is a virtue. One of their mottos is that all truth is God’s truth. If you are interested in a global education that focuses on strong personal morality, peace, and equality, Earlham University might be the perfect choice. Students who graduate from Earlham are very active in the social justice movement, politics, and charitable works.

Green Mountain College: To Earn a Degree and Save the Planet

Green Mountain College

Most colleges and universities have begun incorporating an earth friendly philosophy in their policies and classes over the last few years. Green Mountain College has been doing this for decades. In fact, the Princeton Review has voted this college the greenest in the nation. Students who attend this college, located in beautiful rural Vermont, can choose from a variety of majors. However, they will also be required to complete 37 hours of Environmental Liberal Arts coursework.

American University: To Become a Great Modern Day Journalist

American University

American University has become the school of choice for students who are interested in modern journalism. Students who attend the school of communication who wish to become journalists will learn about interactive journalism, take classes in social media, and attend workshops in investigative reporting. This excellent school combines the longstanding rules of ethical journalism while also embracing new technology and new communication media.

University of Washington: To Become a Great Healer

University of Washington

Students who make the grade for admission into medical school have accomplished something that most of us never dream of. Students who get into the University of Washington’s School of Medicine have accomplished something even more amazing. They have been accepted into the nation’s top medical school program, and will have the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the brightest minds in the medical field.

Vanderbilt University: To Learn to Teach

Vanderbilt University

Students who long to teach future generations should take a look at this prestigious school in Nashville, TN. It is nationally recognized as one of the top schools for teachers. Students attending Vanderbilt to become teachers, school counselors, school administrators or educational policy makers attend the school’s Peabody college where they will work hand in hand with nationally renowned instructors.

Of course, you can skip going to college, but only if you are talented enough to master the skill of self-learning and can succeed in life without any assistance.

Featured photo credit: Dave Meier via

Read full content