Think you know every college out there? Think again. Here are some diamonds in the rough from The Tar Heel State.
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Guilford College (Greensboro, NC): National notice in the last several years has made Guilford appeal to a larger audience, leading to increased numbers of applications. Still, the college remains a great option for students looking for the contemplative Quaker atmosphere of Haverford without the selectivity. The sleepy campus belies the college community's academic, ethical, and problem-solving engagement with local and world events. With Guilford's emphasis on mutual learning and student-centered instruction, it is impossible to hide, so students should expect to be on a first-name basis with faculty and administrators. This is a place of late-night philosophical discussions, diverse viewpoints, and political debates, so those not willing to have their opinions challenged should not apply. Greensboro is by no means a college town, but offers the quintessential slow pace and friendliness of the South.
University of North Carolina at Asheville (Asheville, NC): Consistently classified as a "Best Buy," UNC-Asheville offers a liberal arts curriculum in one of the most liberal and offbeat college towns in the country. A dedicated and accessible faculty, surprisingly intense academics, and Outside magazine's selection of Asheville as "Best Southern City" combine to draw students who are open-minded and enjoy the outdoor possibilities right around the corner in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not for the uptight or politically conservative student, UNC-Asheville appeals to both outdoor enthusiasts and those with dreadlocks, as well a large number of contented students just looking for a great school at a great price.
Warren Wilson College (Asheville, NC): This school offers a unique and intense education based on the triad of academics, work, and service. Warren Wilson demands that students engage with their campus, community, and environment to the extent that the college ranks among the top campuses for service learning, environmental sustainability, and academics. The college tagline--"We're not for everyone...but then, maybe you're not everyone"--sums up the emphasis that Warren Wilson places on acting with maturity, taking responsibility for one's world, and demonstrating respect for one's self and others. A "green" home for idealists, in the quintessential hippie college town of Asheville, the college is probably not a good fit for Republicans or those who would rather play video games than muck out a stall.
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