Top 10 Colleges for Communications Majors

Top 10 Colleges for Communications Majors

A Communication major is broad enough for you to have countless options after graduation. Courses in journalism, mass communication, public relations, and advertising will guide you to success within the government, healthcare, Internet Marketing, mediation, nonprofits, business administration, and more. Here is a list of the current top ten universities in America for a Communication Major, along with their course requirements.

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Tips for Picking High School Electives


It's that time of year again. Just as high school students have become completely settled into the new school year, the time comes to choose their electives for the next school year. While picking electives in itself isn't exactly the hardest thing in the world, it's picking the right ones that requires a bit of forethought. Here are some tips to help you make these choices.

Know Your Requirements

Before you decide on any electives, make sure you have all your required classes accounted for. If you failed a course in the past, plan to graduate early, or just live in a school district that requires a semester of art you have yet to take, brushing up on your school's requirements could save you from some serious stress senior year. Whether you want to turn up the heat a little or just relax for your last year of high school, it's better not to have an unfulfilled requirement hanging over your head before you head off to college. In addition, think about what classes you may want to take in the future as well; if your school offers an interesting class that you have to be a junior or senior to take, check if you need to take a prerequisite course first.

Identify Your Likes...and Dislikes

If you already know what school you want to go to and what you want to study there that's great; you can pick electives related to that field. If you're like me, however, and are a bit more indecisive, it might help to simply know what you like--and what you don't. It's often easier to identify ourselves by what we like than what we are, and knowing what you dislike is just as important as what you like. Your school may have dozens of options for electives, but many can easily be weeded about by saying "I hate math" or "I really don't like history." Now, obviously you are not going to choose an elective in a subject you hate; if you are unsure of your feelings, however, selecting a certain elective can feel like a leap of faith, which is where an outside opinion can become essential.


Talk to Upperclassmen

High schoolers love to complain about school. You can deny it all you want, but there's always one class that gives too much homework or is taught by a teacher that could put coffee drinking six-year-olds to sleep, and for every one of those classes, there are a plethora of students willing and eager to talk about it. If you're on the fence about taking a class, ask around for kids who have taken it or have had another class with the teacher. At the least, you'll probably get an "I heard they give a lot of group projects," or "the tests are really easy," and if you're lucky, you may get a five minute rant with the input of three passing strangers (yes, I speak from experience).

Know Your Limits

If you're taking four AP classes, on the swim team, belong to the drama club, and have a part time job, taking a study hall might beneficial to your mental health. Before choosing any electives, consider the other courses you're taking and whether you'll be able to handle another class. Staying sharp in your classes is just as important as choosing them, and as invincible as you think you are at times, we all have limitations. I have friends taking the same classes as me but without a study hall they often stay up until 2am to finish all their homework because they also have jobs and extra-curricular activities until late at night. On the other hand, there are some people I know with even heavier class loads than I without a study hall that are doing just fine, it all depends on the person. Take some time to self reflect and figure out what's best for you.


Utilize Your Guidance Counselors

More often than not, the most helpful resource for choosing electives is the one your school provides you. Guidance counselors are your best friends when it comes to the subject; they already know what courses your school requires and often can give great advice about a plan not only for the next school year but for the rest of high school and beyond. While seeking out your counselor may seem annoying or intimidating at first, they're usually your best bet when it comes anything regarding you and high school; it's kind of their job.



The Differences Between US and UK Institutions


As a prospective international student, before starting the applications journey, the prospect of attending a school in the States always felt inaccessible. Coming from the UK, it is fairly standard to attend a university quite close to home; studying abroad for all four years of your higher education is unusual and somewhat unique. Yet over the past few months as I enter my final year of high school, this dream of attending a US institution has become ever more real and very much possible. I always knew the difficulties involved when applying to universities in two separate countries however, the depth needed for American applications in comparison to that of the UK’s is astonishing. As an aid to all those international students dreaming of studying in the States, I have collated a list of the biggest differences between the two to assist you in your college decisions.


1.The emphasis on YOU!

Every college in America wants to get to know you as a person. This is something that really struck me when first researching into the admissions process, everything seemed so personal, each institution wants to know how you will fit as an individual onto their campus.

2.  The focus on extracurriculars 

When applying to an institution in the UK, the applications process will consist of your school grades, one Personal Statement and one school reference; these two components are sent to each University you apply to and that’s it! Of course they care about what you are doing outside of the classroom however be prepared to tell American institutions in full everything you decide to do with your spare time, it is a big focus in the States and very ordinary for your American counterparts.


3.  You are applying to the WHOLE school 

When applying to a US University, if admitted, you are admitted to the whole school. There is no need to apply to a specific course or major; you can decide once you’re in or when applying if you know for certain. For me, this was one of the strangest elements, as UK institutions require an application to one specific course for four years. Personally, I think the US system is much more freeing and if you do decide you have changed your mind on what you want to study, it’s no big deal.

Applying to university can be a scary time for anyone but with the prospect of moving thousands of miles away from home, it is important to know your stuff and do your research before committing to studying abroad. I hope this article has cleared up any confusions prospective international students have on US institutions. With admissions tests, references, school grades and extracurriculars it can be daunting, but with your organisation and dedication who knows where it could take you.



The New SAT V.S. The New ACT: A Closer Look


change.jpg Why the Changes?

According to David Coleman, the CEO and Board President for College Board, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is making changes so that students won’t have to spend as much money on testing preparation; also, “these exams have become disconnected from the work of high school classrooms...” (CNN)  All in all, the College Board wants to keep their tests up-to-date for college readiness.

The makers and researchers of the American College Testing (ACT) are constantly looking for ways to make sure that the ACT is a reflection of what is taught and learned in school; in addition, just like the SAT, the ACT is targeted to be a an accurate guide for your college and career.


Overall, the content you will be tested on has changed. The math section emphasizes graph and data interpretation; the reading section focuses on data reasoning and evidence support; the writing section is now a passage-based section; lastly, instead of 25 minutes, you now have 50 minutes for your essay and you will be analyzing other writings as well.  Don’t these changes kind of sound like the ACT test? Well, that is what most people are claiming! To cheer up those who are dreading these changes, there will be no penalty for guessing on questions; before, you’d get a ¼ point deduction for every wrong question.  Are you wondering how the scoring changed? The SAT is going back to the 1600-point scale, but the essay will be graded separately from your section scores.

Fortunately, the new SAT might be a little easier for some because of the no-guessing penalty and somewhat simpler questions; also, the old SAT has been administered for a long time so there are plenty of study materials to help you out.

Also, the essay is now optional; however, double check with your potential colleges because they may or may not require an essay.


The main changes that educators and students are looking at when it comes to the ACT are the new sub-scores.  These include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and ELA (English Language) sub-scores.  Both the STEM and ELA sub-scores will allow students to know what their weak and strong points are on certain subjects.

Another major change that you should pay attention to is the Writing section.  Don’t worry! It’s still an optional section, but now you’ll have one prompt, one issue, and three total perspectives.  Instead of just defending your side of an argument, you now have to “explain the relationship your perspective has with the three that are given.”  (Petersons)  In addition, the Writing Section time has extended to a total of 40 minutes.


Overall, with the new changes to both tests, the SAT and ACT, are becoming more similar; however, the SAT is more so designed to test your critical thinking and reasoning skills while the ACT is designed to test you on content you should have learned in school.  I can’t tell you which test you should take but with these changes and all of these different types of resources available, you’ll make the right choice for you and your future.





College Apps: Meet Naviance, the Life-Saver


There’s no doubt that the whole process of college applications is difficult – whether it’s figuring out where you’re applying, staying on top of due dates, or making sure you’re really taking care of everything you need to be doing. As a typical life-saving website, Naviance can help to ease the stress of it all. stop-searching-for-the-next-big-thing-tips-for-building-the-best-business-for-you.jpg

Finding Colleges

If you already have an idea of at least a school or two you want to apply to, the website can take those colleges and tell you ones like it based on other students and trends in applications. So, for example, if you were looking into UC Berkeley, it might show you some other UC schools or California universities because that follows the trend of what you’d been looking at.

Also, under the “college match” section, you can find a compiled list of colleges that have strong acceptance histories with students who match your profile – meaning your chances are pretty good based upon your GPA and the information you have inputted into the system.

Finding Your Chances

If you want to sort out which of your schools are safeties vs. targets vs. reaches, a cool way to do this is by clicking on a school and finding the scatter plot graph with data from students specifically at your school. This is incredibly helpful when trying to figure out where might be a good fit for you, even though the college admissions strategy may not be the same from year to year at different schools.

Along with that, if you go under the ‘school stats’ section, you can see acceptance data for regular decision, early decision or early action, which surely can’t hurt when deciding which applications you’re wanting to prioritize to help you most when trying to get into your dream schools.


Keeping You on Track

Since Naviance can connect straight to your Common Application account, it’s easy to keep track of progress you’ve made and requests you’ve sent in to your school (for transcripts, etc.) just by logging onto a computer.

Along with that, it has what seems like an endless source of information when it comes to colleges, acceptance statistics, and scholarships, so covers all of the bases just in one small toolbar on the screen.

With so much data consolidated in one website, it's sure to help you out - whether you know nothing about applying to college or have been preparing for it forever.




Consider the Options: Exploring the Different Types of Colleges


With thousands of colleges and universities in the United States alone, it’s no surprise that there are various kinds of schools that you can attend to get your higher education. It may seem overwhelming, but once you decide what type of atmosphere you’d like to be a part of you’ll find that it will be easier for you to narrow down your college list. Here is a comprehensive list of colleges, in which each type will be explained and weighed for pros and cons, to help you in your search.


In-State vs. Out-of-State Colleges

The first dilemma that most students come across when starting their college search is whether they would feel happier staying in their home state or not. This varies from person to person, for some people have strong connections to their state and would rather not leave it, but others may yearn to go to college in another state for new experiences and opportunities. Personal preferences aside, though, a big factor in choosing whether to go in-state or out-of-state is how tuition rates line up with your current financial situation.

By now, you probably know that going out-of-state for your higher education can be a lot more expensive than staying in state. In fact, on average, it costs $8,990 more for students to attend a college or university in a state where they are not a resident. This should not deter you from applying to the colleges of your choice, though, for you still have the chance to get scholarships and be a part of tuition exchange programs for aid.

If you want to be a more independent student, you should definitely look into applying to out-of-state universities, even if you are not necessarily keen on leaving your home state. Limiting your search to your state is not beneficial to you, and you should instead look broadly for you college choices. You’ll never know what you’ll find if you never try!


Private vs. Public Colleges

Once you have figured out whether you want to stay in your home state or not, you now have to figure out whether you want to attend a public or private university.

Private colleges tend to be a lot smaller than public colleges, with undergraduate usually staying in the mere thousands. This can be beneficial because you can have easier access to professors with smaller class sizes. At public schools, you may get lost in the crowd in class and it may not feel as personal as you feel your educational experience should be. If you love being in a busy atmosphere with a lot of people together, however, going to a public college may sound appealing to you.

Another difference between these schools is that at public schools, you will usually find a larger range of majors that you will at private schools. This is because a lot of private schools have certain academic focuses, like engineering or medicine with better resources and greater opportunities for research, while public colleges don’t necessarily have focuses. If you want to go to a college that is somewhat oriented to your field of study, looking into private schools is a good idea.

Of course, we cannot discuss public and private schools without talking about the cost. As public schools are funded by state governments and citizens’ taxes, it is significantly cheaper for you to go to one of them rather than private schools. Private colleges rely on fees, tuition, and rare donations in order to keep running, and that drives the price of tuition way up; in fact, tuition doesn’t change for people in that state or out-of-state. This is beneficial in a way, for private schools can be region-blind when it comes to accepting students because all who enroll will pay the same amount of tuition, unlike in public schools that accept students that are mostly from the state that they are in.


Historically Black Colleges and Universities

An HCBU, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, is “any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.” Even though these colleges are historically black, however, they offer all students, regardless of race, chances to further their talents in their higher education.

At these schools, opportunities may be specifically tailored to African-American history and experiences, which adds to the close-knit community that already exists. This atmosphere is said to be safe and nurturing by graduates, and if you are looking for somewhat familial ties in your college experience, an HCBU may be right for you.


Religiously Affiliated Colleges

People may shy away from colleges that coincide with a religion, especially if they don’t practice  the same religion or any religion at all. You don’t necessarily have to be of the same religion to attend one of these schools and definitely should not let that stop you if you really like an academic program in a school, but you should be wary of what kind of community the school has. For example, religion may intersect with student life when it comes to dress code, curfew, single-sex dorms, and more. Make sure to do your research on a specific school if you are interested, and get a tour if possible. This will allow you to make sure that the atmosphere is right for you.

If you do practice the same religion as a school you are interested in, though, this can be extremely beneficial to you. You can get involved in clubs to further your spiritual growth and attend your specific church with fellow students. This allows you to be in an accepting and familiar community of people who understand you and already have a deep connection with you through religion.

Hopefully, through this article you have gained valuable insight into what type of college you’d like to attend after you finish high school. Now that you have this knowledge, go and research these schools and narrow down your list of possibilities!