University of Alabama
By: Bethany Schweitzer JD, PhD
College Consultant- College Ready, LLC
Last week I had the amazing opportunity to visit the University of Alabama as part of a counselor fly in. Prior to my trip, I didn’t know much about the University. I thought it was going to be a pretty school with great weather that offered amazing out of state scholarships. After my trip I learned that not only is it a pretty school with great weather, but it is a school that offers phenomenal academic programs and has super smart students running around all over the place.
There is a vibrancy you feel the minute you walk on campus. We arrived on a Sunday. It was fun seeing students outside studying, taking walks and hanging out–quite rare to witness this on a weekend. They are nearing graduation and the students receive their cap and gown around a month prior to graduation. It is a tradition to find a friend that takes great photos and have your picture taken all around campus in your cap and gown. It was a beautiful sunny day and at every turn there was another student posing for pictures in their cap and gown.
There were a number of things that impressed me while I was on campus. I learned about the Blount Undergraduate Initiative. It is unlike any program I have seen. If a student wants a small liberal arts college experience at a large university, the University of Alabama has made it possible through this undergraduate living learning community.
We had the opportunity to attend presentations by each of the undergraduate colleges. While I liked all of the programs, the two programs that stood out are the business school and the engineering school. Many majors in the business school have 100% job placement rates. The business school also offers many hands on programs. The engineering school has amazing brand new facilities. Their program offers students different pathways that are tailored academically to the needs of the student. If a student is undecided on the area of engineering, there is an exploratory program. They offer co-op programs, internship programs and research programs designed to fit the student’s interests.
I was impressed by the collaboration and opportunity for research on the campus. The honors college representative explained that they are looking for students who are interested in making a difference in the world. They want students excited about serving the community. They encourage students to learn from one another and help one another to do their best.
Finally I was impressed by their scholarships. The scholarships are for 8 or 10 semesters depending on the award. If you enter with a year of college you can use the remainder of the scholarship towards graduate school (including law school or an MBA!). There are many scholarships available in addition to the automatic scholarships offered when you are admitted. After learning all of these amazing things about the University of Alabama, I have just one more thing to say…. Roll Tide!