11 Colleges Where You Can Get a Fresh Start

Consider one of these colleges if you’re looking to shake things up.

School is a huge part of your life, so your choice in colleges should reflect the person you want to be this year. Attending one of these schools may actually help you fulfill your New Year’s resolution (unless you’re vowing to eat less candy at two in the morning or stop binge-watching reality television. We can’t really help you there.)

1. Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

New Year’s Resolution: Save Money and Avoid Debt

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a highly selective school in Manhattan’s funky East Village that offers programs in art, architecture and engineering. While the school has had a history of providing students with free tuition, programs may cost up to $20k so make sure to do your research!

2. Deep Springs College

New Year’s Resolution: Get in Touch With Nature

Deep Springs College, located on a cattle ranch and alfalfa farm in California, only enrolls 26 men and has a seven percent acceptance rate. Each student receives a $50,000-per-year scholarship to attend academic classes, practice self-governance, and labor on the farm. After the two-year program is over, many go on to prestigious four-year universities.

3. Cornell College

New Year’s Resolution: Focus on One Thing at a Time

At Cornell College, students spend three and a half weeks taking one course at a time, allowing them to really throw themselves into each subject they study.

4. Evergreen State College

New Year’s Resolution: Live More Freely

Evergreen State College gives their students an unprecedented amount of freedom: they offer narrative evaluations instead of letter grades, interdisciplinary programs instead of individual classes, and areas of emphasis instead of majors.

5. Goucher College

New Year’s Resolution: See the World

Every Goucher College student is required to study abroad at least once, and many do so several times. The school offers 60 programs in 32 different countries, so there’s hardly a lack of travel options.

6. Marlboro College

New Year’s Resolution: Be More Independent

Students at Marlboro College develop their own majors and participate in the school’s self-governing system modeled on the traditional New England Town Meeting. Every member in attendance at the college’s community assemblies gets a vote, meaning that student and faculty opinions count the same.

7. College of the Ozarks

New Year’s Resolution: Work Harder

College of the Ozarks proudly calls themselves Hard Work U., offering students free tuition in exchange for 15 hours of work a week. Jobs are available at the computer center, child development center, on-campus museum and many other locations around the school.

8. Grinnell College

New Year’s Resolution: Give Back

Grinnell College’s mission is very service-oriented: they offer a service learning program that allows students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to their experiences in the community, and they have the highest rate of Peace Corps volunteers of any college in the country.

9. Green Mountain College

New Year’s Resolution: Graduate in Four Years

Green Mountain College guarantees students that they will fill finish their studies in four years or less. If a student doesn’t finish in four years, the college covers tuition costs for his or her additional coursework.

10. Allegheny College

New Year’s Resolution: Be More Well-Rounded

Allegheny College requires that all students choose a major and minor that are in two entirely different fields – for example, if a student majors in a science, his or her minor has to be part of the humanities department.

11. Bard College

New Year’s Resolution: Get Ahead

Bard College offers a highly selective program for 10th and 11th grade students who want to get a head start on their higher education by taking college-level courses.

With colleges like these in the country, 2014 may be a life-changing year after all (regardless of whether or not you ever stop eating candy at two in the morning.)

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