Champlain College

Burlington, VT: Choosing a college is the most challenging, stressful, and complex decision seniors make. It will define where they are, what they study, and who they may become.

The list of things to consider when picking a college seems endless. First, students have to look at the majors and programs offered. This can be a daunting task since there are countless colleges and universities, and even more majors. Second, the price to attend these colleges varies greatly. Then there are factors of location, sports, activities, housing, and overall appearance.

Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, offers a wide range of majors – from accounting to psychology, education to criminal justice, professional writing to event management, and everything in between. The school is home to approximately 2,000 students, which is about the same size as my high school. The average class size is 22, and students come from 32 states and 17 countries.

Champlain lists basketball, hockey, soccer, golf, volleyball, dodgeball, lacrosse, table tennis, and Ultimate Frisbee among its sports offerings. Since the school is in Vermont, it also hosts outings – such as camping, skiing, mountain climbing, snowboarding, and kayaking – that allow students to take advantage of the beautiful environment.

Not into team sports? Champlain has an on-campus fitness center equipped with treadmills, stationary bikes, weights, and other gym equipment. They ­also offer classes in yoga, dance, aerobics, and self-defense.

After narrowing the list of colleges by majors or sports, students tend to look at the campus and, more specifically, the dorms.

At Champlain, on-campus housing is guaranteed to first-year students. According to the school’s website, students live in “Victorian-era mansions, with curved staircases, carefully restored woodwork, and expansive windows looking out over Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains.” The website is not lying – the buildings are beautiful.

The rooms themselves are average; they all have a bed, dresser, desk, and closet. Each house is also equipped with wireless Internet, private phone lines, cable television, microwaves, and laundry. Students can choose to live in a single, double, triple, or quad.

Champlain College accepts about 20 percent of those who apply. When deciding whom to accept, the school depends on the essay and SAT scores. How­ever, like most colleges, Champlain also considers the student’s high school record, class rank, and ­recommendations. Although interviews are not mandatory, they are valued.

The four eateries located on campus are the general dining hall, G2G (Got 2 Go), Jazzman’s Cafe, and Boardroom Cafe. There are also several meal plans available.

As a private college, the school charges $24,355 for both in-state and out-of-state tuition plus another $11,000 for room and board. However, financial aid is available for those who meet the requirements, and students can apply for scholarships as well. For an extensive ­explanation of the loans and scholarships and how to apply, see

Location is important when considering which ­college to attend, since this is where students will be spending the majority of their time. Therefore, the setting needs to fit them. Champlain is located just minutes from the Church Street Marketplace, a gorgeous shopping area containing stores like ­Banana Republic, Borders, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Old Navy, Sox Market (no, not the Red Sox), and Urban Outfitters.

Burlington has many places to eat and various events like dance, drum festivals, and parades. This artistic, modern town is the perfect place for creative and open-minded college students.

The weather in Vermont is much colder than in my home state of Massachusetts. The average temperature during the winter is 22 degrees, while the average for summer is only 68.

For more information about Champlain College, see the school’s website at