Concordia University

Chicago, IL: Right on the edge of Chicago, in the town of River Forest, is a private Lutheran college with a wonderful history. It is located in a beautiful, quiet neighborhood close enough to the city for anyone to walk there, but far enough that the traffic jams and noise never reach the proud pillars for which the college is known. Founded in 1864 with the original building in Addison, Concordia University has moved once and changed its name four times, as well as once unofficially. It is now known by the nickname CUC.

Requirements for applicants include a grade point average of at least 2.0, four English units, three math units (with one algebra and one geometry), and two each of science and social studies. ACT composite score should be 20 or higher, while an SAT I combined score should be at least 930.

Since this is a private university, the cost is not low – about $33,800 per year – but there are many financial aid opportunities, with scholarships for music, GPA, and even an alumni scholarship.

CUC, like its nine sister colleges across the country, offers an education based around the liberal arts, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as its core. It was named among U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges, the only university in its system to do so.

With more than 5,000 students, CUC is one of the largest colleges in the Concordia network. The athletic teams, known as the Cougars, compete in Division III, and wear the school colors of maroon and gold.

The music program is renowned. There are instrumental and vocal ensembles, including the chamber choir and chamber orchestra, the jazz band, the top-level wind symphony band, and the Kapelle choir. The wind symphony has released 12 performance CDs, and is under the direction of Dr. Richard Fischer, while Professor Charles Brown directs Kapelle, which has four recordings of its own.

The college was founded as a teacher’s college, hence its original name of Concordia Teacher’s Seminary, and as such, education remains the largest academic program. Programs in music, theology, business, and more are also offered.

For more information, visit their website: