The country’s craziest colleges

October 3, 2016

Hundreds of colleges exists that high school students must choose from when they decide which to attend. To make matters worse, some schools have quirky education systems, like having only one available major or not giving letter grades.  Here are some colleges with strange, unique approaches to education.


Deep Springs College

With a student body of  24-30 students, this college with an acceptance rate of 10 percent could certainly be considered strange. Located on a cattle ranch and alfalfa farm in Dyer, Calif., students are required to participate in manual labor, including ranch work, in addition to being taught in small, seminar-style classes. The only available degree is an associate’s degree in liberal arts.


College of the Ozarks

Known as “Hard Work U,” this small Christian liberal arts college in Branson, Mo. puts hard work first. Instead of requiring its 1,442 students to pay to attend the college, students work 15 hours a week in the campus work program in order to gain a higher level education without the steep admission fee, along with taking their regular classes. The most popular majors are business and general education. College of the Ozarks is selective, with a 12 percent acceptance rate.


Hamburger University

Hamburger University provides training for McDonald’s managers. Founded in 1961, there are now seven Hamburger University campuses which are located in Oak Brook, Ill., Sydney, Munich, London, Tokyo, São Paulo and Shanghai. The company’s training facility emphasizes “consistent restaurant operations, procedures, service, quality and cleanliness,” according to the McDonald’s website.


Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Mass. is not set apart by its academics but by the age of the 329 students enrolled. Since the average age of students accepted is only 16, Simon’s Rock provide students who have not completed high school with a college experience. Most students attend Simon’s Rock after completing 10th or 11th grade, and the school has an acceptance rate of 89 percent. The most popular majors are visual and performing arts and interdisciplinary studies.


Alverno College

This all-women’s college in Milwaukee with 2,209 students and an acceptance rate of 77 percent believes in treating students the way they will be treated after graduating. Therefore, the college gives narrative feedback instead of letter grades, and students learn by completing tasks instead of reading. The curriculum is based around eight values: communication, analysis, problem solving, valuing, social interaction, developing a global perspective, effective citizenship and aesthetic engagement. The most popular majors are in Health Professions and Liberal Arts and Sciences.


College of the Atlantic

This college in Bar Harbor, Maine with a 76 percent acceptance rate offers only one major for its 350 students: human ecology, the study of how humans interact with their environment. Despite only offering one course, College of the Atlantic believes that no two people learn human ecology the same way, so students create their own curriculums.


Maharishi University of Management

Located in Fairfield, Iowa, Maharishi University of Management, which has an acceptance rate of 41 percent, takes a non-traditional approach to education called Consciousness-Based Education, which focuses on development of each student’s consciousness.  The 353 students at the university are required to participate in Transcendental Meditation, a process that is shown to reduce stress and increase brain-functioning, well-being and academic performance. Students also only take one course per month, so they can better focus on it. The most popular major is business and marketing.


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