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Programs You Should Know About

If you are an athlete, artist or performer, you have additional requirements necessary in the application process. Additionally, there are colleges with special programs and special scholarships and you need to familiarize yourself with what is available! Here are a few special things families should know:

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) -

   Run by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), WUE is basically a scholarship program. The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is an agreement among WICHE’s 16 member states and territories, through which 160+ participating public colleges and universities provide steep nonresident tuition savings for Western students.

   Through WUE, eligible students can choose from hundreds of undergraduate programs outside their home state, and pay no more than 150 percent of that institution’s resident tuition rate. 

Since full nonresident college-tuition rates may exceed 300 percent of resident rates, WUE increases affordable higher-education choices for students, and minimizes the adverse impacts of student loan debt. Learn more about the great opportunities available:


Colleges That Change Lives - CTCL

   In 1996, the book, Colleges That Change Lives was written by NY Times education editor and journalist Loren Pope.  In the book, Mr. Pope highlighted colleges that he saw doing an excellent job of creating a student-centered college search rather than the competitive, rankings-based, often cutthroat process which was present elsewhere at colleges throughout the country. The colleges featured in the book began working together to promote the philosophy of a student-centered college search and in 1998 the CTCL organization was formally organized. Their mission (and that of their 44 member liberal arts colleges) is outlined as follows: "Our Mission: Colleges That Change Lives, Inc. (CTCL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process. We support the goal of every student finding a college that develops a lifelong love of learning and provides the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life beyond college."

   CTCL was founded on a philosophy of building the knowledge, character and values of young people by introducing them to a personalized and transformative collegiate experience. Although the member colleges approach this challenge with varying perspectives, institutional missions, and pedagogical strategies, a student-centered mission is common to all campuses.

   To learn more about the organization and the 44 colleges which make up their membership, please check out


SERVICE ACADEMIES - Applying to a service academy is involved and students must start the process early. If you are interested in attending a Service Academy check out the details and requirements on the individual school's websites. Application process begins in junior year, so as a sophomore, you need to begin your research and possibly apply to attend special programs during the summer between sophomore and junior year. For more information:

US Military Academy (Army) -

US Naval Academy (Navy and Marines) - 

US Air Force Academy -

US Coast Guard Academy

US Merchant Marine Academy -


   The college search and application process has additional layers for artists. Once a student has identified a college or conservatory where they would like to apply, they need to be aware that for visual artists wishing to major in art, a portfolio of their work might be required. Similarly, for performing artists (actors, musicians, dancers) an audition might be required. Please be sure to look closely at the deadlines and requirements of your schools of interest.


   The National Collegiate Athletic Association regulates college-level athletes in three different divisions. Colleges can participate in NCAA sports as Division I, Division II, or Division III schools. Larger colleges typically participate as Division I schools, and smaller colleges fall into the Division II or III categories. Division I and II colleges can offer students athletic scholarships, but Division III colleges cannot offer athletic scholarships to students. The NCAA has specific eligibility requirements for student athletes: Students must have graduated from high school, they must complete a minimum number of academic courses, they must maintain a minimum grade-point average. Student athletes participating in NCAA sports can expect to spend a significant amount of time practicing. The time can vary depending on the division and the type of sport, but athletes can spend up to 20 hours per week practicing during the in-season.

   Students who want to play their sport in college have a lot of options, but a lot of work to do. College-bound student-athletes preparing to enroll in a Division I or Division II school need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to ensure they have met amateurism standards and are academically prepared for college coursework. Talk to your current coach for assistance and learn more:

Please review the presentation from October, 2022 given at LJHS by Trinity University Assistant Director and Coordinator of Athletic Recruiting, Elena Wilson: Click here to review the slides, or watch the recording here . 

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