Spotlight College Review Series: Lesser-Known Colleges

Jenna Helfant

Staff Writer

For most students at Milken Community High School, college is an ever-present cause for anxiety and stress. With so many prominent schools out there, it becomes hard to sift through the schools of our peers and the schools that are suitable for our own personal needs.

Like many of my friends, I come from an environment where the desirable schools are USC and UCLA, close to home and overpopulated by former Milken students. Because of this parochial mindset, I was until recently unaware of the unbelievable schools out there.

One school that particularly caught my attention was Union College ( Located in Schenectady, New York, Union is just a short train ride away from the intensely energetic and appealing New York City. Originating as far back as 1779, Union College continues to be a highly renowned Liberal Arts Academy best known for it’s almost one thousand courses in engineering, sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

Union College
Union College.

Additionally, Union offers a unique option for upper classmen called Theme Houses, where students can choose to live in a house with other students who share a particular interest. Currently, there are thirteen different Theme Houses. And finally, if you’re wondering what the likelihood is of your parents kvelling if you brought home the hot student sitting next to you, you’re in luck: there’s a solid 16 percent chance they’re Jewish.

For anyone following College Football, you know that the University of Hawaii at Manoa ( was ranked in division one in the NCAA. What I’m sure many of you aren’t aware of is that UH Manoa is one of the best Marine Science schools in the country, undeniably contributed to by its beachside campus. It definitely doesn’t hurt the schools success that UH Manoa has an impressively talented football team with an incredibly large fan base.

Located in the beautifully exotic city of Manoa, UH Manoa is only a few miles away from the state capitol of Honolulu. Also, for those of you seeking a college with a little more than Milken’s 576 students, UH Manoa is the place to be. With nearly 15,000 undergraduate students, it is no surprise that this university is comprised of 19 distinct schools. Unfortunately, with such a large school, only about 35 of the undergraduate students are Jewish. Now’s your chance to be the 36th!

The football field of the University of Hawaii's Warriors.

If you happen to be a Milken student dedicated to saving lives, University of Washington in Seattle ( could be your new school. U-Dub is debatably one of the top ten pre-med schools in the country. Additionally, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the University of Washington was ranked 16th. With the largest university in the Northwestern United States, U-Dub has approximately thirty thousand students, two thousand of which are Jewish.

Located in the dreary city of Seattle, U-Dub is ideal for students sick of the 113 degree weather in Los Angeles. With rain falling on almost half the year, and clouds veiling the rest of it, U-Dub is not for the habitually cold. And finally, if you are a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, just think of it as your very own Seattle Grace.

The University of Washington.

Ultimately, there is a right school for everyone. I just hope I’ve enlightened you about some great schools you may not have otherwise considered.

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