If your kid is a math, science, or engineering type, you need to know about Worcester Polytechnic Institute, located about 40 miles west of Boston. Their practical approach to education, which they intriguingly call The Plan, is a dream come true for students who want to learn by getting their hands dirty.
Some things you should know about WPI:
Terms are Short
Their terms are 7 weeks long, with 4 during the academic year and 2 offered during the summer. Because students take only 3 courses at a time, they still have plenty of time to work on projects, which are an integral part of The Plan.
Choices are Long
Students, with guidance from their advisors, choose courses based on their personal interests and goals.
Failure is Not an Option
In order to decrease worry about grades, WPI has changed their grading model to A, B, C, NR (No Record) options only.
Teamwork is Everyday Work
Because WPI aims to provide its students with theory and practice at the same time, students and faculty work on team projects on a daily basis.
Solve Big Problems
WPI offers a first-year class called the Great Problems Seminar. Taught by two professors from different disciplines, students have the chance to work as part of a team to find solutions to the world’s biggest problems.
A Well-Rounded Education
There’s an arts and humanities requirement because WPI believes that good scientists and engineers need exposure to history, philosophy, language, and music.
A Life-Changing Project
Students work in interdisciplinary teams to tackle an important real world problem on a topic involving science, technology, and society.
Admitted students average a 3.86 GPA, with the middle 50% scoring 29-33 on the ACT and 1260-1430 on the SAT. If this sounds like a good fit for your student, you can find more info here.