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2011 School Guide

We profiled some of the best schools in the area to help you find the best fit.

2011 School Guide

Minnehaha Academy

2011-12 tuition: $12,000 - $15,000

Our educational philosophy: We are a college preparatory school committed to high quality education, integrating Christian faith and learning. We encourage our students to achieve the highest of academic standards, while discovering and developing their God given talents and gifts.

How does your philosophy shape the daily curriculum and activities? Faith is a vibrant and visible part of life at Minnehaha Academy throughout the curriculum, service learning, athletics, fine arts, and clubs, in addition to being the strongest component in shaping student character. We allow students to ask questions and explore ideas as they grow in their faith.

How is learning encouraged? Recognizing that there are many different ways to learn, we provide activities for auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic learners. Small-class sizes allow for students to be individually challenged and encouraged. Each classroom has multiple types of interactive technology, including iPads.

Unique programs: Classroom technology - interactive whiteboards at all age levels; award-winning AP program covering 21 subject exams—chosen as the top school in the state for our advanced placement math and science program 2007-2009; week-long cultural immersion experience program for grades 9-11, Senior Capstone—senior level course examining important matters that integrate academics and faith; elementary school specialists teach Spanish, computer, music, art and physical education; advisory program to support middle school students academically, socially and emotionally; extended day and summer programs.

How does a parent best prepare his/her child for your school? Parents should promote reading and writing activities as much as possible, as they are major focuses throughout all of the grades at Minnehaha Academy.  Parents should also encourage students to seek opportunities that emphasize group collaboration and develop independent thinking skills.

Minneapolis • 612-728-7756

Kinderberry Hill

Ages of Kinderberry Hill children: 6 weeks to 5 years

2011-12 tuition: Varies by location and age group

Application deadline: Rolling

Locations: Six locations (Eden Prairie, Woodbury, Roseville, Edina, Plymouth, and downtown Minneapolis).

Unique programs: The SEEDS of School Readiness emergent literacy program is incorporated into the Kinderberry Hill curriculum for infants through pre-kindergarteners.

We encourage our students to... learn through participation in a wide variety of carefully planned activities, customized to meet the unique needs of each child enrolled in the Kinderberry Hill program. 

Our school is unique because... we are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAYEC), the “gold standard” for the assessment of quality in an early childhood learning program.


The College of Visual Arts

Total full-time enrollment: 215

2011-12 tuition: $24,310

How does a student best prepare for your school? We encourage prospective students to try a community education class (drawing, painting, children’s book illustration, photography, etc.) to develop a portfolio. We also encourage students to look into  Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), a Minnesota Department of Education program that offers qualified high school seniors a challenging and rewarding introduction to art and design school.

Five most popular majors: Illustration, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Fashion, Photography.

Unique program: Fashion design with junior year studying at Parsons Paris.

You might not realize: Students sell their artwork — most priced under $100 — during the annual Holiday Art Sale the first weekend in December. Funds raised help support the CVA Scholarship Fund.

www.cva.edu • St. Paul • 651-757-4000/1-800-224-1536

Northland College

Total full-time enrollment: Approximately 600

2011-12 tuition: $25,725

Our educational philosophy: We are a very high quality, integrated liberal arts and sciences college with a unique environmental mission. Graduates receive practical, career-oriented skills that prepare them well for graduate study and the world of work.

We are distinctive because ... we adopted our environmental mission in 1971, making us one of the first colleges or universities in the country to do so.  Over the past 40 years, we have remained in the forefront of innovation in the integration of environmental concerns in its academic and co-curricular programs as well as energy efficiency, sustainability and reuse standards in our facilities and operations.

Most popular majors: Biology, teacher and outdoor education, natural resources, sociology/social justice, and business.

You might not realize: We were named the fourth most bike-friendly campus of 2011 by onlineuniversities.com; Sierra magazine named us the seventh “coolest” school for our efforts to stop global warming and operate sustainably; and FORBES magazine listed us as one of America’s greenest colleges and universities.

www.northland.edu • Ashland, Wis. • 1-800-753-1840

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Total full-time enrollment: 1,350

2011-12 full-time tuition: $26,750

How does a student best prepare for your school? Take college prep courses, develop strong study skills, and be involved.

How is your school distinctive? Our school is distinctive because of our beautiful location and the high level of individualized attention the students receive from the professors.

Most popular majors: Business, education, sciences, music, and psychology (we now offer 56 undergraduate degrees).

Little-known facts: 86% of all students live on campus. We are only two hours from the Twin Cities, an hour from Rochester, and four hours from Chicago.

Would you like to add anything else? Fall visit Days: October 20-21; overnight visits on October 9-10 and Nov. 4-5.  Our Theatre Focus days are October 7-8.

www.smumn.edu • Winona • 507-452-4430

Stand Out in the Admissions Process

To help get through to the college admissions boards at your “dream” school, here’s some advice:

•  Don’t even think about coasting during your senior year. When deciding whether or not to accept an applicant, grades count. Good grades in challenging classes look even better.
•  Study up for the ACT or SAT. It’s not “just a test.” If you don’t get the score you want the first time, hire a tutor.
•  Stand out from the crowd by addressing each school directly. Personalize your admissions letter and resumé by finding your “selling point.” Take the time to craft a well-written, insightful, personal essay. Elaborate with specific examples.
•  Do your research by looking at the school’s admissions website. Does it seem to emphasize extracurricular activities? Let the admissions people know if you’d like to participate in sports or clubs.
•  Make sure your letters of recommendation introduce new information about you while reinforcing your personality and character.
•  Leave a lasting impression in your college admissions essay by concluding with a strong personal statement about why you’d be a good fit. Reveal something about yourself.
•  Don’t over-inflate your accomplishments. Be genuine and modest while promoting yourself. Your integrity will come across loud and clear. 
•  If you don’t get accepted, don’t consider it a personal rejection. Each application is one of thousands. Where one door closes; another one opens.

Good luck!


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