California - 15 (Stanford University (below), Caltech, UCB, UCLA, UCSD, University of California Davis, University of Southern California, UCSB, University of California Irvine, University of California Santa Cruz, University of California Riverside, San Diego State University, University of San Diego, University of San Francisco, University of the Pacific)
Please Note: Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. You also should consult a financial, tax, or other advisor to learn more about how state-based benefits (or any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You also may wish to contact directly your home state’s 529 plan(s), or any other 529 plan, to learn more about those plan’s features, benefits and limitations. Keep in mind that state-based benefits should be one of many appropriately weighted factors to be considered when making an investment decision.
For more information about the CollegeChoice Advisor 529 Savings Plan ("CollegeChoice Advisor"), contact your financial advisor, call 1.866.485.9413, click here to obtain a Disclosure Statement, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information; read and consider it carefully before investing. Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC ("ABD") is Distributor of CollegeChoice Advisor.

Freshman: USC is an amazing school in terms of academics. There's definitely a higher standard and you have to work for your grades but you come out having learned a lot. Because it is a private school with lots of appeal in the heart of Los Angeles, it does attract a fair share of ignorant, privileged people. However, you can definitely find genuine people, just keep looking and being you! USC has so many perks and resources and I highly recommend getting involved whether it be sports or clubs! The professors are very experienced and amazing.
Freshman: Prepare to work hard - especially if you're in STEM. As an engineering major my life here is a never ending cycle of attending classes, working in lab, engineering project team related work, doing homework and crashing/going to bed at 1-2AM. It may seem rough to the outsider but if you're coming from a challenging high school (as I did) its a relatively seamless transition and I am infinitely happier here at Cornell! There is constantly something new happening from the range of amazing speakers visiting, cool things your classmates are creating/doing, Ithaca's quirky charm, your eccentric professors , etc... I came here expecting the competition to be intense and thank goodness its not ; there's a sense of general comradery amongst engineers. The motto 'any person, any study' is really true. They have just about every major allowing allotting the opportunity to study a great variety of fields. Fair warning about Ithaca; it gets REALLY cold! Invest in a warm coat!
Sophomore: The culture at Rice is amazing! We are a diverse community of scholars who value collaboration, not cut-throat competition. We value what known as a "culture of care," and I believe this makes us unique from all other elite schools. The professors are amazing, classes push you and challenge former beliefs, and the community becomes family. Rice University is an amazing place, even with intense academics.
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Harvard University consistently tops the rankings of national universities, and its endowment is by far the largest of any educational institution in the world. All of those resources bring some perks: students from families with modest incomes can attend for free, loan debt is rare, facilities are state of the art, and faculty members are often world-renowned scholars and scientists. The university's location in Cambridge, Massachusetts, places it within an easy walk to other excellent schools such as MIT and Boston University.
These comprehensive universities offer graduate degrees in fields such as liberal arts, engineering, medicine, business, and law. For smaller colleges with more of an undergraduate focus, check out the list of top liberal arts colleges. Listed alphabetically, these ten universities have the reputations and resources to rank them among the best in the country and are often some of the hardest colleges to get into.
Sophomore: The University of Chicago has an incredibly welcoming and yet challenging atmosphere that is unlike any other. The Core Curriculum introduces truly applicable frameworks for critical thinking that can the applied in a diverse curriculum. At UChicago you can attend your Physics lecture in the morning, work on your film project until you participate in a religious discussion in the afternoon and rehearse with your traditional African music group in the evening. In spite of the lack of affordability, UChicago does offer various ways of financing, including generous financial aid and merit-based scholarships. However, Uchicago is not need bling to international applicants, which is likely to discourage low-income international students to apply.
For more information about the CollegeChoice Advisor 529 Savings Plan ("CollegeChoice Advisor"), contact your financial advisor, call 1.866.485.9413, click here to obtain a Disclosure Statement, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information; read and consider it carefully before investing. Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC ("ABD") is Distributor of CollegeChoice Advisor.
Benjamin Franklin's university, Penn, is frequently confused with Penn State, but the similarities are few. The campus sits along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, and Center City is just a short walk away. The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School is arguably the strongest school of business in the country, and numerous other undergraduate and graduate programs place high in national rankings. With close to 12,000 undergraduates and graduate students, Penn is one of the larger Ivy League schools.
According to Glassdoor Economic Research, America’s labor market is the healthiest it’s been in a generation, with rising pay, record numbers of unfilled jobs and historically low unemployment. In the 5 Jobs Trends to Watch Report for 2017, Glassdoor researchers report that increasingly, tech graduates (such as data scientists, mobile developers and database engineers) are in high demand for every industry from health care to finance and retail. Fast Company reports that technology and the related software development and computer system careers are areas that will continue to grow, along with artificial intelligence, healthcare and engineering.
Sophomore: I'm only a sophomore, but I've gotten involved with research for all four semesters, received internship funding, had expenses for two conferences paid for, was actively involved in an award winning Mock Trial without any experience, and learned how to play the violin through free private music lessons. I've also been able to go to Los Angeles often for endless entertainment, natural beauty, and incredible eats. This place may be tiny, but it is bustling with opportunity. The academic experience is robust, with professors who love to teach and peers who love to learn. The Claremont Colleges add so much depth, and each is distinctive enough to venture out to and seek out new perspective. I had my choice of attending a world-renowned university over here, but I could see the difference in how the undergraduates were valued. The only thing I wish were different was the lack of name brand- Pomona is so unknown by most! Still, if you are willing to work hard, you can go anywhere from here.

Jennifer McCarthy combines business acumen and emotional intelligence to make sure the healthcare operations she oversees never lose sight of patient needs and satisfaction. As a healthcare executive with a passion for business and healthcare delivery, Jennifer has served in various c-suite positions within large health systems including, most recently, hospital CEO. Her time with Health First, Orlando Health, and Inova, Inc., has allowed her the opportunity to serve others, make sustainable, significant operational impacts to billion-dollar organizations, and improve the lives and health of the community in which she works.
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