A lot goes into the decision of where to go when picking an institution for higher education. Location, program choices, faculty, campus life, and many other factors play a role in finding the perfect fit. How did Jeanne and Cooper decide on where to go after high school?

Jeanne's Story

I picked Winona State University because I knew that I wanted to go to a smaller school where I would have more time with professors and staff and also not feel like just a number.  I went to a rather large high school in a Milwaukee suburb, and the thought of going to a huge university was pretty daunting to me.

I knew that I did not want to stay in Milwaukee for school and so looked in Minnesota for ideas. The minute I saw the pamphlet for Winona State, I was hooked. Nestled in the bluffs on the Mississippi River with lakes and real small town charm, I knew this would be the place for me. Unlike many of my friends, I went to Winona State not knowing one single person. Given that it is a smaller campus, I knew I would have no trouble meeting new friends.

When my parents and I toured the campus, I was blown away. Everyone was so friendly and it was super easy to get around campus (which was a plus since I just had a 10 speed bike).  Hearing about all the school had to offer and how they really look out for the students and their well-being, I was ecstatic to go get started. I would recommend to anyone to go to WSU, you will get a fantastic education, build lasting memories along with meeting lifelong friends.

Cooper's Story

As my time in high school came to a close, the decision of where to go to college weighed heavily on my mind. The focus of my search was finding a school with my program of choice that was close enough to home so visits to see my family weren't long and expensive, yet far enough away where I could enjoy the newly-found freedom that comes with graduating from high school.

Coming out of a Central Minnesota high school with a graduating class of a little over 100, I valued legitimately getting to know all of my classmates and being deeply involved in a number of school and community activities. All factors considered, my search started gravitating toward schools like St. Cloud State University, Lake Superior College, and Bemidji State University, as well as some of the other state colleges that offer media and broadcasting programs.

With plans to tour a healthy handful of schools, I fell in love with one of the first schools I visited. Touring the campus of Bemidji State, it spoke to every part of who I am and what I wanted to do. From the campus literally being lakeside in the northwoods of Minnesota speaking to my inner outdoorsman to the faculty being incredibly approachable and knowledgeable, I was already sold on becoming a BSU Beaver. Then they showed me the on-campus media facilities. Touring the student-run TV and radio stations and hearing about all of the opportunities to get hands-on experience won me over even more.

Looking back on it all now, having seen myself rise to the ranks of student manager of the campus radio station and getting all of the television and print media experience I was able to get, I don't know if I could have gotten a better experience anywhere else. BSU is a big enough campus where they are able to provide cutting-edge learning opportunities , but small enough where I was able to enjoy hands-on time with all of the various student media platforms. This gave me and others in the media program the opportunity to truly experiment and learn beyond the lecture hall, which I consider one of the two most valuable things I took away from my time at Bemidji State.

The other thing of value that I really appreciate is the amount of quality one-on-one time with professors students get. I got the sense of approach-ability from the faculty after my first visit to campus, and that sincere availability led to great relationships being built between me and those faculty. Several years after graduating, I paid a visit to campus, and every one of my professors remembered me by name and warmly welcomed me back. It was almost like I had never left. That feeling of belonging and being valued, even years after graduating, is truly priceless.


This content was written in partnership with Minnesota State Colleges & Universities. Minnesota State operates 30 state colleges and 7 state universities around Minnesota, offering a multitude of program options around the state. If you'd like more information about Minnesota State campuses and programs, click the button below. 

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