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In the 25 years I have been a college counselor, I have had the opportunity to visit hundreds of colleges and universities. With the vast majority of colleges I find positive attributes that allow me to recommend the college to my students. Rarely though, when I am visiting a college am I be absolutely blown away. This was my experience when visiting High Point University.

High Point University (HPU) is a liberal arts college located in High Point, North Carolina (the furniture capitol of the world). Its student population is 5,700 students, with 4,300 undergrads. The school motto (which is present throughout the school so there is no missing it!) is “Choose to Be Extraordinary”. This is not simply a statement but a principle that guides every aspect of the college from the facilities, academics, student life and even the food service.

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When first entering the campus, you will be awestruck; the campus is extremely beautiful. The buildings are magnificent, both inside and out with state-of-the-art technology available. The philosophy behind this is that the physical beauty of the campus impacts the demeanor and behavior of the student body. Also, the mission of the school is to educate and train future leaders who need to be comfortable in formal settings and the campus facilitates this. Throughout the campus are original works of art and bronze statues of notable people who have changed the world, again to serve as an inspiration to the students.

HPU believes in 4 strong tenants: generosity and gratitude,1. God, 2. family and country, 3. mentorship, and 4. civility and respect. These are evident in the vast number of hours given in community service and dollars raised by students to support charitable organizations. Also, a very strong component of the campus life is a very intentional mentorship program where students not only participate in internships but have opportunity to shadow professionals. HPU hosts world leaders in politics, government and industry so students can be inspired and learn from their experiences. Students sign an honor code as freshman which is strongly enforced by the students themselves.

The Princeton Review has rated HPU as #5 in the nation for best dorms. Students have the option to choose from 5 different levels of dormitories as well as the type of dorm they wish to live in (traditional hall style, suite or apartment). One of the most extraordinary benefits to students is the opportunity to take advantage of meals at 1924 Prime, a five-star restaurant on campus as a part of their meal plan.  The philosophy behind this is a great deal of business and interviews take place in restaurants and HPU wants to make sure its students are comfortable in upscale establishments. 1924 Prime is also used as a learning lab in some of the academic classes.

97% of HPU students are either employed in their field or in graduate school within 6 months of graduation. 79% of the students are from out of state and HPU has a student/faculty ration of 15:1. High Point athletics are NCAA Division 1 and they compete in the Big South League.

A final characteristic that resonated with me while visiting High Point University was the support and encouragement for the students to pursue their faith.  Though not a Christian college in the traditional sense, the school’s philosophy and values support Christian values.  At a time when students of faith often feel intimidated in the college classrooms, it is refreshing to find a university that supports and encourages students to be their best in every aspect of their lives.  High Point University is a college I highly recommend!