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Articles / Preparing for College / College Newspapers: Your Research Resource
Dave Berry
Written by Dave Berry | Feb. 6, 2014

College Newspapers: Your Research Resource

Question: If you’re in the hunt for colleges to consider applying to, what might be the next best thing to visiting those colleges and talking to their students?

Answer: Reading college newspapers.

Many times, the pulse and “tone” of a college can be discerned from seeing what its students are writing about in their college newspapers. Where can you find these publications? Well, there are a number of Web sites that list them. Here are a few:

– “University and College Newspapers” at http://www.world-newspapers.com/college.html

– “U.S. College and University Newspapers” at http://dir.yahoo.com/news_and_media/college_and_university/newspapers/by_region/u_s__states/

– More “College and University Newspapers” at http://dir.yahoo.com/news_and_media/college_and_university/newspapers/

– “Best College Newspapers” at http://www.collegemediamatters.com/2013/08/06/best-college-newspapers-2013-ranking-released-by-princeton-review/

– “College Newspapers Online” at https://www.journalismjobs.com/collegepapers.cfm

– “Campus Newspapers by State” at http://newslink.org/statcamp.html

– “100 Exemplary College Newspapers” at http://journalismdegree.org/exemplary-college-newspapers/

And so on. Of course you can continue to build your list of college newspapers by using your favorite search engine to find “college newspapers.” Obviously.


Once you have located the college newspapers from those schools that have piqued your interest, what kinds of information and insights can you expect to find within their pages (Web pages, that is)? Lets take a look at some typically insightful articles.

– Ohio State University: The Lantern has a circulation of over 15,000 and is printed daily. At the height of print, The Lantern had circulation of 28,000 with readership pushing 75,000 people. Here’s a current article of interest:

Some students miffed classes at Ohio State Columbus campus went on despite snow Looks like the thought of trudging through the blowing snow wasn’t that appealing to some Buckeyes.

– Rhode Island College: The Anchor has a circulation of about 3,000 readers and was founded in 1928. The newspaper’s content includes an interesting category on lifestyles, as well as more commonly found ones such as news, sports, and arts and entertainment. Example:

You know who needs to go to jail, People who force you into conversation “To all of you people out there who are against technology, like to talk, or have to be the center of attention: no offense. But I don’t even want you to imagine all of your extrapolations about the effect of technology on younger generations, and other detrimental, socio-psychological, blah, blah” … Nothing like a good opinion.

– University of Minnesota: The Minnesota Daily is the paper serving the University of Minnesota campus, along with the surrounding area. It is completely student-run and has been active since 1877, being renamed to its current moniker in 1900.

U buys hotel, restaurant’s lease “The University bought the land near campus with a local developer … The lot that Tea House and the Days Inn Hotel occupy at the corner of University Avenue and 25th was recently purchased by the University” More places to stay and eat.

– Johns Hopkins University: The Johns Hopkins News-Letter is an in-depth publication serving the John Hopkins University student body since 1896. Circulation is estimated around 5,200 and it is released weekly. It is one of the oldest student-run newspapers in the country.

Sophomore President steps down from post “Former Sophomore Class President Alex Koren resigned from his post Monday night due in part to increased time commitments with Hyv, a data analysis system he cofounded. Acting in accord with the SGA’s Constitution, the remaining six class senators voted in former Senator Jahan Mirchandani as Koren’s successor.” Happenings within student government.

– Virginia Commonwealth University: Virginia Commonwealth University’s The Commonwealth Times received the Society of Professional Journalists award for Breaking News photography and editorial cartooning. Print issues are distributed on campus, as well as at local businesses and restaurants.

Theatre VCU to present ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ “The production with VCU Theatre is the first time Herendeen has directed ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’ Herendeen saw the film adaptation starring Jack Nicholson when he was younger, but he decided to try and push the film out of his head and reread the novel. As a director, Herendeen said his role was putting the story first.” Thespians at work.

– Elon University: The Pendulum is an award winning student newspaper at Elon University created in 1974. Their small staff of only 45 students produce all content including writing, photography, and design.

Students show off rhythm and noise at Tapped Out! “‘Tap is really entertaining and invites an audience that might not otherwise be drawn to attending a dance concert,’ Crothers said. ‘Many dance concerts you attend just to watch, but tap dance stimulates your sense of hearing, too. Audiences get to view the dance as well as hear the intricate rhythms we create.'” Campus arts at work.


I’ve hardly scratched the surface of the galaxy of college information available through student newspapers. Many times, you’ll be able to get a clear (if opinionated) view of what’s happening on a college campus, one that differs from the PR-filtered propaganda that flows forth from the administration. These kinds of insights can be crucial in forming preliminary opinions about whether or not a particular school will remain on your “must visit” list.

You may recall that I’m always touting that you must “trod the sod” (actually walk around campus) before deciding about a college. Think of college newspapers as a way to step onto the virtual campus before you invest all that time, money, and gasoline to actually feel the grass beneath your Birkenstocks.


Don’t forget to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.


Written by

Dave Berry

Dave Berry

Dave is co-founder of College Confidential and College Karma Consulting, co-author of America's Elite Colleges: The Smart Buyer's Guide to the Ivy League and Other Top Schools, and has over 30 years of experience helping high schoolers gain admission to Ivy League and other ultra-selective schools. He is an expert in the areas application strategies, stats evaluation, college matching, student profile marketing, essays, personality and temperament assessments and web-based admissions counseling. Dave is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and has won national awards for his writing on higher education issues, marketing campaigns and communications programs. He brings this expertise to the discipline of college admissions and his role as a student advocate. His College Quest newspaper page won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publisher's Association Newspapers in Education Award, the Thomson Newspapers President's Award for Marketing Excellence and the Inland Press Association-University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Mass Communications Inland Innovation Award for the Best New Page. His pioneering journalism program for teenagers, PRO-TEENS, also received national media attention. In addition, Dave won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award for Celebrate Diversity!, a program teaching junior high school students about issues of tolerance. His College Knowledge question-and-answer columns have been published in newspapers throughout the United States. Dave loves Corvettes, classical music, computers, and miniature dachshunds. He and his wife Sharon have a daughter, son and four grandchildren.

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