5 Colleges You Should Consider Despite Their Confusing Names

Poring over college lists, it may strike you that most college and university names can be boringly straightforward: New York University, for example, is a university located in New York. But you're bound to come across a few school names that aren't as easy to understand. The five institutions listed in this article are unique for their unusual or slightly misleading names.

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1. Wesleyan University

Not to be confused with: Illinois Wesleyan University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Texas Wesleyan University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Ohio Wesleyan University, etc.

There are a lot of colleges and universities with 'Wesleyan' in their name, but there's only one Wesleyan University. This private, non-sectarian university hosts about 2,900 undergraduate and 200 graduate students on its scenic 316-acre Connecticut campus. The other Wesleyan colleges and universities typically have a state or other geographic identifier in their names, like Southern Wesleyan University, which is located in South Carolina. Many of these other colleges and universities with 'Wesleyan' in their names have religious affiliations.

2. Marlboro College

Not to be confused with: Marlborough College, UK

This tiny Vermont college has an average enrollment of 300 students, and most classes have less than 20 students. Marlboro is an apt choice for anyone who's looking for a personalized education in an intimate setting. Though the two are spelled differently, it might be a little confusing to note that there's a Marlborough College in England. For those who want to stay stateside, Marlboro is worth considering, particularly if you're interested in designing your own major.

3. Miami University

Not to be confused with: University of Miami

Far from being a beach-side paradise, Miami University is located in Ohio and has an enrollment of about 15,000 undergraduates. Sure, there's bound to be a certain beauty to life on this Midwestern campus (particularly if you like snow), but it's a far cry from the sunny home of the University of Miami, which is located in its more famous Floridian namesake city. In a perhaps confusing twist, Miami University is actually located in Oxford, OH, though the school has no affiliation with the UK's famous Oxford University. There are two additional campuses in this university system, one located in Hamilton, OH, and one in Middleton, OH. Rather than being named for its location, Miami University is named for a Native American tribe that once inhabited the area in which it's located.

4. St. John's College

Not to be confused with: St. John's University, St. John's College (Cambridge, UK)

St. John's is an intellectual's dream - the school's curriculum requires all students to follow the same course of study based around great books in the Western canon. If this unique educational structure appeals to you, make sure you're sending your application to the right school! To further the possibility for confusion, St. John's College has two campuses: one in Annapolis, MD, and one in Santa Fe, NM. Both campuses are considered part of the same institution, and both operate under the same guiding principles, so your choice of which campus to attend may depend on your preference for the scenic beauty of New Mexico or the idyllic setting of the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis.

5. Washington University

Not to be confused with: The University of Washington, Washington State University

Washington University is quite a ways away from both Washington the state and Washington the District of Columbia. Located in St. Louis, MO, Washington University has campuses on both the west and east sides of St. Louis' Forest Park, and the 169-acre main campus hosts about 12,000 full-time undergraduate students. In addition to colleges of arts and sciences, social work, engineering, visual arts and business, Washington University has both medical and law schools.

These schools might make a good alternative to better-known and overrated colleges and universities.

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