Questions and Answers: My Visit to College of the Ozarks
By Coach Kristine
How do you feel the college best follows their mission? College of the Ozarks is known for educating students who have financial need. They have provided debt-free education for 110 years. The college was dubbed “Hard Work U” by the Wall Street Journal in 1973. They have very strong values which they encourage by promoting their academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. What is the vocational goal? There are 80 work stations on campus. Students must work 15 hours a week while school is in session and must work two 40-hour weeks per year during their breaks. They can also work during the summer to pay for room and board. Some examples of work stations include the Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen, Edwards Mill, the College Dairy, and the Keeter Center. Can you explain more about the Christian goal? Students must attend 5 interdenominational chapel services, 5 convocations, and 5 services of their choice each semester. Famous leaders are brought to campus to speak during convocations, which are focused on the school’s 5 core goals. Students must also sign an honor code. What is the patriotic goal? College of the Ozarks fulfills their patriotic goal through memorials on campus, patriotic ceremonies, ROTC, the Nurse Cadet Program, and citizenship classes. They also have a Patriotic Education Travel Program, in which students pair up with veterans and travel back to battlefields where the veterans fought. What is the cultural goal? The school has a cultural mission they incorporate through musical and theater performances, travel experiences, poverty summit, character education, and First PLACE, which is a character education initiative for the public schools and communities in the nearby counties. What was your favorite feature of the campus? I loved the beautiful, peaceful setting. Lake Honor is in the middle of the campus, and the campus overlooks Lake Taneycomo. The fact that the campus runs like a small town was fascinating. I was also impressed with the Keeter Center, the hotel located on campus. I had lunch in the dining room, and it was delicious! The Williams Memorial Chapel, built in 1956, is a beautiful example of Neo-Gothic architecture. On your visit, what was the most surprising thing you learned about the school? A lot of the students have another job off campus in addition to their on-campus job. Some students graduate debt free with money in the bank. What type of student is the college looking for? College of the Ozarks is looking for patriotic, hard-working students with financial need from the Ozarks region. Do you believe the campus visit is important for this college? Why? Yes, visiting this campus is very important because it is so unusual. They should be comfortable with the Christian focus of the school and be comfortable with the work environments. And although they are only 8 minutes from Branson, Mo., they should be okay with living out in the country without much big city life nearby. What notable majors does the college offer? They offer Military Science, which fits well with their patriotic goal. Agriculture is the largest major. Fire Science is a new program. Students can work at the fire station on campus. Hotel & Restaurant Management and Culinary Science are two large programs that the college offers. Students in these programs can gain practical experience at the Keeter Center, which is a 4-star lodge with hotel, dining room, creamery, bakery, gift shop, and conference center. It was recently awarded #1 Small Hotel in the U.S. by Trip Advisor. Is there a housing requirement for freshmen? Is there anything unique about the college’s housing experience? All full-time students are required to live on campus unless they are married or living with a parent or guardian. What athletics are big at the college? They have teams for basketball, volleyball, baseball, track, golf, and cross country. In 2006, the men’s basketball team won the championship for their division. What else about your visit would you want our students to know? This college is highly selective (8% acceptance rate) based on financial need, and students from the Ozarks region are given priority. Their reason for waitlisting students is usually a lack of financial need. Debt is openly discouraged, and the college does not participate in any loan programs. Also, the college requires an interview. If you live more than 4-5 hours away, a phone interview is allowed. Otherwise, an in-person interview is required.