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College Rankings

Reader's Choice: Truman State University

A periodic report in which we showcase our readers’ top choices among Kiplinger’s 100 best values in public colleges and universities.

We use hard statistics to produce Kiplinger’s annual rankings for best values in public colleges and universities, and we’re proud of the results. Now, we’re giving our readers’ favorites a chance to brag a little, by letting a student fill us in on what’s fun, cool, quirky and just plain great on campus and nearby.

This week we feature Truman State University. Anthony Speno, a 2009grad with a double-major in business administration and accounting major (pictured left), gives us 12 insider tips. Stay tuned in the weeks ahead for more student-written profiles of the favorites in our reader survey.

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AT A GLANCE: Best Values in Public Colleges

VIDEO: Walking Tours of Our Top Schools

LOCATION: Kirksville, Mo

UNDERGRADUTE ENROLLMENT: 5,453

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BEST ON-CAMPUS FEATURE:

The lively student body. You would be hard pressed to find a student that is not involved in at least one of the more than 200 on-campus organizations. Truman’s vibrant community is filled with individuals of diverse interests, creating an environment in which everyone can find his or her place.

BEST OFF-CAMPUS FEATURE:

My favorite part about living in Kirksville is that I can walk from my apartment to virtually anywhere in town or on campus within ten minutes. The parking nightmares and shuttle services that many of my friends complain about at larger schools have never been a concern at Truman.

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WHERE SENIORS WANT TO LIVE:

The residence halls are great, but everyone starts to want a little more space during those later years of college. There are tons of great options for off-campus housing close to campus, and you will not find cheaper rent anywhere!

MOST UNUSUAL CAMPUS TRADITION:

Taking one of the pennies stored in the hat of the Harry S. Truman statue in the library before a test is supposed to bring you good luck during the exam… provided that you return it after you are finished. I am not sure how effective it is, but I know a lot of students who will not take a test without a Truman penny in his or her pocket!

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BEST PLACE TO STUDY DURING FINALS WEEK:

Hands down, the library. There is something about the feeling of hundreds of other people studying in the same spot that makes the experience more tolerable.

MOST CROWDED SPOT ON THE FIRST NICE DAY:

The campus quad and Thousand Hills State Park tie for the most crowded spot. As soon as the thermometer reads 60 degrees or higher, you will find students playing Frisbee and football on the quad or maybe renting a pontoon boat for the lake at Thousand Hills State Park.

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BEST PLACE TO EAT WHEN THE DINING HALL WON'T DO:

La Pachanga, a local Mexican restaurant, is my personal favorite place to eat off-campus. The chimichangas and queso dip there are to die for… not to mention the $1 margaritas on Tuesdays!

WHERE YOU WANT TO BE ON A SATURDAY NIGHT:

During my younger years, my weekends were always occupied by the myriad leisure events sponsored on campus. The student activities board does a fantastic job of bringing big-name music groups and comedians to town to entertain the students. In addition to campus entertainment, I discovered the lively night life of the downtown scene after my 21st birthday. I am certainly going to miss it after graduation!

WHAT WE WON'T LEARN ON THE CAMPUS TOUR:

It seems as if every campus tour leaves out just how much work and effort it takes to be successful at Truman. It all pays off in the end, though.

CLASS THAT GETS STUDENTS TALKING:

There is no class that is talked about more around the School of Business than Corporation Finance. It has the reputation of being the most difficult class offered on campus, but I learned more in that course than I thought was possible in a classroom.

BEST WEEKEND FOR FRIENDS TO VISIT:

The weekend before fall classes. That weekend concludes Truman Week, which includes a bunch of entertainment activities to help freshman students adjust to college life. All upperclassmen are also back in town at the same time, and it is the only point in the semester where everyone is free from the stress of school work.

SIX WORDS ABOUT YOUR COLLEGE THAT SAY IT ALL:

Personal, Affordable, Challenging, Vibrant, Open, Distinguished.

Truman State University