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Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Bright College different from other colleges and universities?
Forget lectures, exams, and problem sets. Bright College uses active, innovative, high-impact activities to foster skills and habits of mind essential to career success and lifelong achievement. Students participate in interdisciplinary projects, creative problem-solving, community engagement, and real-world experience in a richly supportive, cohort-based environment.

What kind of students attend Bright College?
You’re more than the sum of your grades and test scores. We’re not asking for ACT or SAT scores, AP exam results, or class rank. Instead, we want you to tell us what sets you apart in ways your transcript can’t express. If you’re determined and willing to work hard, you belong at Bright College.

How will Bright College support student success?
You will have the support of professors who will serve not just as teachers, but as mentors, guides, and coaches. They’ll get to know you for who you are and help you to become who you want to be. In addition, dedicated staff in our tutorial centers and Career and Professional Development Services will guide you toward professional preparation and ongoing educational opportunities.

What programs does Bright College offer?
At Bright College, you can pursue one of two associates-degrees? Business, Organization, and Professional Studies or the Integrated Arts, Sciences and Humanities. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to launch a rewarding career and you’ll have the experience and the connections to make it happen. At Bright College, you’ll also build an Academic Success Portfolio that can launch you into bachelor’s degree programs at Drake or elsewhere.

Can I complete a bachelor’s degree at Drake after graduating from Bright College?
Yes! Students who successfully complete their AA at Bright College are guaranteed admission as bachelor's-degree students at Drake. In addition, thanks to the generosity of our alumni and donors, we will be able to offer robust financial aid awards that will make completing a bachelor's degree at Drake an affordable option for Bright College grads.

How much will it cost?
While the sticker price for Bright College is $18,500, for Iowa residents, the generous support of enthusiastic donors combined with state and federal grants means Bright College graduates will take on little or no tuition debt. While every family’s situation is different, our team is here to help you get the financial support you need to put attending Bright College within reach.

Are there other costs besides tuition?
You’ll pay an annual student activities fee of $178 and be responsible for providing yourself with a laptop computer that meets Drake’s minimum technology requirements. If you opt not to use Des Moines-Area Regional Transit (DART), which is free for all Drake students, the costs of transportation and parking will be yours to cover, as well.

Is there an on-campus room-and-board requirement?
Bright College students can choose room and board options, but are not required to do so. If you wish to use campus dining, you can select from one of several meal plans or simply pay as you go.

What about campus life?
At Bright College, you’ll enjoy full membership in the Drake campus community. Attend sporting events and performances; take part in intramurals; use the wellness facilities, Cowles Library, and study spaces; and join any of our hundreds of student organizations. It’s all here for you.

How do I access the application?
You can apply online for free. There are no deadlines to apply. We know numbers don't define you, so the application will ask you to share more about yourself by responding to two short-answer questions and requesting references from two teachers, coaches, or mentors. No test scores, no application fee. it's never been easier to apply.

What if I have other questions?
We would love to connect with you! Reach out to with your questions and our team will be in touch.

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