By Luis A. Guaillas, 11th grader at Brien McMahon
I have the distinct pleasure of sharing my experience of touring Miles College located in Fairfield, Alabama. This was the last college we visited on the Carver Spring Tour.
As we neared the school our bus driver Fermin needed help from a passerby to show us the best route to the entrance of the school for our coach bus. We arrived on time despite the rain on this Good Friday and we were enthusiastically greet by our tour guide.
There was no mistaking the colors representing Miles College – purple and gold were prominently displayed everywhere. From our formal presentation we learned that the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church founded Miles College in 1898. It’s well known as a historically black liberal arts college and a Christian school. There are approximately 1,500 students enrolled.
Touring Miles College was a unique experience filled with pride and rich history. The school offers different majors in humanities, natural science, business, social sciences and more. The usual GPA, SAT and ACT scores are not required for general acceptance, but these are requirements if you apply for scholarships.
Miles is a Division 2 school for all sports, and their mascot is a Golden bear. Students have the opportunity to play basketball, football, baseball, golf, softball, cross country track, track and field and volleyball. We are told that getting involved in college activities is good for your resume. The school operates a radio station WMWI-FM 88.7. The Miles College band is known as the Purple Marching Machine
The 2019 undergraduate tuition and fees of Miles College are $12,132 for their students. The graduation rate at Miles College is a dismal 20%. I am assuming this is because of the less stringent admission criteria.
What I like about this college? No application fee, co-ed visitation, and they have security 24 hours each day and a zero tolerance policy with purple emergency poles available for students to signal for help. School amenities include a barbershop and a beauty salon, game room, a library, an African American museum, research labs, and restaurants. Curfew for students Monday - Friday is midnight and until 2 a.m. on weekends.
The Greek life, also known as the Divine 9, is alive on the Miles College campus. Freshman students can have a car and everyone pays a $50 fee for parking. The college offers flexible class schedules. Students can share the bathroom with another room or have a private bathroom for an additional cost.
The historical buildings throughout the campus especially intrigued me. Williams Hall was the first building built on the campus and is considered by many as a sacred place, even though it was once struck by lightning and burned down. Brown Hall has a chapel inside and Martin Luther King Jr. once stood on the steps of Brown Hall and delivered a speech. Brown Hall is also where the annual ritual ceremony of crowning the King and Queen of Miles College takes place. There is a torch with an eternal flame on the campus, surrounded by stones with the names of individuals who contributed to Miles.
I encourage students who are looking for a small school that promotes Christian values, high history, and supportive faculty and staff to apply. It was an awesome and humbling experience that I will never forget.