Quest University is set in glacier carved mountains and fjords on the sacred ancestral lands of the Squamish Nation. Located about 1 hour north of Vancouver, Canada, the campus sits in a truly stunning location.
Quest University was founded in 2007 with an inaugural class of only 73, but now Quest houses & educates over 700 students.
The Quest name revolves around the idea of asking “questions.” Students study on the “block plan” with deep immersion into every subject they study. Professors on campus are known as “tutors” and their courses focus on much roundtable discussion and academic interaction. In one literature class I observed, the students read a murder mystery and then did CSI-style breakouts—I saw very creative work at Quest and a lot of collaboration which is highly encouraged.
Freshmen begin in the Foundations Program and for two years, spend all their hours researching and learning so they may come up with their own “question” to be pondered and deeply researched during the second two years of study. Examples of questions that past Quest students have delved into include “What makes societies happy?” or “How does media influence culture?” For answers to that question, the student looked at countries around the world to determine if governments in different places are brainwashing their people, and if so, how media is involved in that endeavor. Students spend two years studying and learning answers to their “question,” and are able to pick their own academic mentor to guide them along on their quest. All students graduate with both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree.
The academics are RIGOROUS on this campus and the students spend all day on homework in groups, but that teamwork allows them to take very difficult classes and still survive the academic demands that Quest insists on.
There are many clubs and organizations to join, and most seem pretty cerebral and hands-on in nature—examples include volunteering, Eco groups, bee hiving, gardening clubs. The café on campus mostly features organic, raw & gluten free options.
The tuition is reasonable for a private school and Quest offers 6 full-tuition scholarships per year, in addition to other scholarships. Even though they are located in Canada, FAFSA is required to determine financial need at Quest.
This school is clearly not for everyone — but for the right students, it’s a magical dream and a true paradise!