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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 04/ 6/2010

Everything you ever wanted to know about Butler

By Valerie Strauss

Go ahead, admit it: You hadn’t really heard about Butler University until it became a contender to win the NCCA 2010 basketball title and came heart-breakingly close to besting Duke to become national champions.

Suddenly, everybody knows the name, but still doesn’t know the face. Well, this is as good a place to start as anywhere:

Last night’s national basketball championship was played in Indianapolis, just six miles away from Butler’s campus. So what did the Bulldogs do during the day? They went to class.

Yes, eight Butler players went to class in the morning knowing they were going to play their biggest game ever that night. Two players were asked at a news conference how they felt about having to go to class, the head coach injected: "They don't have a choice how they feel about it."

That should tell you something about priorities at Butler, one of those fine schools that many people outside the Midwest haven’t heard of, or, hadn’t, at least, until now.

Blending liberal arts with pre-professional programs, the university has 3,897 full-time undergraduates and about 600 graduate students. The cost for undergraduates: $38,000 for tuition and housing, but most students get some kind of financial aid.

If college rankings mean anything to you , U.S. News & World Report places it as the second best university in the master’s Midwest category, and Princeton Review named it a “best in the Midwest.”

Located five miles from downtown Indianapolis, with a 290-acre campus that looks like a park, with a historic canal, a nature preserve and a botanical garden.

It has top pharmacy and dance programs, and offers some 55 undergraduate, and 17 master’s degrees.

The 2009 freshmen class profile:

3.74 GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
8 National Merit Scholars
1 National Achievement Scholar
56 Valedictorians
19 Salutatorians
29 Lilly Scholars

The Bulldogs may not have won the game last night, but they had one bit of good news: Classes were cancelled today!

And the national exposure is sure to bring in more applications. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Butler's admissions office started getting many more inquiries during the tournament.

Tom Weede, the university's vice-president for enrollment, was quoted in the story as saying that in a typical year, the university receives around 15 inquiries each day on its admissions Web site.

But it got 300 the day after the Bulldogs beat Kansas State to get into the Final Four of the NCAA tournament, and in the week following that, the admissions site crashed twice because of too much traffic.

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By Valerie Strauss  | April 6, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Higher Education  | Tags:  Bulldogs and class, Butler Bulldogs, Butler University, NCAA basketball, classes cancelled at Butler  
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