Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about college?

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December 20, 2019
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Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy!' clues about college?

You can admit it: you've dreamt about appearing on "Jeopardy!," chumming it up with Alex Trebek in between commercial breaks or joining Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer on historic win streaks, racking up millions of dollars along the way.

What would you do, though, if a category about college came up during your "Jeopardy!" appearance? Would you wilt under the spotlight and become frozen with your hand unable to press the buzzer? Or would you shoot to the top of the class, nailing a clean sweep of a category and leaving your competitors in your dust?

Using 2019 data from J! Archive, a fan-compiled database, Stacker compiled 50 clues about college from recent "Jeopardy!" shows. Each clue includes actual phrasing used from a recent "Jeopardy!" episode, with the category, value, and date the episode aired. Clues are a mix of college traditions, sports, subjects, and locations of varying difficulty. (Sorry folks, but no real money will be awarded for right answers, but feel free to tabulate at home).

Are you an ace at naming the Ivy League schools? How about the characters from "Animal House?" How much do you know about pre-law students, the ACT, or what a bursar's office actually does? Questions involving those characteristics and much more can be found in the ensuing slide show, as we're quite sure the following quiz has enough of a grab bag to confuse the proudest of Ph.D. students.

The fall semester may be over, but don't put the pencils away permanently. Click through to see if you can solve these real "Jeopardy!" clues about college, although we're sad to report no credits can be earned for acing this test. And just like your final exams, no cheating!

Clue #1

- Clue: This eight-team college football league has Lions & Tigers & Bears, oh my! (& Quakers, too).
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: May 2, 2018

Answer #1

What is the Ivy League?

Bulldogs, Crimson, Big Green, and Big Red are the other four Ivy League school nicknames, representing Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Cornell, respectively. The Ivy League began conference play in 1956. Harvard-Yale is one of the league's most intense rivalries, but during the 2019 game, play was delayed when student protesters stormed onto the field to voice opinions on climate change.

Clue #2

- Clue: It may be Greek to you, but this type of organization for female college students gets is name from the Latin for "sister."
- Category: WORD ORIGINS
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Nov. 9, 2018

Answer #2

What is a sorority?

Several sororities claim to be the first in the U.S., but according to "Town & Country," Gamma Phi Beta was the first to call itself a sorority. Some of the most well-known politicians, entertainers, and business leaders tout their times spent in sororities as life-building experiences, despite some of the film industry's broad portrayal of sorority life.

Clue #3

- Clue: Two basic types of college courses are the seminar & this, basically the professor speaking to a large group.
- Category: 7-LETTER WORDS
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Nov. 22, 2019

Answer #3

What is a lecture?

As the college lecture became more prevalent on campuses in the early 1900s, some critics voiced displeasure over this method of instruction. Today, though, it is not uncommon for guest lecturers to become popular throughout a semester, with politicians, business leaders, and even celebrities entering the classroom.

Clue #4

- Clue: Representing more than 6,000 schools, this organization had "Entrance Examination" in its name when it started in 1900.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Nov. 8, 2019

Answer #4

What is the College Board?

The College Board's most famous creation is the SAT, the widely used test that factors into college-admission decisions. The College Board has also run Advanced Placement high school courses since 1955, courses that if completed successfully can be used for college credit.

Clue #5

- Clue: The style and irreverence of "Harvard Lampoon" had a huge impact in the '70s when alums Doug Kenney and Henry Beard found "National Lampoon" and Doug co-wrote this very popular college comedy film.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Nov. 4, 2019

Answer #5

What is "Animal House?"

John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Kevin Bacon, and Donald Sutherland were just a few of the actors to play a role in "Animal House." In particular, Belushi's character "Bluto" made a simple sweatshirt an iconic piece of apparel that can be found in plenty of dorm rooms today. A planned sequel never came to fruition, though.

Clue #6

- Clue: While attending this school, George W. Bush was a member of its Skull & Bones secret society.
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: April 5, 2019

Answer #6

What is Yale?

George W. Bush was not the only U.S. president to attend Yale. Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and William H. Taft attended the New Haven school, along with other politicians. Fictional power players also align with Yale—C. Montgomery Burns from "The Simpsons" is a noted (animated) Yale alum.

Clue #7

- Clue: A type of surgery, or a college course not in your major.
- Category: THE "IV" LEAGUE
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: April 5, 2012

Answer #7

What is an elective?

Electives often provide a reprieve for students bogged down in intensive core courses, but they also can be a way to puff up one's credit count. Student-athletes have been involved in several elective controversies, taking perceived easy courses like golf and improv to become eligible for games.

Clue #8

- Clue: Before the time of actor Jude.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Feb. 17, 2017

Answer #8

What is pre-law?

The American Bar Association does not recommend one undergraduate major to prepare for law school, but many students take pre-law courses if they are thinking of becoming a lawyer. Problem solving, critical reading, and public service are skills to be extracted from these courses.

Clue #9

- Clue: A 36 is a perfect score on this college admissions test.
- Category: 36 TIMES THE FUN
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Sept. 10, 2019

Answer #9

What is the ACT?

The ACT was introduced in 1959, and has become a major college admissions test, alongside the SAT. Unlike the SAT, the ACT has sections focusing on English and science reasoning. Some students take both to increase their college admissions chances.

Clue #10

- Clue: In 2015–16 the U. of Maryland University College got rid of these—course materials are now online & free.
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: April 12, 2018

Answer #10

What are textbooks?

Textbook costs continue to rise, pricing some students out of obtaining necessary course materials. Access codes are a key reason for the amount of money spent on textbooks, since they limit the usage availability for textbooks from year to year.

Clue #11

- Clue: Percentages of 2012 graduates carrying loans were 66 for public colleges and 88 for this type of private college.
- Category: YOU KIDS TODAY!
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: Feb. 23, 2017

Answer #11

What are for-profit colleges?

For-profit colleges have faced much scrutiny and until recently there was a special sector within the Education Department that investigated abuses. These schools have also been accused of aggressive recruitment of " vulnerable students" who can more easily fall into debt.

Clue #12

- Clue: A two-word college major: oncle hermana Mutter fratello.
- Category: WORD PUZZLES
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: March 30, 2018

Answer #12

What is international relations?

Students with an interest in diplomacy, global human rights, world politics, and foreign policy often major in international relations. With issues like Brexit, crises in the Middle East, worldwide terrorism, and tension on the Korean peninsula, international relations majors are in high demand.

Clue #13

- Clue: This college degree is total B.S.
- Category: SAILING THE 3 C's
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Oct. 11, 2013

Answer #13

What is a bachelor's of sciences?

A bachelor's of science is one of two major undergraduate degrees, along with a bachelor's of arts. A B.S. is usually more specific in study, while a B.A. tends to have a broader curriculum.

Clue #14

- Clue: In 1901 Stanley Brown & William Harper established the first of these two-year community colleges, in Joliet, Ill.
- Category: EDUCATION
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Sept. 22, 2014

Answer #14

What are junior colleges?

These two-year institutions often serve as a launching pad for students' postsecondary education. Junior colleges come at a fraction at a cost of four-year colleges, and allow students to build up necessary credits to transfer toward a bachelor's degree program. U.S. President Barack Obama attempted to make junior colleges free.

Clue #15

- Clue: Making one drink last a long time.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Feb. 17, 2017

Answer #15

What is nursing?

American nursing schools have existed for almost 150 years. In recent years, residency programs for nurses have become popular, providing extended, intensive training to students.

Clue #16

- Clue: The Citadel, Furman.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Jan. 3, 2018

Answer #16

What is South Carolina?

Clemson, the University of South Carolina, and Coastal Carolina are just some of the other well-known universities in the Palmetto State. In 2018, Sarah Zorn became The Citadel's first female regimental commander. Less than a year later, the Clemson Tigers football team also won the national championship.

Clue #17

- Clue: For more than 70 years, nearly a half million students have been helped by the UNCF, this college fund.
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: Nov. 9, 2018

Answer #17

What is the United Negro College Fund?

The UNCF's slogan is "a mind is a terrible thing to waste." Since 1944, the UNCF has been empowering students through scholarships and providing support to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Clue #18

- Clue: Spin on the cue ball.
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: Feb. 17, 2017

Answer #18

What is English?

English majors often enter journalism, law, or teaching positions. According to the New York Times, the National Association of Colleges and Employers' 2018 survey said "the three attributes of college graduates that employers considered most important were written communication, problem-solving, and the ability to work in a team," all critical skills commonly learned in English courses.

Clue #19

- Clue: Job title of a college treasurer.
- Category: A "B"6 SHOT
- Value: $2,000
- Date episode aired: April 12, 2019

Answer #19

What is a bursar?

Bursar's handle just about every fee a student incurs, from housing to tuition. Bursars also handle refunds and loan disbursements.

Clue #20

- Clue: In Britain this word describes the younger of two brothers; in college it's a mini-major.
- Category: VOCABULARY
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Feb. 7, 2018

Answer #20

What is a minor?

While few students pursue double majors, it is common to obtain a minor along with a major. Minors usually can be achieved with a semester or two's worth of work, and sometimes can be achieved in subjects where a major isn't offered.

Clue #21

- Clue: First step to become a National Merit Scholar—take this four-letter college prep test.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Nov. 9, 2018

Answer #21

What is the PSAT?

Students in eighth and ninth grade can take the PSAT 8/9 twice a year. High schoolers who take the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT are eligible for recognition by organizations like the Jackie Robinson Foundation or Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Test takers of the PSAT 8/9 are not eligible for National Merit Scholar awards.

Clue #22

- Clue: It was founded in Massachusetts in 1636 and if you didn't get in, your college options were very limited.
- Category: THE 1600s
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: June 27, 2019

Answer #22

What is Harvard?

In Cambridge, Harvard is the oldest university in the U.S. John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama are a few of the U.S. presidents to have attended Harvard. The campus also served as a primary site of many memorable American films like "Good Will Hunting" and "The Social Network."

Clue #23

- Clue: Generally, colleges don't use the term dormitory; they prefer this type of "hall."
- Category: DORM LIFE
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: April 9, 2018

Answer #23

What is a residence hall?

Modern residence halls aren't the drab quads of yesteryear. Some residencies have beautiful views of the Honolulu coastline, soundproof music rooms, and movie theaters.

Clue #24

- Clue: In 2010 SUNY Albany cut five humanities majors; dropping this one made Homer & Ovid weep.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: April 12, 2018

Answer #24

What are Classics?

The works of Classical authors have been pillars of college curriculum for centuries. However, because mostly all Classic writers taught are men, new students have begun to point out the hypocrisy in promoting these works. At Columbia University, students unfurled a banner atop the main library with notable female authors, above names already etched above the building's front entrance like Virgil, Plato, and Homer.

Clue #25

- Clue: Marshall, Appalachian Bible College.
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: Jan. 3, 2018

Answer #25

What is West Virginia?

Appalachian Bible College was founded in 1950. Marshall, Davis and Elkins College, and West Virginia are other notable schools in this state. In 1970, members of the Marshall football team and staff died in a plane crash, returning from a game against East Carolina.

Clue #26

- Clue: Freshman rush at college doesn't refer to football but recruitment into these.
- Category: WHAT'S THE BIG RUSH?
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Dec. 15, 2016

Answer #26

What are fraternities and sororities?

Despite several negative incidents involving fraternities and sororities in recent years, Greek life remains increasing popular on college campuses. Proponents of Greek life tout the networking connections made not only while in school but after graduation. However, some critics have called for fraternities and sororities to no longer be distinguished by gender, and to become coed.

Clue #27

- Clue: A college applicant whose mom or dad graduated from that same school, possibly giving junior a "leg" up.
- Category: 6-LETTER WORDS
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Dec. 3, 2012

Answer #27

What is a legacy?

Legacy admits have become increasingly debated, with some critics calling for the end of legacy admissions. Famously, George W. Bush, who was admitted to Yale after his father attended the prestigious school, spoke out against legacy admissions.

Clue #28

- Clue: Bob Dylan, Jessica Lange, Hubert Humphrey.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: May 25, 2016

Answer #28

What is the University of Minnesota?

In Minneapolis, this state university's sports teams are called the Golden Gophers. Minnesota features a Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sports. Walter Mondale attended the school, as did Garrison Keillor.

Clue #29

- Clue: Students short on cash for college can apply for one of these grants named for a Rhode Island senator.
- Category: EDUCATION
- Value: $2,000
- Date episode aired: Sept. 26, 2016

Answer #29

What is a Pell Grant?

These grants are usually received for students with excessive financial need. Pell Grants are named after Claiborne Pell, who also wrote legislation for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Clue #30

- Clue: Mutual attraction or rapport between two people.
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Feb. 17, 2017

Answer #30

What is chemistry?

Chemistry majors often find work in laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, or in the government. Chemistry can be a tough field; like other science majors, chemistry students often change course during their college years. (Check slide 45 to find out which college named an institute after one of America's most noted chemists.)

Clue #31

- Clue: Richard E. Byrd, Alan Shepard, John McCain.
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: May 25, 2016

Answer #31

What is the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis?

Established in 1845, this university's campus is a national historic landmark. President Jimmy Carter is a graduate of the Naval Academy, as is basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson, whose fitting nickname is The Admiral.

Clue #32

- Clue: Literature, history, and philosophy are included in this type of modern college curriculum.
- Category: I LOVE "L.A."
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Dec. 28, 2012

Answer #32

What is liberal arts?

Middlebury, Swarthmore, and Wellesley are some of the best known liberal arts college, allowing students a broad range of classes as they explore their interests. Even though Barack Obama once criticized the usefulness of a liberal arts degree, many top CEOs have earned liberal arts degrees.

Clue #33

- Clue: One in 10 Arts & Science college graduates is asked to join this "oldest academic honor society."
- Category: FEW ARE CHOSEN
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: April 5, 2018

Answer #33

What is Phi Beta Kappa?

This honor society has been in existence since 1776. Theodore Roosevelt, Sonia Sotomayor, W.E.B. Dubois, and Angela Davis are among Phi Beta Kappa's notable members.

Clue #34

- Clue: Khan Academy's Salman Khan, sports stat master Jeff Sagarin, optical character recognition maven Ray Kurzweil.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: May 25, 2016

Answer #34

What is MIT?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology's alumni also include Ben Bernanke,  I. M. Pei, and Buzz Aldrin. In Cambridge, Massachusetts., MIT has had many distinguished speakers and professors, but author Kurt Vonnegut was not one. Vonnegut became part of an urban myth that alleged he delivered a commencement address to MIT students, advising them to wear sunscreen.

Clue #35

- Clue: John Steinbeck studied marine biology at this private California school on and off 1919–1925, but never got a degree.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: May 13, 2019

Answer #35

What is Stanford?

In Palo Alto, Stanford counts Condoleezza Rice among their distinguished professors. Unlike Steinbeck, Fred Savage, Chelsea Clinton, and Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page graduated from Stanford. Stanford's athletic teams are known as the Cardinal, however their mascot is a comical-looking tree.

Clue #36

- Clue: At the U. of Iowa, electives for this major include "Introduction to Clinical" and "Introduction to Cognitive" this.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Feb. 13, 2012

Answer #36

What is psychology?

Merriam-Webster defines psychology as the science of mind and behavior. Wes Craven earned a degree in psychology, which makes sense given his list of mind-bending horror films. Actress Natalie Portman and Jon Stewart also boast psychology degrees.

Clue #37

- Clue: The prayers and griping of college football fans were rewarded with this at the end of the 2014 season.
- Category: GET "OFF"
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: July 3, 2019

Answer #37

What is a playoff?

Before 2014, college football's national champion was decided by computer ranking systems. Those rankings were influenced by polls decided by journalists and coaches. Today, four teams are selected for a playoff, with the two semifinal winners meeting in the national championship game.

Clue #38

- Clue: To provide a permanent fund to a college.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: April 16, 2014

Answer #38

What is to endow?

Harvard registered the largest endowment at the end of the 2018 fiscal year, raking in more than $39 million. Texas A&M had the largest endowment among public universities, pulling in more than $12 million.

Clue #39

- Clue: This four-letter college military group can be spelled out or sounded out rhyming with "Yahtzee."
- Category: SPELL IT OR SAY IT?
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: June 6, 2019

Answer #39

What is ROTC?

The roots of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps begin in 1819, while the Land Grant Act of 1862 mandated public universities offer military tactics courses. Throughout its history, ROTC programs have developed scores of military leaders, but also had to combat hazing allegations.

Clue #40

- Clue: "The Coddling of the American Mind" is dubious about these "spaces" that make college students feel sheltered.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: March 15, 2019

Answer #40

What are safe spaces?

Some critics against safe spaces argue they take away from freedom of speech and an immersive college environment with differing ideas. Proponents of safe spaces point to their menta- health benefits for some students, and that universities have an obligation to protect students.

Clue #41

- Clue: Here it's a school building for athletic activities; in Germany, it's a school for students getting ready for college.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: March 27, 2019

Answer #41

What is a gymnasium?

Most college gymnasiums are named in honor of important people in a university's history or a sponsor. Rupp Arena at the University of Kentucky is named after former basketball coach Adolph Rupp, while Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas is named after former player and coach Phog Allen. The Louisville Cardinals play basketball at the KFC Yum! Center.

Clue #42

- Clue: Around the turn of the 20th century, this historically black all-men's school was called Atlanta Baptist College.
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: June 20, 2019

Answer #42

What is Morehouse?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, as did director Spike Lee. Oprah Winfrey endowed scholarships at Morehouse, while Robert Smith, a Morehouse graduate, paid off the student debt of Morehouse's 2019 graduating class.

Clue #43

- Clue: College major shared by Barack Obama and Chris Christie—makes sense.
- Category: DOWN TO A "SCIENCE"
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: July 19, 2017

Answer #43

What is political science?

Also known as poli-sci, political science majors analyze government institutions and processes. Although many poli-sci majors want to prepare for a career in politics, they occasionally take other paths. Soccer star Mia Hamm majored in political science at the University of North Carolina, using her poli-sci background to fight for better wages for female athletes.

Clue #44

- Clue: The Four Horsemen were the 1924 backfield of this college football team.
- Category: FANTASTIC 4
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: Oct. 30, 2017

Answer #44

What is Notre Dame?

From Touchdown Jesus to the film "Rudy," Notre Dame football is a pop-culture institution. Joe Montana and Jerome Bettis are among the football greats to wear Notre Dame's golden helmet. The 2019 Fighting Irish team went 10-2.

Clue #45

- Clue: Reed College, Lewis & Clark College.
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: Jan. 3, 2018

Answer #45

What is Oregon?

Shoe maven Phil Knight attended the University of Oregon and has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to build the school into an athletics powerhouse. Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling attended Oregon State University and there is an institute named in his honor on campus.

Clue #46

- Clue: This test was developed in 1926 by Carl Campbell Brigham for the College Entrance Examination Board.
- Category: EDUCATION
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: Nov. 27, 2013

Answer #46

What is the SAT?

A 1600 is the highest possible SAT score, and a near-guarantee for admission to many schools. However, critics of the SAT have long argued that the test has inherent biases. Recently, groups sued colleges in California to drop SAT requirements.

Clue #47

- Clue: From the Latin for "mother" comes this word meaning to enroll in college for a degree.
- Category: 11-LETTER WORDS
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: June 7, 2012

Answer #47

What is to matriculate?

The ability to matriculate has not always been accessible for everyone. In 1963, Alabama Governor George Wallace attempted to prevent black students from entering the University of Alabama. Yale University did not become co-educational until 1969.

Clue #48

- Clue: From a word for "seed", it's a college that prepares students to be priests, ministers or rabbis.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Nov. 13, 2017

Answer #48

What is a seminary?

America has a variety of seminary options. Baptist, Christian, Episcopal, Methodist, Hebrew, and Quaker seminaries are just some of the offerings available. These schools are accredited by specific bodies such as the Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

Clue #49

- Clue: This head of a college division has a "list" you want to be on.
- Category: RANKS & TITLES
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: July 21, 2014

Answer #49

What is a dean?

In American film and TV, the college dean is often portrayed as an antagonist, an uptight figure who shakes their head at the more social aspects of college life. In reality, the dean oversees hundreds or thousands of students, budgeting, and curriculum. Because of their responsibilities, deans are often held criminally at fault when not upholding their duties to a student body.

Clue #50

- Clue: Two-year college.
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Feb. 23, 1996

Answer #50

What is community?

Community colleges are public junior colleges. The NBC show "Community" parodied life at a community college, and lasted for six seasons featuring stars like Ken Jeong, Joel McHale, and Alison Brie.

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