Colleges that Change Lives is the title of Loren Pope’s very useful book for those planning for college. It’s also a website. If you are off to college soon, or know someone who is, then take a look. It is particularly useful in dispelling some of the myths of excellence. As with many things, it is important to dig a little deeper as well as clarify what you really want from the college experience. “The best” may not always be the best when it come down to how you experience it, the actual outcomes, and the impact on your life. Be sure to check out the Common Misperceptions page
If college rankings matter to you then you will be interested in The Way Forward On College Rankings, remarks delivered to the Annapolis Group last June by Douglas C. Bennett, President of Earlham College. The story behind those rankings that can appear so authoritative is murky indeed.
whether the rankings have any professional integrity about them,
they will tell you no.
I doubt you can find even one institutional researcher
across all of our colleges and universities who believes,
as a professional judgment, that the rankings satisfy
a minimum threshold of acceptable research practice.
See also College Disorder and the pernicious effects of ACD.
The truth is that there are so many amazing college programs out there. And they are looking for good high school students to fill them. Just ask Don Fried and Sara Morrone – our college counseling team – who just returned from the annual NACAC (National Association for College Counselling) conference in Austin, Texas.