What Makes THE BEST 380 COLLEGES the Most Popular College Guide?
Written for any student or parent mystified by the confusing college admissions process, The Best 380 Colleges provides the facts and information needed to make a smart decision about which of the country’s best schools to believe. It contains everything you wish to have to make the right college choice and features:
DIRECT QUOTES FROM STUDENTS
· In-depth school profiles covering academics, administration, campus life, and financial aid
· Insights on unique college character, social scene, and more
· Candid feedback from 136,000 students
RANKING LISTS & RATINGS SCORES
· Lists of the top 20 colleges in 62 categories based on students’ opinions of academics, campus life, facilities, and much more
· Ratings for every school on Financial Aid, Selectivity, and Quality of Life
· Bonus list of the 200 schools featured in Colleges That Pay You Back
DETAILED ADMISSIONS INFORMATION
· The “Inside Word” on competitive applications
· Tuition, graduation rates, and average indebtedness
What the media is saying about The Best 380 Colleges from The Princeton Review:
“The offbeat indexes, at the side of the chattily written descriptions of each school, provide a colorful picture of each campus.”–The New York Times
“The most efficient of the college guidebooks. Has entertaining profiles larded with quotes from students.”–Rolling Stone
“A great book…. It’s a bargain.”–CNN
“Our favorite college guidebook.”–Seventeen
“Provides the type of feedback students would get from other students in a campus visit.”–USA Today
The Best 379 Colleges, 2015 Edition (College Admissions Guides)
An Interview with Rob Franek, writer of The Best 379 Colleges
What makes The Best 379 Colleges different from other college guides?
The biggest difference is our one-of-a-kind ranking lists. Or, better put: 62 of a kind. We ask students (130,000 for this edition!) at the colleges in this book to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their experiences at them. From that student survey data, we tally the book’s 62 ranking lists, each one revealing the top 20 schools in a category that an applicant — or a parent of an applicant — has told us matters to them. Need to know which colleges have the best career products and services? The most accessible profs? Are LGBT-friendliest? We have lists for each of these in our book. Another feature only in our book is our eight college rating scores. The usage of data we get from our college administrator surveys, we score each school from 60 to 99 in eight categories including financial aid, admission selectivity, and fire safety.
Why 379 colleges?
The Best 375 Colleges might be catchier– but we don’t start with a fixed number, then “back in” schools to make that number work as a title. The number of colleges we profile in the book is based on the number of schools that meet our criteria each year as “best. “
How do you pick these “best” colleges?
Three factors are involved: academics, student survey data, and balance. First, a “best” school should offer an outstanding undergraduate education. Our academic evaluations are based on our own visit to the schools (I visit about 50 a year, and collectively our editors and staff visit hundreds), plus data we get from the schools on their program offerings, majors, faculty, and admitted students. We also believe recommendations from our extraordinarily informed National College Counselor Advisory Board. Second, we weigh what students tell us about their schools in our survey. Third, we handle a balanced representation of colleges in the book by region, size, character and type. Only about 15% of the nation’s four-year colleges make it into our book, and we add ‒and drop‒ schools from it every year.
What’s new in this edition?
Eight colleges are new to this edition: Assumption College (MA), Coe College (IA), College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University (MN), Gordon College (MA), Randolph-Macon College (VA), Siena College (NY), State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (NY), and the University of Louisville (KY). Of course for each edition we also update our school profiles, ranking lists, rating scores, and other data.