I think this book's value is that it opens eyes and reminds people that there are different values to the college experience. I have seen some of these schools in person and attended one of them, and they truly are a higher caliber as liberal arts colleges go. For those who are looking for a high quality education that doesn't involve a generic and predictable route (whether the route is the hackneyed Ivy League "experience" or the typically overpacked state school) this is a refreshing reminder that the world is not flat. May do a lot of kids a lot of good! My only complaint is that the private school is a main focus, whereas there certainly are some public schools that are just as good an opportunity if not always so lavish. The surrounding off-campus community can also have a great deal to offer a college student, and can inherently add advantage to schools that didn't make the cut in this book.
My other beef is that a lot of the outlook about a school will come from the college's president or another chosen administrator.... For every bit of higher quality information, the quotes from such people detracts from Pope's argument for a school. The budget of a student is not necessarily given a high priority either, Hard facts readily available and published in multiple reliable college search books show the exiting debt levels for the average graduate of certain schools (like Univ of Puget Sound) to be extremely high, and percentages of employment within a certain time frame to be relatively low. College isn't all about getting that piece of paper to get a job, but some of the schools showcased in the book are extremes in pricing at this time. Should that be ideal, or rewarded? Extreme debt can certainly "change lives" after graduation. Teens, especially, looking at schools may not fully understand just how hard it can be once the diploma is in hand and the loan payments begin.
This is a good launching point to considering the world of colleges out there, but it shouldn't be the final word.
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Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges Paperback – 25 July 2006
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- Language : English
- Paperback : 382 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0143037366
- ISBN-13 : 978-0143037361
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About the Author
Loren Pope was education editor of the New York Times in the 1950s. In 1965 he opened the College Placement Bureau in Washington, D.C., to help families of college--bound students make informed choices. He is the author of Looking Beyond the Ivy League and has written numerous articles about the college application proc
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 210 reviews
Shouldn't Be Your Only Guide By Any Means13 August 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
94 people found this helpful
Terribly outdated and based on little more than anecdote19 December 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
For starters, Marlboro College no longer exists and several other schools are on the brink of financial disaster (see Hampshire College). The profiles are mostly based on anecdote and there is little data to support whether or not these colleges can change lives. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely reputable schools in the book, such as Reed College, Rhodes College, Agnes Scott College, Beloit College, Denison University, and several others. Eckerd College is also a neat school on the gulf coast of Florida. Having said that, this book leaves a lot to be desired and it seems like a marketing ploy for many of the other schools featured. It would be nice to see an updated version of this book.
9 people found this helpful
The best guide if you are seeking a true education for your children!21 September 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
Without a doubt, THE MOST HELPFUL book in aiding my children to find colleges that are good for them. We are living in an unfortunate time in regards to tertiary education. College tuition costs are nothing short of outrageous and significantly contribute to the stratification of classes we live with today in America, the application/selection process is a nightmare ("colleges pick you, you don't pick colleges") and depress the hopes and dreams of our youth, and the real value of the education received is often questionable. Loren Pope's "Colleges That Change Lives" is a voice of reason and hope to parents and kids going through this process. He emphasizes what is really the point here: the education itself. I deeply appreciate his thoughtful analysis as to what makes a great college. For the past 2 years, this book has not left my night table!
41 people found this helpful
Great info - possibly out of date22 August 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
Liked it. Also found a website on niche that gave a lot of good info. This book includes my alma mater, which I really agree was a college that could change lives. In the past few years though, it has been all over the news because of it's stance against gays and it's inclusive issues with diverse faculty. I'm wondering if it's time to update this book.
22 people found this helpful
Great perspective on the college search process3 September 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
Great perspective on the college search process, really helpful. It made me relook at our fundamental criteria for schools as we were considering Ivy League schools for me son. I also loved the updates 10 years later. Examining what the graduates actual outcomes are is very valuable. Who wants to send their child to a school where they might not have marketable skills when the graduate, if they graduate at all.
12 people found this helpful