Saturday, March 17, 2007

“Looking Beyond the Ivy League” by Loren Pope

I really like his view that there are hundreds of colleges that are as good as or better than an Ivy League college. His subtitle "Finding the College That's Right for You" says it all: the match is more important than the brand name. 2013 version.

"It is the quality of the undergraduate experience, not the name of it, that powers the productive life." (page 22)

Juniors in College Placement Class read Chapter 1 "20 Myths That Jinx Your College Choice". Myth 9: Your College Should be Bigger Than Your High School is interesting. He argues that small class size is one important component of the undergraduate experience, as opposed to being one of 200 students in a lecture class.

He makes positive mentions of the following colleges:

  • Ohio Wesleyan

  • Hiram

  • Hamilton

  • Carleton

  • Eckerd

  • Haverford

  • Wooster

  • Kenyon

  • Swarthmore

  • Oberlin

  • Franklin & Marshall

  • Reed

  • St. John's

  • Kalamazoo

  • Grinnell

  • Washington University

  • Lawrence

  • Vassar

  • Miami University of Ohio

  • William and Mary

  • Mary Washington

  • Notre Dame

  • Purdue

  • DePauw

  • Earlham

  • Knox

  • Beloit

  • Antioch (closed 6/07 due to money problems)

I noticed immediately that they were not name brand, easily recognized colleges. Most are smaller liberal arts colleges. Hidden gems, if you will. He argues that many have higher med school acceptance rates than the Ivies.

Here are some gripes he has with larger universities:

  • Tulane-learning disabled student did not get the help she needed.

  • BU, Syracuse, U of Richmond and Indiana University were too big.

  • Eastern Carolina Univ was too easy.

  • Wesleyan was cold. Not the weather.

  • Univ of Wisconsin freshmen and sophomores are taught by graduate assts., not professors.

  • Johns Hopkins, U of MD-large classes.

  • Univ of Florida-hard to get into some classes, making it difficult to graduate in four years.

  • UNC-TVs instead of live professors.

He also wrote "Colleges That Change Lives" and although I read the book, I most often visit the website to learn about the 40 colleges on the list. Have you read his books? What do you think?

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