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Admissions 101: What's the Best College Guide?

Over at Admissions 101, Jay Mathews has opened the debate on the best college guide. Here's a quick sampling of the discussion so far:

ANetliner says:

Daniel Golden's "The Price of Admission" is a terrific book on this subject. Golden examines preferential college admissions policies with respect to legacies, children of wealthy parents, children of celebrities and other favored groups. The sad thing is that some kids with truly superior records and aptitudes do get left out in the cold.

LouiseEpstein2 singles out the "ISI Guide: Choosing the Right College":

Many parents want to do know they'll get for all those tuition dollars. This guide is one of the few that helps parents figure out the answer to that question. It looks closely at the colleges' distribution requirements and specific courses that can be used to satisfy them. it surveys faculty about the students, and students about the faculty and administration. It has illuminating comments about specific departments and professors. It does a pretty good job of describing how difficult it will be for a student on campus to find a fun activity on Saturday night that doesn't involve binge drinking. And like the other guides, it has the standard admissions and other basic data that you can find for free on college web sites.

drrico opts for a sampling of the college guide library:

I tend to agree with Jay's blog post that, most of the time, all information is helpful information and that it's a good idea to browse several guides until you find one that speaks to you. Jay's Slate article usefully points to helpful distinctions: Princeton Review's array of lists, ISI's mention of specific professors and curricular info, US News's determination to be a mile wide (if only an inch deep), etc.
I might go further and mention "Colleges That Change Lives," precisely because it's another argument-starter about what to get from college, but I realize that most folks will want a guide that names more than forty schools.

Jump in the discussion.

By Washington Post Editors  | September 9, 2009; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  Admissions 101  
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