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Looking Beyond the Ivy League

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  172 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews

The celebrated book that revolutionized the way Americans choose colleges-now fully revised and updated

An invaluable guide with virtually no competition, this book helped to establish Loren Pope as one of the nation's most respected experts on the college application process. Now fully revised and updated, Looking Beyond the Ivy League offers a step-by-step guide to selec

ebook, 288 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published April 1st 1990)
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Let's get one thing out of the way first: this book is horribly out of date.

With that said, it's still a good resource if you can get it for free and understand its limitations.

First is the issue of personal bias. Pope, who died in 2008, was a notorious romantic when it came to progressive higher education. He was an advocate of learning for its own sake and exploring your options, which is great, but which also fails to take into consideration the social, political and especially economic fac
Jun 14, 2011 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: senior-year
The college application process is a maze. Loren Pope adeptly pinpoints all the pessimism associated with an Ivy League. Throughout the college process, frustration and confusion hit hard like a bolt of lightning. It was not until I saw this book that I finally narrowed my list of 50 schools to my top 15. Although Loren is sort of biased, her experiences clearly enumerate all the possibilities for the college process. Looking beyond the Ivy League will make this process much easier. The competit ...more
Jun 13, 2012 Kenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That's Right for You by Loren Pope is about how teenagers need to prepare themselves for college. College is a huge choice, and in Loren Pope's book, the author directs the reader in how to choose the right college, admissions, and all the necessary information that one needs to know. If one is losing doubt on the neccessary steps to approach college the right way, Loren Pope would help you. This is an easy to read and understandable book. This ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Xi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 12th-grade-books
Right from the title, you can tell that it is about college advice. What I really like about this book is that this book includes some sections about questions to ask when you do college visits. It really helped me to ask more relevant and helpful questions about colleges.
Besides the good aspects, there are negative sides too. This book can be biased in terms of telling us that small and liberal arts schools are the best, but some people prefer to be in bigger schools so they can have more conn
Mohamed Sall
The stance was that medium sized universities and schools with "big names" are to generally be avoided. Some points were understandable, but most of the time the author was unaware of the fact that not everyone will be suited for a particular school. For me, liberal arts schools were not a great fit, although the book was adamant about how beneficial it would be to the world if everyone attended them. Granted, liberal arts schools are great, but the author needs to be more considerate.
Jun 10, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
As long as the reader understands the author's biases towards "good, small colleges," there is a ream of excellent advice in this book on the college search process. Especially important, in my experience working for a scholarship company, is the chapter on writing a good essay. I would recommend this book much more quickly than its more famous counterpart (College That Change Lives), as its advice is broadly applicable to many colleges and not just the 40 in the aforementioned text.
Angela Boord
Fairly useful, but not the sort of book you can just hand your teenager to read. As in Pope's other book, Colleges That Change Lives, I think it helps to be aware of his biases, which become apparent as you read. The basic advice is good, though: shop for colleges as if you were a consumer, not a beggar.
Jun 14, 2012 Jasmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was definitely an eye-opener for me. I recently got into an argument with a kid who had never read the book. We were arguing about the importance of SAT scores in an application. It's like we were speaking two different languages. This book changed my entire view of college and how to pick a college. Fully recommended for high schoolers everywhere.
May 09, 2009 penelopewanders rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books which I'll be reading for a while, I think.. work-related.
A must-read for advising. Only thing which troubles me are the number of "the very best" schools in the country, or the ones which "there is no other as good as". Maybe I learned my superlatives wrong.
Well worth reading if you're sending a kid to college -- or if you ARE the kid who's gonna head off to college.

It analyzes what the whole purpose of going to college is in the first place, and talks about which schools best fulfill that. Eye opening.
Jul 27, 2016 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the message and agree with most of what she says. She is quite blunt and that seems to be her "thing" Felt a little off putting to have some colleges put down. But really like the list of little known schools and glad I read it
Jul 07, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great food for thought. A bit outdated, but the essential thinking points are timeless. Needs an update though for specifics such as financial aid, ratings, etc.
Jan 08, 2014 Io rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While this short book had a few good points, I found the author's patronizing tone to be terribly off-putting.
Jul 02, 2011 Conor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: senior-year
Somewhat helpful... Said a lot of what I already knew, though Pope constantly mentioned schools that I am now considering putting on my list. Ask me about this book again this time next year.
JiaMin Luo
Aug 06, 2012 Eileen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book about how to go about the process of deciding on a college.
Nov 20, 2010 Marsha marked it as to-read
Shelves: colleges
Jun 05, 2011 Shurronne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Throughly enjoyed reading the behind the scene information as we look towards college in a few years. Very resourceful and insightful information for any parent who has a college-bound kid.
Jul 22, 2009 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good information about college selection and steps to take that will help make good decisions about college.
Jun 13, 2012 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Great book. Required reading form my junior in HS this summer.
Ann Rittenberg
Ann Rittenberg rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2015
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Loren Brooks Pope was an American writer and independent college placement counselor.

In 1965, Pope, a former education editor of The New York Times, founded the College Placement Bureau, one of the first independent college placement counseling services in the United States.

His first book, "The Right College: How to Get In, Stay In, Get Back In" (Macmillan, 1970), was followed by a nationally synd
More about Loren Pope...

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