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Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges
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Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  308 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Now fully revised-the perennially popular guide to choosing the right college Prospective college students and their parents have been relying on Loren Pope's expertise since 1995, when he published the first edition of this indispensable guide. This new edition profiles 41 colleges-all of which outdo the Ivies and research universities in producing performers, not only am ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Penguin Books (first published September 1st 2000)
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Dan
Colleges That Change Lives is an important contribution to the ongoing conversation about college choice, and when it was published, it was somewhat revolutionary. Readers get a sense of the college landscape circa 1996, and certainly gain an understanding of the author's biases toward "good, small colleges."

Yet Pope displays his age when he makes comments like lauding (in paraphrase) a feisty girl who wrote comments to the college administration...in CHALK...on the SIDEWALK!...but it's all okay
...more
Nancy
I read the introductory chapters carefully, then skimmed over the chapters of only several of the 40 colleges profiled. I certainly learned something from this author, who has many years of experience working in the higher education filed. He discourages the Ivies and other large research colleges, noting that: the professors often are more passionate about their research than teaching; classes often are taught by teaching assistants; there is little opportunity for personal relationships betwee ...more
Lori
Outstanding book for any parent who is getting sucked into the name brand college vortex. Much to be learned from this book.
Kris Hintz
As a college consultant, I recommend the late Loren Pope's classic book to my clients, but not as a guide to specific schools. What is most worthwhile is Pope's well-articulated point of view that college is not an exercise in grabbing the prestigious brass ring, or getting one's ticket punched for a first job. It is something much more.

College is an integral part of the personal and professional development that a young adult needs to experience in our sophisticated, complex society. It is a "l
...more
Robert Jenkins
This book is amazing resource to help start a college list. What I really did like about it is that it talked about each school from a academic, social, and economic stand point. It also successfully explains it in language that make the schools appealing to both a parent and the prospective student, which is key when you are trying to find a school that the parent finds safe for their children to live at but not have it be a bore fest for the student. However, one flaw of this book is that I c ...more
Christina
Nov 30, 2008 Christina rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christina by: Mom
This book takes a realistic look at about 40 colleges which are outside the mainstream but which are fairing better than the ivy league and super well known schools in terms of the success of their students in the real world.I would recommend this book to any one who is embarking on college visits and searches.

It opened my eyes to small colleges out there and I’ve found two more, Clark and Hampshire, that I really want to visit.
Franz
Useful guide that uses different criteria from the typical college rankings done by various magazines. The focus here is on small second- and third-tier liberal arts colleges who give students more personal attention in the form of closer interaction with their professors and more intimate intellectual exchanges with other students. These are the sorts of places where questioning and discussion are encouraged along with interdisciplinary inquiry and undergraduates standing along side their profe ...more
Jamie
Although this book is well thought out and helpful to students in the college-search process, it is not fair to believe that one man knows all about all schools. As someone that works at at CTCL school, I do have to admit that it is accurate in how it depicts institutions; however, there are some really great schools out there that are going unrecognized in this book. Use this as a guide, but not as an end all for your search. All colleges change lives and just because a school is not in this bo ...more
Maria Catherino
Ought to be called "The Book that Changes Lives about Colleges that Change Lives" but that would be kind of cumbersome. This books was an invaluble tool in selecting schools. I never would have dreamed about attending a private liberal arts college as a transfer student before I read it. These schools have amazing reputations, wonderful academics and invest just as much into their students as much as their students invest in them. Every high school juinior, senior and community college student s ...more
Angela Boord
Even though my son is only 13, I'm glad I read this book. It helped to answer many of the worries I have as a homeschooling mother soon to embark on homeschooling high school. (It does have a very brief section addressing homeschoolers.) After reading this book, it's clear that anyone who wants to go to a 4 year school probably can. The key is finding a good fit, which might be (the author would say "would be") better accomplished by looking at small liberal arts colleges than at prestigious uni ...more
Cindi
This book is super until you realize that you will have to mortgage your life away to send your kids to any of these schools. Having read it, I'm a little sorry I picked it up. I want what the author describes at these colleges for my kids, but I can't see that we could ever send them. Too bad. I even went so far as to fill out a form for one of the colleges. It turns out that we'd need to find 21,000 dollars per year to send our child there. In four years, that's more than our HOUSE is worth!

It
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Melinda
This book was a real breath of fresh air about where students can be educated, really educated, outside of the "name" universities. The quote, "I fear that liberal education in the research universities, despite the recent hoopla, is a project in ruins.", written in 2005 by Dr. Stanley N. Katz, director of Princeton's Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies who is himself a Harvard University alum, starts off the book.

But liberal education outside of the Ivies is alive and well in the four y
...more
Karyn
Read this book a few years back, but wanted to get the most recent edition for my office bookshelf. This book really challenges students to look at schools in a way that is often lacking in Northern VA. I love that he addresses students with learning difficulties, along with those in the academic middle.

I feel like this book is a must read (at least the introducation) for any college bound student.
Ariele
I'm not sure my oldest kid is a great fit for any of the schools profiled here-and not sure we could afford them! It's a good book, a bit dated, but a great reminder that essentially, finding the right college is about finding a place that is a great fit, where you can learn how to think and what inspires you. There are lots of great fits. If you are honest with yourself as you go through the selection and application process, then you can sift through the acceptances and select the one that fee ...more
Mercedes
Although this book is useful for finding colleges not on the typical ambitious high schooler's search list, I found that the book is too anecdotal and generalized. There is also a lot of criticism directed towards the blue blood schools which makes me a bit skeptical of the author's intent. It is almost as if the author has a chip on the shoulder and is trying to dismiss the elite schools.
Scolumbus
I found this to be a very informative book. I really had not given a lot of thought to the difference between small liberal arts schools and big name universities other than the obvious: size and student population. I learned a lot about what a liberal arts education means in the first few chapters and read about some of the colleges that are highlighted. I got the book after visiting The New College of Florida which is listed in the book (and is a public school) and is one of the few that has n ...more
Myos
While I don't necessarily agree with the author on everything, I must say this is a thoughtful book that will make you look at colleges differently. An update would be welcome though.
Rozanna
I wanted for so long to read this, then finally read it and was sooo disappointed. It HATED Ivy League schools!
Amy
This is a great resource to think about college selection differently.
Barbara Schultz
Great!!! Every high school counselor needs to have on their book shelf :)
Butch Hamilton
Ok, I am biased since I am a graduate of one of the schools profiled (Allegheny College). Given my profession (college advisor), I have been able to visit a number of the schools listed in Pope's book and many others (206 at last count). That being said, CTCL schools are a breed apart. Yes, they will cost more and students will have to work harder (some may have to do a thesis and defend it - gasp!), but it is worth it.

Whether it is Goucher or Rhodes or the College of Wooster, students with col
...more
Ivan
Fantastic resource, not only for students in the market for college, but for higher ed folks who are looking for inspirational ideas from other schools...not to copy what others are doing, but to be turned on to "outside the box" initiatives and programs that are working in new ways to make college matter!
Jenn Cherry
Really enjoyed this book - so glad a friend recommended it. These schools are somewhat outside the "box" in how they do things and what they look for in applicants. Really loved St. John's College - their curriculum is based upon 100 Great Books! :) It seemed many of these schools prepared kids for life, rather than a particular career - taught them how to write, express their ideas, collaborate on work, publish, speak, etc - skills that they would be able to take with them wherever they went in ...more
Heather Obeda
What I liked about the way Loren Pope approached colleges was that there was no "one-size fits all" school. Having a few kids approaching college-age, we want to look at the child and what the school have in common--rather than just applying to the schools that are in our area. It takes a lot of thinking, talking, digging, etc. to find the right match of student & school and I like that the author takes the time to rate what each school does well. It cuts down on some of the homework we pare ...more
Kristy
I read about 6 or so of the 40 colleges detailed in this book, and it was interesting to learn about some colleges that I had heard about. I was curious to read about some of the strengths these small liberal arts schools have to offer the right student. These are not highly selective schools and could be fantastic options for some students. The author repeatedly expressed his bias against Ivy League schools and this book is not meant for the academically gifted.
Jenny
A polemic. One-sided, not moderate. If he found one person that shared his opinion, he quoted them as an expert, but didn't bother to consider why people disagree with him. Also probably outdated, notwithstanding the updated version. Thought-provoking, but not authoritative. The colleges that "change lives" seem to be for a certain kind of student (slacker, still finding themselves) who need to be guided by their college.

Tara Brabazon
This book features reviews of the best liberal arts colleges in the United States. It was interesting to read about these universities, but I think that the inspirational element of the book was the strategies used to ensure improvement in even weaker students.

There is a strong belief in teaching and learning. Most importantly, the book demonstrates what a fine university can achieve in enhancing a student's life.
Kecia
It's a bit dated now but the ideas presented are still relevant. I picked it up from the library to help my niece with her selection of schools to visit. I was pleased to see 2 of the schools I've recommended to her mentioned here. I would like to see the descriptions of the schools to be longer than they were and they all seemed sort of formulistic.

Anyone with a child in high school should check this out.
Lori
The introductory chapters are useful, and it is good to read about several schools to start the thinking process. It does get repetitive after a while, as many of the schools start to sound the same. However, to get you thinking, and then backed up by the website and traveling college fairs, it is worthwhile.
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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
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More about Loren Pope...
Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That's Right for You Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools You Should Know About Even If You're Not a Straight-A Student

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