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

by Loren Pope

Other authorsHilary Masell Oswald (Editor)
Paperback, 2012




Penguin Books (2012), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 352 pages


Offers profiles of forty-one colleges that focus on individual needs and academic standards, provides tips for choosing a school based on personality, and discusses such topics as learning disabilities and single-sex education.


Physical description

352 p.; 5.22 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Awfki
I might agree that the "Ivies" are over-rated but this book just gushes on and on about how wonderful these 40 schools are. All of them are perfect and idyllic and everyone who ever went to any of them is a wonderful success and had a wonderful time at the school. Somehow, I have to think the real
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world is a little less rosy than the picture this book paints. If you read one of the school descriptions you've pretty much covered them all as only the names and the adjectives for "wonderful" and "idyllic" change. Basically, it reads as though these 40 schools got together and decided to save money by publishing one sales brochure that includes all of them.

Check this one out from the library, read the first couple of chapters, skim through the descriptions for a few schools and write down the school names from the table of contents. Now get online and see if you can actually learn something about the school aside from the "fact" that it's idyllic and wonderful.

PS. I'm not knocking the schools, just the book. A little less sales and a little more info would have been nice.
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LibraryThing member mcelhra
My oldest son will be starting his senior year of high school in the fall and has only recently shown an interest in choosing a college. Meanwhile, I’ve been freaking out about it since his sophomore year! One of my friends recommended this book to me. She and her son used it to choose his
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college a few years ago and he’s been really happy with his choice.

This book explores small liberal arts colleges that you may have never heard of but are still excellent schools. I went to a big state school (Go Mizzou!) so I didn’t know much about how liberal arts colleges worked before reading this book. The book is divided into sections by region – South, Midwest, etc. and there are a handful of colleges included for each. I liked that the write-up for each college was a narrative, not charts and graphs. The author includes quotes from both professors and students about their experiences with the school. I felt like it was a balanced view of the schools with both positives and negatives mentioned.

I learned a lot from this book. Not every college in this book requires a super high GPA or SAT score. Some of them are even “test-optional”, a concept that I hadn’t heard of before. Being smaller schools – it seemed like the average enrollment was somewhere around 3,500 so students get a lot of support at most of these schools. Most have financial aid programs as well. And there are so many different educational philosophies, unlike the fairly standard state school format.

When I bought this book, my son was planning on majoring in linguistics and wanted to study abroad at some point in his college career. Several colleges in this book would be ideal for that. (Note the post-its I used to mark the ones I thought would be the best. There are a lot!) Since then, he’s decided to major in music education and probably will go to a school close to home. However, I have three more kids, including another son who will be starting his junior year in the fall, so I’m glad I read this book. I found it educational and I’m glad I now have a good background on what liberal arts education is all about. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member jcwords
Every bright student should read this. There's so much more to college than technical training, and Pope's book offers a glimpse of what is possible. I wish I'd had this when I was in high school!
LibraryThing member jacketscoversread
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member obedah
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
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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 parents have to do.
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½ (39 ratings; 3.8)
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