Best Kept College Secrets

Colleges for Real People

How Does A “Hot” College Get Hot?

I received a note from a reader, asking why his college, in this case Drew University, was not flourishing as other comparable colleges had.  Drew is in New Jersey, in a pretty town near New York City, but it hasn’t joined the ranks of “hot” colleges.  My first thought was to look at a few colleges that have bumped up…

Quirky? Does It Work?

Look, every article about cadging some slight advantage in the dog-eat-dog world of highly competitive college admissions seems to argue that the path to acceptance calls for academic perfection, seasoned with just the right (and credible) pinch of sacrifice in the service of others, leavened by accounts of gritty resilience, expressed in compelling and original prose. Still…. Of the more…

Lawrence University – Appleton, Wisconsin

  Lawrence is an academic powerhouse and a cultural Mecca. The range of course work and complimentary events offered by the university approach those of a much larger institution, and the students accepted into the Conservatory are among the most gifted in the nation. Lawrence promotes engagement in learning, and it succeeds beyond all expectations. Pride in the university is…

Agnes Scott College – Decatur, Georgia

Agnes Scott is one of the most distinguished colleges in the South, rich in tradition, ambitious, generous, lively, and exciting. Once one of the “Seven Sisters of the South”, the elite group of the most admired colleges for women in the South, Agnes Scott has happily moved into the Twenty-First Century, taking its place among the best colleges in the…

Cornell College – Mount Vernon, Iowa

  Cornell’s entire campus is included in the National Register of Historical Places and is set squarely in the midst of Mount Vernon, Iowa, a charming small town, recently cited as on of America’s Coolest Small Towns. That designation came as a writer for Budget Magazine wrote, “Every now and then you stumble on a town that’s got everything right…

University of Montana

The Wildlife Biology Program allows students experiential opportunities to work with wildlife populations from bison, moose, and bears to sage grouse and eagles. Students use resources available at Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park and at the National Bison range, less than an hour from campus. Many are encouraged to study outside the ordinary curriculum, exploring watershed hydrology, fish…

University of Northern Colorado – Greeley, Colorado

  No description of UNC would be reasonable without recognizing that extraordinary friendliness of this campus and the rich sense of community found here.     Students here are happy, hard working, and relentlessly nice. Activities on campus are inclusive and positive. It makes a difference, for example, that the extensive programs run by the college’s outdoor program, Outdoor Pursuits,…

Southern Oregon University

Once again, I am in danger of gushing too enthusiastically about the opportunity in one of the loveliest regions in the country; I’m always in danger of losing credibility, but I’m certain some applicants will love Southern Oregon. There are really three significant reasons to consider Southern Oregon (SOU) very seriously. SOU is located in Ashland, Oregon. SOU is one…

“I said we’d never hire a college advisor… and then we did”

  Megan Rubiner Zinn is a free-lance writer who posted an article on her family’s decision to use a college consultant on the New York Times Education Section.  As a college counselor and consultant, I feared that she would be yet another voice extolling the strategic benefit of finding a “hired gun” to wedge an otherwise unremarkable student into a…

How to Start the College Search

The College Search: As a college counselor for more than forty years, I have watched thousands of students go through the process of identifying the colleges to which they want to apply. The search can be affected by any number of considerations from strong parental expectations to the availability of professional programs, from the opportunity to play a particular sport…