top ten schools

top ten schools

Forbes Announces Top Colleges: Does Your Pick Make the List?

I still remember being a restless high school senior waiting to cut my ties and finally make it to college. My sister had chosen a community college for her freshman-sophomore experience just three years before me, and since I followed in her footsteps in most areas I naturally considered taking the same route.

So on a hot day in mid-May back in 2004, my mom and I made the journey just one hour south of Wichita, Kansas, to check out the college that would soon be my new home. While my stay there was short – just two years until I could snag my associates degree – it was memorable. And the following two years spent at Wichita State University securing my bachelor’s degree were even more enjoyable than the first.

When I was looking for schools, my top priorities were proximity, price and degree offerings, among other minor considerations. Out-of-state universities weren’t an option for me as tuition would’ve been outrageous. And along the consideration of price, I also wanted a school that could offer me a scholarship.

Earlier this month, Forbes announced its list of top 650 colleges in America. Among its highest-ranking universities were Princeton, Williams College and Stanford, with Johnson & Wales and Texas Southern University snagging the last spots in 649th and 650th place.

While some have criticized the methods Forbes and other news sources, including US News and Newsweek, use to determine their respective rankings, there’s really no one, tried and true way to determine which colleges are superior. Because the truth is, everyone has their own opinion about what makes one college better than another. Read the rest of this entry »



The Top Ten Universities, Says U.S. News and World Report

So U.S. News and World Report comes up with an annual list of the top schools in the United States.  And the top 20 list is just full of schools you’d never expect to find there–NOT! Here’s the 2008 list of top 10 schools as according to U.S. News and World Report:

  1. Princeton University
  2. Harvard University
  3. Yale University
  4. Stanford University
  5. University of Pennsylvania
  6. California Institute of Technology
  7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  8. Duke University
  9. Columbia University
  10. University of Chicago

america's best collegesSo if I sound a little sarcastic, it’s not because I don’t put any stock whatsoever in school rankings.  When you’re choosing a college, it’s important to get as much information as you can about the quality of a school–and rankings are a solid piece of data.  And I’d be naive if I didn’t believe that the reputation of the school a student attends isn’t helpful, at least to some degree.

But the thing is, rankings aren’t everything–especially when you’re talking about an undergraduate education.  Too many students roll their eyes when their guidance counselors proclaim, “It’s not about the name of the school.  It’s about finding a school that fits you personally.”

Students, you’ve got to look past the name and spend some time figuring out what you really want from a college education.  Personal attention?  A particular major? An opportunity to do research with professors?  An urban college campus?  A political college campus?  Figure out what you want, and then find colleges that fit your needs.  If some of them are big name schools, terrific–but maybe they won’t be.  And that’s okay.

Curious about the top high schools in America? See this report from Newsweek.





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