Reviving a valuable thread. For us, the opinions on CC have been priceless, whether we agree on specific assessments or not. We know very well that it is caveat emptor, YMMV, each kid is different, families have different priorities and values, etc etc. However, the initial suggestion on CC to look into a certain BS led to our son in fact now attending, and hearing the experiences and heartfelt opinions of those on this board is why my son is thriving where he is today.
We were very fortunate that he was already at a superb JBS with an excellent placement office. Yet those on CC turned out to be even more helpful in suggesting viable schools for the next step, because our particular requirements were somewhat different from those of many parents at the JBS. For example, most of the JBS parents preferred a BS within a 2 hour drive of the parents' home, whereas that was irrelevant for us. After hearing from the placement officer on his recommendations, based on schools he knew best after years of working with these parents, I put a couple of schools on the list suggested by those here on CC. Our son chose which school he wanted to attend in the end, but it wouldn't even have been on the radar if CC hadn't existed.
What helped most, in our case, was knowing our child and what our priorities and values were, and then listening carefully to how CC posters described their schools. When many kept using the words we were looking for in describing a school, it certainly was worth my time to look into it. What I found after all the visiting, independent verification, etc was that the chosen school really did match the descriptions on CC. It has been a pleasant surprise to me that people of all sorts of backgrounds and circumstances can post and come to a consensus which I have found to be spot-on accurate. If the decision turned out to be the wrong one, of course, it would have been because we ourselves had been remiss in evaluating the match of school to student based on our own observations. CC is just a starting point, but an invaluable one.