Colleges that Change Lives opinions & reviews

<p>Hi,</p>

<p>I recently read the book Colleges that Change Lives and loved it--Loren Pope introduced me to so many seemingly amazing schools that I had never heard of before; however, this is just the opinion of one person. I would like to hear from those familiar with these schools about their experiences or opinions, especially regarding Rhodes, Hendrix, Evergreen State, and New College, although any college review is welcome, and also regarding my intended major, economics (list any of these schools which have a strong economics department). I was also wondering that although these schools are regarded as very easy to get into, how many students at these schools have 4.0s (uw) and if it was unusual for top students to apply to these schools, especially out of state.</p>

<p>Thank you,
J</p>

<p>I also read Colleges that Change Lives, and I got the chance to look at some of the featured schools. I was disapointed, and I think a lot of the colleges featured don't live up to the author's words.</p>

<p>Rhodes and New College are fairly selective schools. Evergreen State and Hendrix are pretty easy to get into to. </p>

<p>I'll warn you that New College and Evergreen State are way different than Hendrix and Rhodes.</p>

<p>Rhodes is a fairly preppy, fratty place. It has a southern boy flavor. From what I could tell kids care about their studies to an extent, but they know how to have fun on the weekends. The campus is goregous.</p>

<p>country day-what do you mean when you say the colleges didn't live up to the author's words? Any specifics? Also, what did you think of the surrounding area of Rhodes?</p>

<p>I am also a fan of Colleges That Change Lives. I went to one of the college fairs and was impressed with some of the schools. I'm looking at different schools from you (Beloit, Lawrence, Juniata, Earlham, Hiram, College of Wooster, Clark). </p>

<p>Loren Pope raves about all the schools and it sounds like they can do no wrong. My sense is that like any other school they have definite downfalls. Some of it is stuff you'd expect from small schools: small range of majors, one kind of student, middle of nowhere, not much social life. I visited Juniata (only one I've visited yet) and I definitely felt like there were fewer resources than at some of the other LACs that weren't known as much for financial aid or accepting B students. I'd be careful about that, particularly at Evergreen. At the college fair I asked the Evergreen rep that question and she said they do have fewer resources as a state school, budget defined by the state legislature, but they have more to offer being bigger. More classes, buildings, equipment, etc. Because they accept B students the students may not be as academic (don't know about yours). I found it helpful to read the Fiske Guide or some other college guide to get some of the negatives. Pretty sure a friend visited New College and said it was much more of a party school than she expected and didn't seem like a CTLC school. Just my opinion. Hope that's helpful.</p>

<p>These schools vary in selectivity. Reed attracts many top students from a national pool, with median SAT scores comparable to Georgetown, Wesleyan, Bowdoin, or Vanderbilt. The other CTCL schools are less selective. You can see a profile of the entering class at each school by downloading its Common Data Set.</p>

<p>One thing to remember about schools like those on the CTCL list is that their mission is not job training. I was a chemistry major at one of those schools (Knox) before CTCL was written. I took three semesters of philosophy and five semesters of Russian in addition to two signature courses in literature and the required distribution credits in social science. Then my chemistry department advisor suggested I sign up for Greek mythology (I did, and it was life-changing).</p>

<p>All this academic philandering doesn't mean I got a skimpy chemistry education -- I did undergraduate research (for class credit) and graduated with honors, then went on to get a PhD from a top ten graduate program and I now teach chemistry at a state university. But looking back on college, it was the work outside my major that contributed the most to my personal growth during those years. I was a B student going into college, and a straight A student coming out, but the grades really just reflected the internal growth. That's what CTCL tries to spotlight.</p>

<p>I have a friend with a son at Evergreen. After 2 years he wanted to transfer out, but found it difficult to transfer credits. (I think because of their format and grading system)</p>

<p>After reading the book, I became enamored by Cornell College and the one course at a time concept, but my son wanted nothing to do with it.</p>

<p>I'm also very interested in Reed, but I'm concerned that it may be TOO intellectual and hardcore. I really enjoy an intellectual discussion, but I also enjoy just laying down and talking about sports or whatever. I also know it's a great school where I would get an amazing education, so I'm not going to let the social life aspect override the academics, although both are important. The reason I didn't mention Reed is that there is a lot of information about it and I don't feel the need to ask about it in this thread. My top three schools from this book are Reed, Hendrix, and Rhodes (just from reading of course)</p>

<p>Good old Beloit is closer to home and at least as good as Hendrix/Rhodes. Kind of like a Reed light.</p>

<p>Barrons--my friend's brother is at Beloit and loves it; however, the only way I would stay in Wisconsin is if I went to Madison. Going to Beloit once a year for sports is one time too many lol</p>

<p>Another thing to remember is that the CTCL book does not include every single school like this, there are many great unknown liberal arts colleges out there. But yeah I second the thing about these schools not being that great for pre-professional fields. Be careful before you pay $40,000/year to major in women's studies.</p>

<p>I can understand that feeling. Beloit is hardly a garden spot.</p>

<p>I don't consider myself preprofessional; although I am young, I currently am interested in getting a PhD in the field of economics, but that can always change. The area that interests me the most is the economics of developing countries</p>

<p>Went sent S1 to Kalamazoo after first learning about it from CTCL. I think Pope's argument is fundamentally sound, if maybe a tad overstated. I have first hand knowledge of Whitman, K, Reed, Evergreen, Guilford, and Earlham. I think my observations are generally in line with his descriptions, which gives me confidence that I would agree with his observations re schools I do not know.</p>

<p>I am also sure that there are schools that offer similar experiences that are not included in CTCL.</p>

<p>I have seen people be dismissive toward CTCL because they contend that Pope was merely trying to sell books/make money. I find that to be not particularly compelling--everybody in the college industry is trying to make money. I think CTCL is useful in getting people out of the "Ivy/T20 or my life is ruined" paradigm</p>

<p>Well I also read the book, and had to do some research on what actually is going to live up to the praise in the books. What many kids do (and this is probably what I am going to do) is go there and try to get finicial aid (merit based not need based) since most of them are less prestigous and are more willing to give you them. Personally I am looking at Whitman and Earlham and Reed and a few others</p>

<p>We know kids who currently go to - and love - Beloit, Juniata, Earlham, and College of Wooster. I like this book a lot. There are many great smaller colleges out there. It is nice to see some of them highlighted.</p>

<p>I know a very smart woman who went to College of Wooster--she saw it on a campus tour and that was it, she was in love. It DID change her life.</p>

<p>I know a few who went to "Cornell College" and they bristle every time someone asks them about their college and they have to explain that it isn't the Ivy League college but some other school that frankly no one has heard of.</p>

<p>Haha this thread is so timely - this book fell into my lap just hours after seeing this thread! I read the book (admittedly the 2006-07 version) and I found it very, very extreme. Did anyone else have the same views? Like throughout the first section all he does is diss prestegious colleges. I mean, I understand some of the points but these colleges can't be ALL bad, can they? If they were as horrible as he says, why would they still be in operation? I don't know, it must be good if so many people swear by it but I found it pretty one-sided. Of course, I haven't read the whole thing so I can't give a totally educated opinion yet.</p>