The Good College
If you are beginning the journey to college, you will find a lot of misleading information on what is a “Good College.” After visiting over 200 schools over the past decade and profiling many more virtually during a pandemic, I know what a good college is not.
- It is not the school that ranks highest in a magazine study.
- It is not the school that denies admission to the vast majority who apply.
- It is not the school whose graduates earn the highest salaries right out of the gate, or even five or ten years later.
- Nor is it the school whose entering freshmen have the highest test scores.
I wrote The Good College to challenge “conventional wisdom” about admissions, value and costs, academics and college reputations and rankings, to help families make their own lists and choices. There’s a lot of learn about such practices as merit aid, honors colleges, “return on investment,” “cost of attendance” and why colleges do what they do when it comes to academics and career development. You will also learn how to look at housing and dining options, since you cannot go to college without eating or sleeping. After reading The Good College, you will discover that many of the best practices in higher education are not limited to the most selective schools. A good college does right by the students it attracts, even if they did not have “perfect” grades and test scores in high school.
I started my website, Educated Quest, with a goal towards finding good colleges for students of various interests and abilities. The very first school I profiled was my alma mater, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I was reluctant to go to Rutgers when I was a high school senior. It was too close to home and was “not as big a name” as other schools that interested me. But I came to realize after I entered the workforce that Rutgers was my good college.
Through my classes, extracurricular activities and internships, I became interested in politics and urban planning. The university helped our family financially during a difficult time after my mother passed away. Thanks to my Rutgers education I got into graduate programs at universities that would not have accepted me from high school. However, I had to graduate, attend another university and be in the workforce for a few years to really appreciate my Rutgers education. I want students and their families to learn how a good college should prepare them for life after graduation before they take their first steps on campus for their freshman year.
This will be the first edition of The Good College, and definitely not the last. There are so many new events and practices with every successive admissions cycle. I also hope that readers will share their experiences with me as they try to find their good colleges.