Best Colleges 2015

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  • An unhelpful purchase for those wanting substance behind the scenes of the famous U.S. News and World Report college rankings
  • Features several initial chapters worth a brief perusal online or in a bookstore
  • Fails to adequately specify what makes each ranked college “best” for a particular student

U.S. News and World Report dominates the college rankings conversation, but their Best Colleges 2015 fails to adequately break down and clarify how applicants and their parents should be interpreting the rankings for their particular needs and preferences in a potential campus. Rankings lovers will rave overĀ Best Colleges, while those preferring more detailed fare should skip the title.

Best Colleges begins with several unique and worthwhile chapters that offer a larger scope on the college admissions discussion. “Take a Roadtrip” highlights some of the best campuses in Missouri, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, and the “Why I Picked…” series grants valuable insight from current students on what specifically drew them to their chosen campuses. But the remainder of the book, devoted exclusively to printing the famous rankings, doesn’t match these chapters in their substance or fresh perspective.

Regurgitating the list of “best” schools — we can anticipate that Harvard will outrank USC, and USC will outrank Pomona College — proves unhelpful when trying to peg which of these schools is actually the most worthwhile for a specific student’s academic hopes and plans. In conjunction with other guide books, Best Colleges is a relatively helpful secondary work. But for readers who want deeper insight into colleges’ unique attributes, Best Colleges boasts little to make it a must-buy.