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A Valuable Resource…PRICELESS?

by Kendall Ryan | September 3rd, 2010 | Product reviews

In your lifetime, you will face many difficult decisions that have to be made in a timely fashion? One of the most difficult and most important: college. As the title suggests, one of the most valuable asset is priceless: US News and World Report Best College Rankings. Believe it or not, it is a free online resource with a 1,400 schools in its database in addition to many subcategories to choose from such as:

– Business Schools

– Engineering Schools

– Most Valued Schools

– “A+ Schools for B Students”

– “Up-and-Coming Colleges”

– “Academic Programs to look for”

– Historically African American Shools

– “Best Undergrad teaching”

– Unranked Specialty Schools

To explain the value and experience better, I will take you through a journey of the search process. Let’s say I am a guidance counselor of a motivated student who just cannot seem to get the good grades: Here are the next steps:

1. Select the category “A+ Schools for B Students”

2. I am still unsure the student should really be referred to as a B student. So, I read the methodology behind this option which provides me with a detailed explanation of how this list was calculated and crafted as well as high school statistics such as ACT scores, SAT scores, and class ranking.

3. I am convinced now. The next step is to simply choose National Liberal Arts Colleges or National University. I know the student and most of his interests and imagine he would want a National University, so I choose that.

4. Region: there are 4 options here (BEWARE: this is when the options exponentially increase!): North, South, East, West. West Coast it is.

5. The next categories displayed are Score, Selectivity, Fall 2009 Acceptance Rate, and SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile. I also get a compare option.

6. I choose to compare Loyola Marymount with Santa Clara. Just the overview is astounding enough listing things like: US News Rank, Institutional Control (private or public), Setting, Selectivity, Fall 2009 Total Undergrads, and Costs.

7.I decide to stick with a suburban setting and choose Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, CA and I jump onto Loyola’s profile where I find the following information:

– Address , admissions email and website

– US News and World Report’s Score and Rank

– A comprehensive overview of the school including everything from when it was founded to the amount of land it owns.

– Admissions information such as selectivity and application deadline

– All academic majors offered as well as a summary of who majored in what last year (with percentages!)

– An overview of services offered such as counseling and ROTC opportunities.

– General student body information

– Costs such as tuition and fees as well as statistics relating to how much debt the average student left with and the percent of the latest class that borrowed money.

US News and World Report can be bought on the shelves at your local magazinestand…but what pay when you do not have to? Use the free online resource that will make your search smooth and easy. US News and World Report is one-stop-shopping (only without the shopping) for finding the right college or university for you.

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