Profiling nearly 300 colleges, private and public, across the United States, Barron's Best Buys in College Education
is an exceptionally practical and useful book. There's a plethora of colleges in this country, and there's a world of difference between $30,000 and $9,000 a year, so if you can find the quality of college you're looking for among the bargains, with the focus, size, and atmosphere you want, why put your family in debt for decades? As the author points out, it's not true that there is one and only one college right for you; nor is it true that quality always comes with a matching price tag--among colleges and universities, anyway.
Barron's has "Quick Lists" to help you target what you're looking for, organizing the schools by colleges with 20,000 or more full-time undergraduates, those with 1,000 or fewer undergraduates, colleges with predominantly single-sex enrollments, colleges with chapters of the Phi Beta Kappa, and those 53 schools whose tuition and fees are less than $9,000 each. Then come the in-depth profiles, organized alphabetically by state, starting with Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, and working its way through to the University of Wyoming. For each, the guide tells about the setting (city, small town, etc.) and whether it's private or public; what the student/faculty ratio is and how many undergraduate men and women there are; plus the freshman SAT profile; how many faculty members have Ph.D.s; and deadlines for applications and financial aid. It describes the feel of the campus and the sorts of people who make up the student body, what campus life is like, and what facilities and special programs they have. And then comes the bottom line, with a section indicating how many students get financial aid, and just what that aid might look like, plus a profile of percentages graduating in various fields, how many go on to graduate school, how many land jobs immediately, and in what sorts of firms. This book encourages the best sort of smart shopping that currently exists for colleges and universities. Perhaps you'd thought that the only college you could afford was the mediocre institution in the next town, but Barron's will show you otherwise. --Stephanie Gold
--This text refers to an alternate
"Users will find this guide educational, engaging, and practical. It is highly recommended for school, public, community college, business, and academic libraries."
--American Reference Books Annual