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Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That's Right for You; Revised Edition Paperback – July 1, 1995

3.9 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up --An authoritative, carefully expressed argument for aiming at a small liberal-arts college rather than a large, impersonal university. Pope claims that there is "a lot of non-Ivy quality available" for many kinds of students, and describes several colleges and programs to back up his points. This information, however, is limited. He describes ways in which learning-disabled students or low high-school achievers can obtain a college education, and includes sensible advice on the application/selection process and financial aid. Although some may justifiably argue that the picture of large universities isn't always quite as glum as he paints, Pope's recommendations and concerns are usually on target. His style is not upbeat like many guides of this type, such as Edward B. Fiske's How to Get into the Right College (Times, 1988), but it is practical and filled with wisdom and good examples. Students who are as interested in the social scene or extracurricular activities as they are in academics will not find the book as useful as those students primarily concerned with serious learning. --Diane P. Tuccillo, Mesa Public Library, AZ
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

If students use size, name, and prestige as the sole criteria for choosing a college, then they may be limiting their opportunities of finding a college that is right for them, says veteran college counselor Pope, director of the College Placement Bureau. Pope shares his "personal favorite" colleges and 200 other colleges worth considering because they provide a good experience and help students shape their futures. Chapter-length discussions deal with enhancing high school preparation, improving the attractiveness of the applicant and application, and more. Though similar to Richard Moll's The Public Ivys (Penguin, 1986) and Martin Nemko's How To Get an Ivy League Education at a State University (Avon, 1988), Pope's book covers a wider range of size and caliber than either of those, and therefore is more useful for students of varying academic goals and abilities. Well written, clear, and direct, this is enthusiastically recommended for high school, public, and community college libraries.
- Francine M. DeFranco, St. John's Univ. Lib., Staten Island, New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140239529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140239522
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,680,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Loren Pope, author of the acclaimed Colleges That Change Lives, has been writing about education since the 1950s. From 1965 to 2005 he ran the College Placement Bureau in Washington, D. C. to help families make informed, fruitful choices about higher education.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The two books by Loren Pope changed the way we looked at college for our daughter and led to successful admission with generous financial aide with a school we would have overlooked. As caring parents who spent too many years connected to higher education, (mostly at large schools), these two books redirected the college search towards smaller, nurturing liberal arts colleges that also provide merit based financial aide; no longer did we consider college factories or schools with unjustified high reputations without commensurate attention to teaching. Of the 12(!)College guides we read, the two from Loren Pope were the best and directly changed our daughter's life for the better. These are a must read.
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Mr. Pope has a contrarian philosophy of higher education based on his career long inside knowledge as a college counselor. In his view, Ivy leagues are way over rated. Their reputation is perpetrated by the college rankings of U.S. News. According to Mr. Pope, such rankings are almost irrelevant as they don't measure in any way the quality of education provided to the students by such schools. But, they reinforce the reputation of schools which drive up application numbers, which in turn allows these "top" schools to become increasingly selective, and further boosts their U.S. News ranking. For Mr. Pope this is a self reinforcing not so virtuous cycle.
Mr. Pope instead recommends to look at the multitude of excellent small liberal arts college located in the Midwest, South, and West that are not so well known. Because they are less well known, their respective acceptance rates are way higher than for their better known counterparts back East and the Ivy league. Yet, they often provide a just as good if not superior college education. Their professors are fully dedicated to teaching undergraduates. This is unlike in the Ivy league whose professors are more dedicated to research, publication, consulting, and PhD candidates.
The above concepts are really mind opening and powerful. Where Mr. Pope's book falls short, is that his data is more than 20 years out of date. This is difficult to overlook or forgive given that he "updated" his book in 1995, yet his data covers the period from 1951 to 1980. So, at the time of the book's second publication, this book's data was already 15 years out of date. One has to wonder why he did not bother to update the data. It would have made his book so much better.
With outdated data Mr.
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By A Customer on February 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Haven't written reviews here before, but seeing with delight that this book is still around I had to write one. I read this book midway through my junior year of high-school and, struck by the sensible and sound reasoning that informs every argument, I applied to a completely different set of schools than I initially considered. Ultimately I feel I profited invaluably from attending a small liberal-arts college instead of a big brand name: I was going through a lot of troubles, and the individual attention and support I was able to obtain from small departments, small classes, and concerned and caring professors (even outside of my major) allowed me to find my inner strengths and embark on a life path I would not have dreamed of when I first arrived at college. Now how many of my friends who went to big-name research universities can say that? Thanks, Mr. Pope.
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Format: Paperback
My daughters, now 23 and 25 both used this book as the cornerstone of their college searches. Both chose colleges neither had heard of before, Hampshire College and Earlham College. Both schools were exactly right for both of them, and both girls followed Mr. Pope's advice in their selection process.

When visiting colleges they went when school was in session, attended classes, spent the night, had a student mentor (not a freshman) and ate in the dorm. One daughter visited an exhausting 12 schools, the other only 2 before she felt she had found her soul mate (Earlham). The daughter who picked Hampshire did so because she needs freedom to explore many venues, but the closeness of a small school community. At Hampshire she could attend any of the 5 school consortium at no additional tuition costs. So if Hampshire didn't have the exact class she wanted, she could use the free and frequent busses that run between the schools to take classes at Smith, Mt. Holyoke, University of Mass or Amherst.

The best thing about Mr. Pope's advice and bias on choosing a small school is that it's true. Not only do you get the small class size and individual attention of dedicated and well educated professors, but you have almost unlimited opportunities to explore social issues, sports, the arts and global society through personal involvement than most students at state schools.

In talking to peers who attended the oft chosen bigger schools, my girls found they had written more critical papers in one semester at their schools than friends had written in 4 years!
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