- Series: Unofficial, Unbiased Insider's Guide to the 360 Most Interesting Colleges
- Paperback: 736 pages
- Publisher: Kaplan Publishing; 2004 ed edition (August 12, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743241452
- ISBN-13: 978-0743241458
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.9 x 10.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,319,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Unofficial, Unbiased Guide to the 328 Most Interesting Colleges 2004: A Trent and Seppy Guide (Unofficial, Unbiased Insider's Guide to the 360 Most Interesting Colleges) 2004 ed Edition
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About the Author
Trent Anderson is the Vice President for Education at Cablevision, Inc., where he oversees the 'Power to Learn' initiative. Before joining Cablevision, Trent was the Vice President of Publishing for Kaplan, Inc., where he developed book projects for the education market. During his 10 years with Kaplan, Trent was a test prep instructor, admissions advisor, financial aid expert, and author and contributing editor of several books, including Once Upon a Campus, Straight Talk on Paying for College, and Kaplan's precollege and pregrad school test prep titles. Trent spent his college years in Southern California, where he earned his bachelor's degree at UCLA and his J.D. and M.B.A. at the University of Southern California. Prior to working at Kaplan, Inc., Trent taught undergraduate business law at the University of Southern California.
Seppy Basili, Kaplan's resident "College Guru," has been analyzing college trends for more than 15 years. During his Kaplan career, Seppy has overseen Kaplan's test preparation programs and publications for the SAT, ACT, and PSAT exams as well as college admissions services. Along with Trent Anderson, he is the co-author of Once Upon a Campus and Straight Talk on Paying for College. He also founded the Kaplan-Newsweek imprint publications, which include the annual How to Get Into College guide. Seppy has spent many years on college campuses, receiving his B.A. from Kenyon College, M.Ed. from the University of California -- Berkeley, and J.D. from Emory University.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Chapter One: ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS
Choosing a college is not easy. The key is to find out all you can about a school before you apply. By buying this guide, you've taken the first step towards finding the right school for you. You'll find inside information on 328 select colleges and universities, covering admissions, selectivity, financial aid, student life, and academics. But numbers don't tell the whole story. Which school really has that "special something" that will make it the best school for you?
Enter the guidance counselor. Your own high school guidance counselor can give you lots of information about various colleges, including qualities most college guides don't measure. But even your guidance counselor's knowledge may be limited to those schools he or she has visited or dealt with in the past.
To give you the scoop on schools your guidance counselor may not be familiar with, Kaplan presents its 2003 National Guidance Counselor Survey. We surveyed guidance counselors around the country, from both public and private high schools, and asked them to tell us about the colleges they know best. They agreed to share their specialized knowledge with you just as they would with one of their own high school students.
Lists of Recommended Schools
In this section, you will find lists of colleges and universities that guidance counselors have recommended for their special characteristics. Each list of schools pertains to a specific quality:
How Was the National Guidance Counselor Survey Conducted?
Kaplan's National Guidance Counselor Survey is based upon a telephone survey done by Market Measurement, Inc., of hundreds of guidance counselors selected from a random sample of all U.S. high schools. The scientifically developed random sample was obtained from Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. Survey data reflect the national population distribution of high school-aged children 14-18 years old.
Trent's and Seppy's Lists
To arm you with even more interesting and useful information comparing the colleges in this book, we've included a list of our own on a related topic following each guidance counselor list.
Guidance counselors were also asked to share positive and negative features of the colleges most familiar to them. We've included their comments in the profiles we've written in Section II. These comments can help give you insight into the schools you are considering for your college choice.
Use these lists and the guidance counselor comments to help start your college search, then check out the college profiles in Section II for a comprehensive picture of each school. Chances are, you'll find a number of schools that are right for you. Good luck!
Copyright © 2003 by Kaplan, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
What should have been done in this book is to add a section for each college that briefly describe the aspects that make that college "interesting."
While 'The Best 351 Colleges' does a better job at rating all schools among several factors such as: Campus Life, Academics, Selectivity, Financial Aid; 'The Unofficial Guide' provides much valuable qualitative information.
For my part, I really feel that you have to acquire both guides. If you would give these guides an overall personality, The Best 351 Colleges is more of a quantitative left brain type of information source. While the Unofficial Guide is sometimes more creative. The two co-authors, Trent Anderson and Seppy Basili, give their own 'biased' opinions within small text box on every single college they review. Somehow, their short humorous sound bites are very helpful. They give you the essence of what the school is like. Sometimes, just by reading their short quotes, you can readily tell whether a school is for you or not.
The way to use these guides together is to read the reviews in both guides about the schools you are interested in. If the two reviews give you the same impression about a school, you can easily assess if a school is right for you.
When it gets interesting, is when the two reviews differ. I ran into such a case, with Lewis & Clark, a liberal arts college in Portland. Within The Best 351 Colleges, I got that Lewis & Clark had a very liberal college culture that pervaded both the student body and the teaching staff. But, in The Unofficial Guide, Lewis & Clark was described as fairly apolitical. In such a case, that is when you have to do more research on the Internet. If you go to Studentsreview or Epinion, you will see comments from students who went to particular colleges. In the case of Lewis & Clark, I got that The Unofficial Guide's review was closer to the truth. Liberal political activists who went to Lewis & Clark were disappointed about the lack of political activism on campus.
Additionally, the co-authors of The Unofficial Guide have to be commended on their very healthy approach to college selection. They promote that the college fit is much more important than the college name. I could not agree more. Thus, one will be far more successful if they are very happy at Kenyon College, because of a great match between their own temperament and the college culture, than being miserable at Harvard, because the fit was not so good.
Now, I'm at Rice, having the time of my life. My college search was a success; I do not think I could be happier anywhere else.
If what you're looking for is a book that profiles a lot of America's top universities through the eyes of the students; stuff that they do not show you on college viewbooks, definitely get this one. A lot of the things that are in this tome of knowledge are facts about each campus. But I definitely do recommend campus visits as well. Especially overnight visits.
If anybody reading this plans on applying to Rice, definitely go for an overnight stay in the last week of March. That's when student life is at its best.
Pitch aside for my alumni. This is overall a comprehensive easy to follow reference book that lays out the choices from a variety of perspectives. Besides the obvious overview of each school, the guide includes listings by best value, drug/alcohol free, and overall education, etc. The authors also rank schools by attendance (class presidents, valedictorians, etc.), animal house, and outside the box, etc. Titles of sections are obvious. The data comes from survey responses by counselors, attending students, and recent graduates (no wonder they didn't ask me about good old Lehman) as well as personal observations from the authors (the intelligent sidebar guide comments are worth the cost of the book).
Though the survey tool may not be reliable in a strictly statistical sense, THE UNOFFICIAL, UNBIASED GUIDE TO THE 328 MOST INTERESTING COLLEGES 2004 is a tremendous reference for high school juniors and seniors and their parents and anyone thinking of transferring to another school or an adult returning to school. The key is the ease of following the categorical break out that facilitates an individual customizing a selection for their needs.