2018 Guidebook - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction

Reach beyond the rankings with our exclusive list of 370+ detailed profiles of the best student-centered schools in the country!

Colleges of Distinction 2018 is an exclusive list of schools implementing best practices in higher education. The clear, concise profiles show prospective students what it’s actually like to go to these schools and take classes, as a change of pace from the deceptive data overload of ranked guides. Each school has been thoroughly vetted to ensure they meet our Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Communities, and Successful Outcomes.

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College-bound students and their parents can rely on our editorially independent, research-based evaluations to find the school that will best fit their needs and ensure their success. Our unique methods enable students to find schools that meet or exceed their academic demands. By doing away with rankings, we help students discover ‘hidden gems’ and cut through the hype of other guides.

“I wish I’d had something like this when my three sons were looking at colleges!”

Gwen Larson, Assistant Director of Marketing and Media Relations, Emporia State University

“(Readers) will broaden and deepen their search for just the right school and will be better prepared…”

Deborah Blanchard, Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Christian Brothers University


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“As a former assistant director of admissions and enrollment, I believe every college counselor should have this book. Even if a student is certain about where they want to attend college, a college counselor or parent is doing that student a disservice by not reviewing this book with them.””

Nicole Smith, College Communications and Marketing, Lynchburg College

“This guidebook is an asset for a student who is engaged with the college search process, focused on a high quality college experience, and wants to learn more about what makes the colleges they are interested in distinctive. A unique surprise in the guidebook landscape!”

Jessica Ickes, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Dir. of IR, Lebanon Valley College

“U.S. News and World Report rankings of colleges and universities is the list you love to hate. While this type of ranking tends to fuel the fire of the college “arms race,” it is hard for people to ignore.There is a better way! Colleges of Distinction made it it’s mission to discover the “hidden-gem” colleges that may not enjoy the name brand of those listed at U.S. News.”

Shelley Randles, MS, Randles Educational Consulting, Claremont, CA

“The Colleges of Distinction Guidebook is so valuable because it relies on the knowledge and experiences of true college search experts – actual parents, students, alumni, high school counselors, and college admissions officers. There is a warm authenticity and practicality to this guide that makes it rise above the noise in the “college ranking” marketplace.”

Kate Perdrotty, Director of Strategic Communications, Centenary College of Louisiana

“The relevant and insightful checklists, articles, and tips provided within the directory allow prospective students and families a supportive resource to ensure their ultimate college choice is well informed and positioned for a college experience that actually matches their expectations.”

Stephanie Krusemark, Chief Enrollment Manager and Marketing Officer, Prescott College

“The introductory information contained in this book is well covered and easy to understand; it should also help eliminate most of the anxiety associated with researching topics to consider when selecting a college to attend or whether to even go to college. The prospective student will also be assisted in choosing important academic activities for interest and growth once a college is chosen. It also provides concise, critical information that should be considered when selecting which colleges to pursue.”

Vicki Johnson, Assistant Vice President of Academics, Freed-Hardeman University