The 2020 Colleges of Distinction Guidebook: Discover the School That’s Right for You

For 20 years, Colleges of Distinction has been a trusted resource for high school counselors, parents, and students trying to make sense of the college search and application process.

2020 Colleges of Distinction Guidebook: Buy on AmazonWhat’s in a name? It’s no secret that many place a lot of judgment on where someone is going to college. Like everything else in our lives, we rely on brand names to convince us of the top colleges in the country.

When we hear about these “brand-name” schools, we assume their place at the top of the rankings lists means that they are invariably the best. However, the way that the “best” is calculated only tells part of the story; traditional rankings focus on things like faculty salary, peer reputation, selectivity, size of endowment, and other factors that say little about the student experience itself—the nuances and opportunities that either do or do not allow someone to make the most of their undergraduate years.

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And just as every student has a different major or career interest in mind, so too will they have different preferences for what they want from their college experience. That’s where Colleges of Distinction comes in with a different, fresh perspective on the best schools.

In Colleges of Distinction 2020, we recognize schools that put students first—ones that prepare them for life, not just a job—with a unique range of environments, sizes, and program options for students of all interests and goals.

Do you want to go to a public or private school? Do you want to stay in state or venture out? Is a small or large campus better for you? What do you want to major in? With so many choices to make, it can get overwhelming. That’s why we created this resource of nearly 400 high-quality colleges and universities along with advice to help you choose.

What’s included:College Graduate: This Could Be You. Discover the School Right For You 

  • Tips for choosing a college major

  • The value of a liberal arts education

  • College application advice

  • SAT and ACT study tips

  • Ways to pay for college and win scholarships

  • PLUS: Spotlights of well-rounded business, education, engineering, and nursing degrees!

This guide will help you identify what you are looking for in an institution and find the one that will serve you best. To be recognized as a College of Distinction, an institution must meet four criteria:College Prep Guide: 2020 Colleges of Distinction Guidebook

  1. Engaged Students

  2. Great Teaching

  3. Vibrant Community

  4. Successful Outcomes

Each College of Distinction has been thoroughly interviewed and researched by our staff, so you know each school is properly vetted. While we consider quantitative data like student to faculty ratio and graduation rates, we also look for the quality in academics, campus life, and career opportunities.

The best college for you is out there. Simplify your search, explore the Colleges of Distinction, and discover the school that’s right for you.

2020 Colleges of Distinction Guidebook: Buy Now on Amazon

Hear What Others Have to Say:

Colleges of Distinction is an important and valuable guidebook that aligns itself with current school counseling principles and policies. The first several chapters are as important as any in the book. It asks readers to determine who they are and what they want from a college. In return, readers are directed to private and public schools that make sense in their search for a college that fits their needs and their futures. Students facing the college process should read this book without delay. School counselors and independent counselors will benefit from extraordinary advice as well.
— Mae Greenwald, MS | Senior College Counselor at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA
“My students and I appreciate the focus on things that matter to them in this listing, which is not yet another spotlight on the hardest colleges to get into, but on the ones that are right for them. As hard as it is to ignore the flashy rankings that are released each year, this list reminds students of the aspects that affect their daily lives as college students: accessible professors, interesting classroom experiences, and a focus on becoming a successful graduate in the world.”
– Kate Coddaire, MEd | Director of College Advising at Cheverus High School in Portland, ME
I use this guidebook for reference, as a source of information about what makes colleges (which may not be as famous or have a “top” spot on U.S. News & World Report) fantastic places of learning and support for students. You have done an amazing job of synthesizing research and reasons for choosing colleges, and not just relying on ‘what others say’ or ‘the rankings!’ I love this book.
— Shelley Randles, MS | Independent Educational Consultant
“Colleges of Distinction is one my “go to” resources for college information. The reviews are on point and have been very useful in helping clients identify schools where they will be actively engaged in their learning. While each review is only a page, the comments for each college effectively identify aspects of each college where they stand out from the field. I have found that both clients and parents appreciate the concise feedback on schools that they may be new to them. I like how this book helps me expand the range of schools that fit for my clients. This is an essential publication for parents, students, counselors, and independent consultants.”
– Dr. Jim Overton | Independent Educational Consultant, Founder of College Consultants of South Carolina, LLC
2020 Colleges of Distinction Guidebook: Look Inside Book on Amazon