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.
What’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.
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.
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:
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.