2017 Guidebook by Colleges of Distinction: Find the School that's Right for You! - Colleges of Distinction


In Colleges of Distinction 2017, you’ll find a college and university reference guidebook like no other. Not only are there full-page profiles for over 300 schools, but you’ll also learn what qualifies a school as a College of Distinction, what questions students and parents should ask on a campus tour, and how to tell the difference between a good school and a school that’s a great fit for you.

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Our goal is to go above the biased assumptions of numerical rankings and popularity surveys of most college guidebooks. Our book of college and university profiles gives you a reliable, journalistic look at schools that may not have the biggest names in higher education, but that consistently do a great job keeping students engaged.

“At last we have a college resource book that evaluates colleges on what matters.”

—Dr. Jim Overton, College Consultants of South Carolina

“A valuable resource for students and their families as they navigate the application and selection process.”

—Andrea P. Cook, President, Warner Pacific College, Portland, Oregon

To be included as a College of Distinction, an institution must meet four criteria:

  1. Engaged Students
  2. Great Teaching
  3. Vibrant Community
  4. Successful Outcomes

Verifying that a school meets our high standards is a detailed process of interviews and hands-on research, so you can be sure that every school has been thoroughly vetted.

Schools that qualify as Colleges of Distinction have smaller class sizes, a greater focus on students’ individual needs, and are run by faculty and staff that do an excellent job of preparing their students for successful careers and top-notch graduate schools.

Buy this book to get best college reference guidebook on the market and master the college search process to find the school that’s right for you.

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More Reviews

“The Colleges of Distinction Guidebook provides a list of colleges where its all about the student, their involvement in their learning, and how that knowledge is used after graduation. This is a resource I keep handy.”

Maite Halley, MS, CEP, Independent Educational Consultant

“Clear, well organized and practical.”

Brian L. Friedrich, President, Concordia University, Nebraska

“At last we have a college resource book that evaluates colleges on what matters – how the college actually engages its students. This Guidebook focuses on colleges that effectively engage students through learning experiences in and out of the classroom, thorough vibrant campus experiences, through passionate faculty who are passionate value interacting with undergraduate students and that also have a track record of successful graduates. These colleges range the full spectrum from the better known to those that are, unfortunately, still under the radar.

Student engagement is the clarion call for higher education in this new century. Each of these colleges distinguishes themselves through their own unique ways to accomplish just that. This is an essential resource for anyone wanting to explore the landscape of effective colleges.”

Dr. Jim Overton, College Consultants of South Carolina

“Among the clamor of college rankings, Colleges of Distinction stands apart by getting past the statistics and popularity polls in order to listen to the heartbeat of a university’s effectiveness. This guide calls out the ‘best of the best’ by focusing on what is best for the undergraduate learning experience. The book presents diligent research and a cohesive body of work that encapsulates what every parent and student is searching for – mission engagement, great teaching, vibrant campus-life and successful outcomes. Colleges of Distinction sets the right standard by which every university should be evaluated.”

Dr. Roger Parrott, Belhaven University President

“The Colleges of Distinction annual guide is an excellent companion for both students and parents beginning the college-search process. While the experience can feel overwhelming at times, we are confident you will find this comprehensive publication to be a valuable resource to help students find a college that is a perfect fit for them.”

Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr., Charleston Southern University

“What sets this guidebook apart is that it approaches colleges like you do: by digging deep to understand the experiences, attributes and environmental factors that make each campus unique. Colleges of Distinction goes well beyond number crunching to give readers fuller pictures of institutions and richer descriptions of what sets them apart.”

Hal Legg, Executive Director of Communications, SUNY Oneonta

“Colleges of Distinction is an excellent guide that every college-going student should use. The opening section should be required reading for college-bound families. The insights provided will aid in navigating the search process and arriving at the right institution.”

Matt Thompson, Ph.D., President and CEO, Kansas Wesleyan University

“Searching and choosing the right college is exciting for students and families, but it can also be daunting. With the Colleges of Distinction Guidebook, families can go beyond traditional rankings and explore institutions that are learning-focused and consistently excel at broadly educating undergraduate students and creating leaders.

I especially recommend the guidebook for prospective students who are interested in having meaningful, close interaction with faculty and want to walk away with in-depth, personalized academic and professional references for graduate school and employment opportunities after their college career.”

Sharon Herzberger, President, Whittier College

“Many important factors exist for students and their families to consider when selecting a college. Statistics about institutions provide vital information, but often don’t tell the entire story–especially in determining the right personal fit. The fact that “Colleges of Distinction” was created by parents looking for “hidden-gem colleges” for their children provides a ringing endorsement for the schools featured.”

Scott D. Miller, Ph.D., President, Virginia Wesleyan College