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For 20 years, this leading guide to more than 300 colleges and universities has been an indispensable source of information for college-bound students and their parents. Hip and straightforward, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2003 reliably describes the academic climates and the social and extra-curricular scenes at the "best and most interesting" schools in the United States and Canada. Fiske¹s unique insight into what¹s not to be missed and what¹s to be avoided at ...
For 20 years, this leading guide to more than 300 colleges and universities has been an indispensable source of information for college-bound students and their parents. Hip and straightforward, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2003 reliably describes the academic climates and the social and extra-curricular scenes at the "best and most interesting" schools in the United States and Canada. Fiske¹s unique insight into what¹s not to be missed and what¹s to be avoided at each university reveals the academic strengths, the role of athletics, and the social highlights at each school. Professor-student interaction, college setting and scholarships are also hot topics.
Compiled from surveys of thousands of students and administrators, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2003 is thoroughly updated annually. The resulting resource is the best guide to colleges and universities available; USA Today has called it the "most readable and informative" of all college guides.
--a self-quiz to help you decide what really matters to you in a college and what kind of college is right for you
--vital application information--where to get one, which schools have the longest and most difficult applications, long-lead deadlines, etc.
--exclusive lists of the strongest majors and departments at each college as well as famous--and infamous--classes
--candid descriptions of quality of life, campus setting, social atmosphere and level of academic intensity from actual students--"party school" or "monastery"?
Also included is a special section highlighting the 43 public & private Best Buy schools--colleges that provide the best education for your money.
Fortunately, the reality of college admissions is a lot less scary than the hype. What's the worst that could happen? My vote for the all-time biggest disaster goes to a supremely stressed-out applicant to Franklin and Marshall College. She was struggling through her interview, legs crossed, foot fidgeting uncontrollably -- until her clog flew off, broke a desk lamp, and hit her interviewer squarely in the face. (Yes, it really happened.) But instead of a ticket to the reject pile, she got a laugh from the admissions officer and a pat on the back.
If this young lass couldn't screw up her application, neither can you. So relax. All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull superachiever. Just ask the whiz kids at MIT. Some years ago they dressed up the dome of the main academic building as a giant breast; on another occasion they unscrewed and turned around all the built-in chairs in a 500-seat lecture hall.
Not to be outdone, the rabble-rousers at archrival Cal Tech spent several months devising a radio that gave them remote control of the scoreboard during the nearby Rose Bowl football game. At a crucial moment, the score between Illinois and UCLA suddenly morphed into Cal Tech trouncing MIT -- all captured on national television.
Can't decide where to go? Why not pick the school with the most creative mascot. This could lead you to Evergreen State, whose symbol is the Gooeyduck, a large clam found in nearby Puget Sound. Got California on your mind? Choose UC/Santa Cruz and be a Banana Slug. Or how about environmentally minded Marlboro College in Vermont, where team shirts are emblazoned with Fighting Dead Trees. Haverford College, a Quaker institution, recently settled on the Black Squirrels as the nickname for its teams -- but only after deciding that neither Aardvarks nor Fighting Quakers had quite the right ring to it.
Another tie-breaker might be college cheers. The University of Chicago takes the cake in this category with: "Themosticles, Thucydides/The Peloponnesian Wars/ X-squared, Y-squared, H2SO4/Who for, what for/Who the hell are we cheering for?/Go maroons." Yep, those U of C kids know how to inspire their warriors.
College applications offer their fair share of comic relief. Just ask the applicant to Bates College who wrote his essay about the many experiences of his life and how he had "eradicated meaning from all of them." Another confided that the last book he had read was Uncle Tom's Cabin by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (So much for that A in 11th-grade American Lit.)
And so, dear applicant, my parting advice: Don't let them see you sweat. Otherwise, you risk ending up like the hapless applicant to Haverford College who developed a bad case of post-interview stress syndrome. As he left his interview room, he was still very nervous -- so nervous that he opened one more door after arriving back at the waiting room and walked into a closet. He didn't come out for several minutes. I don't think I would have, either.
Happy College Hunting! (Ted Fiske)