This listing is for Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges, 24th Edition.
This college guidebook recommends quality college departments at quality colleges. It provides the reader with outstanding starter lists of colleges to consider. Rugg's Recommendations On The Colleges is now in its 17th edition. New and updated editions have been published every year since 1988 (every 2 years before that). The book's enduring popularity is testimony to its usefulness in the college search process, especially in the list-building phase. I buy multiple copies every year for my college counseling office and always keep it within reach when working with students. The book is a staple in high school guidance and college advising offices nation-wide.
The author is a former counselor and is well-respected by members of his former profession. He is also well-known for the seminars that he presents for counselors around the country. As a former counselor, Rugg knows what information students and parents need and he provides it. The foundation of the book is the 83 lists of colleges grouped by majors and divided into three levels of selectivity. The colleges on each list are "recommended" for each major based on discussions with students at the colleges and counselors across the country, and on Rugg's own research and visits.
To the author's credit, he does not rank colleges the way that the national magazine (the one with two names and the ampersand) does. This is also a factor in the respect that counselors have for his work. Also to his credit, he states that the "book is not perfect." No publication in this field is, although a couple of them would like us to believe that they are.
The book also includes other helpful hints and information such as a list of the 100 colleges that he hears the most nice things about, colleges that "offer students the best opportunity to maximize their education." It also includes a list of colleges that offer "wellness" dormitories. Rugg's approach encourages students to find colleges that will be good fits while smartly avoiding the "more selective the college the better it must be" approach that fuels the magazine rankings mentioned above.
Rugg's Recommendations On The Colleges is a helpful tool that contains good and current information. It has always been available through guidance catalogs and from the author. I am glad to see it becoming widely available.
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