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The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2013: Students on Campus Tell You What You Really Want to Know [Paperback]

Yale Daily News Staff

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Book Description

July 3 2012 Insider's Guide to the Colleges

The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges has been, for 39 years, the most relied-upon resource for high school students looking for honest reports on colleges from their fellow students. Having interviewed hundreds of their peers on more than 330 campuses and by getting the inside scoop on everything from the nightlife and professors to the newest dorms and wildest student organizations, the reporters at the Yale Daily News have created the most candid college guide available. In addition to the wellrounded profiles, this edition has been updated to include:

• Essential statistics for every school, from acceptance rates to popular majors

• A "College Finder" to help students zero in on the perfect school

• All new FYI sections with student opinions and outrageous off-the-cuff advice

The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges cuts through the glossy brochures to uncover the things that matter most to students, and by staying on top of trends, it gives both students and parents the straightforward information they need to choose the school that’s right for them.


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The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2013: Students on Campus Tell You What You Really Want to Know + A Is for Admission: The Insider's Guide to Getting into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1024 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Thirty-Ninth Edition edition (July 3 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312672969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312672966
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 4.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #539,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for The Insider's Guide to the Colleges

“Savvy parents and students hold this book to be a must-read.”
—New York Daily News

“As intimate as a late-night chat in a dorm room.”
The Atlantic Monthly

“Invaluable in choosing and getting into a college.”
—Chicago Tribune

“Student-written profiles in The Insider’s Guide...are lively and informative and strike the tone of a college pal offering advice.”
Rolling Stone

“Who better to tell prospective students about life at college than current students?”
Boston Herald

 

About the Author

The Yale Daily News is produced by the undergraduates at Yale University. It has been serving the university and New Haven, CT since 1878.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What You Really Want to Know Oct. 30 2012
By J. Martens - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The preface reveals this book's approach: choose information from the Common Data Set, standardized information released by all higher ed schools, and marry it with short essays that draw on the experiences of current undergraduates. It's a low cost approach. The data are free and the outsourced essays require only good editors who can crack the whip on deadlines and polish the prose.

Does it deliver on the cover's promise? Does it "tell you what you really want to know?" That's harder to judge, for the essays vary significantly in quality and aim at students, not parents. Access to beer is a recurring topic. Prospective students might find the book most useful prior to a campus visit.

This and other college guides fail to do innovative work that would help consumers better compare schools. Such work requires going beyond the Common Data Set and pushing schools to reveal information that they'd prefer to hide or downplay. So what's missing? What do I really want to know?

What are my chances of being unable to enroll in specific courses? Colleges have computerized their course selection process and should be able to provide detailed data on which courses are difficult or next to impossible to enroll in. The Amherst College essay notes: "Some students, however, are frustrated by the difficulties of registering for courses taught by Amherst's 'celebrity professors' ..." Too bad there aren't some overall statistics. This issue is probably more critical at large state universities where one reads that students often have to tack on a fifth year because they had difficulty in getting the courses they wanted.

What's the campus security situation? The Clery Act forced colleges to report on campus crime. As the recent scandals at Penn State and Amherst have shown, college administrations view crime as a PR nightmare and have a natural inclination to underreport. Guidebook editors would provide a valuable service to push for better reporting and to publicize those statistics that do exist. You won't find them in this and other guidebooks. A savvy student or parent can learn about campus crime by using "clery" when searching college websites. Maybe the links to these reports can be added to the summary data section.

How do a college's students perform on the standardized exams for professional school? Some students begin undergraduate school intending to continue their education afterwards in law, medical, business or graduate school. No guidebooks provide any information on how a college's students perform on the LSAT, MCAT, GMAT or GRE. Savvy students or parents might ask about these scores during a campus visit, but don't expect an answer. Again the guidebook industry could perform a valuable service by pushing for these data.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Guide To Selecting The RIGHT College Aug. 25 2012
By Alan Houston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The "Insider's Guide To The Colleges" (the 2014 edition has now replaced this edition) from the staff of the Yale Daily News is written with the understanding that there is no such thing as the "Best College" in America. The editors instead seek to help high school students and their parents select the RIGHT college for YOU...which makes it the "best" college for you. The Yale Guide goes beyond numbers to try to provide a personality profile for each college.

The book includes "national" colleges that seek students from every state and from around the world. It also tries to include at least one college in each region, so the University of Montana is included, even though most of its students come from a limited region.

The profile of each college includes objective data, such as the number of students, the graduation rate, and SAT scores and ACT scores. More importantly, most of the attention is focused on what students have to say about the college: "TAs teach basic classes", "a really big party school", "Greek life is not very big", and diversity: "I've seen literally four black people".

Each profile is written by a student or graduate of that college based on years of living and studying at that school. They have the insider's view of life on each campus.

The changes to the college profiles between the 2013 edition and the 2012 edition are very minor (the price of college went up 5%...again). So, if you have the 2011 or 2012 edition, you probably don't need the 2013 edition.

No single book can give a complete picture of a college. Use this book in combination with Tanabe's "Ultimate Guide To America's Best Colleges" and Princeton Review's "Best 376 Colleges". The money and time invested in these three books will ensure that you don't waste four years of your life and thousands of dollars at the wrong college.

NOTE: the best guide to the "personality" of a college is Goldman's "Students' Guide To Colleges", available on Amazon.com for under $5 including shipping. Goldman skillfully uses student interviews to carefully delineate what makes each college unique: how is Duke different from its Southern peers, Vanderbilt and Emory? The weakness of Goldman's "Student's Guide To Colleges" is that it is limited to a mere 100 colleges and is now ten years out of date...but it is still well worth $5.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment Aug. 5 2012
By Bear - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The articles in this book are usually written usually by one single student from the college. So, you sometimes find yourself reading a opinion of someone very disgruntled and get a jaded view rather than an objective one i.e. one reflecting views of multiple students (which would be MUCH better. So, it's not so much an evaluation of the college/university as much as one person's feelings. I am not saying what is written is "right" or "wrong", rather it could easily be misleading. My suggestion is to save the money and either: a. take out multiple insider type assesments from the library to have a broader range of views on schools; or to look at a free website like college prowler.com that has numerous student evaluations on a wide spectrum of issues concerning each school.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars huge disappointment Feb. 23 2013
By P. L. Barksdale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a college counselor and this used to be one of my favorite guidebooks. It has gone WAY downhill. I've found numerous inaccuracies and really warped descriptions of several schools after just opening it up today. I can't recommend this anymore. I'd try [...] instead, for a more balanced series of student voices.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars... not the first (or last) step for college shopping July 24 2012
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2013" (946 pages) is a curious book. It brings an assessment of about 300 colleges and universities, but it never really explains how these places are actually selected from the 2000+ of colleges and universities out there, other than some general statements in the introduction. I am most familiar with colleges in DC (where my youngest is, and where I went myself) and Ohio (where I live, and where my oldest attended college), and while I perused some of the other chapters (they are listed state by state), I read the DC and Ohio chapters very carefully. First the good: the assessment of the colleges in DC seem right on target. I asked my daughter about some of the statements made in here about her particular college, and she agreed with them (I attended the same place, 25+ years ago). As for the Ohio chapter, it lists 12 colleges, including such institutions as as Ohio U and Bowling Green State U. The review on the Ohio college my son attended seems on point. But inexplicably, Xavier University (a fine Jesuit college here in Cincinnati) is left out of the book. Wow.

The book prides itself on providing "insider" information from students, and from that perspective it seems to do well. It also gives you some very brief and basic statistical info on what ACT and SAT scores need for the school, and how many are accepted and then actually enter. Beware of the real numbers, though: the tuition and room and board numbers for the school where my youngest is in DC seems AT LEAST two years old, if you can believe it. That said, this is not a book for HS students looking to start their college search (check out instead the recently released 2013 Fiske Guide to Colleges, or the Princeton Review's 2013 Complete Guide to Colleges). If anything, this book might be helpful AFTER they have narrowed down their choices and then looking for some further insight. An alternative college search/guidance book I would recommend in a heartbeat over this (or any other book, for that matter) would be the Princeton Review's 2013 edition of "377 Best Colleges", which is the best college-shopping boon, bar none.

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