Parent Presentation Grade 10 May 2014

April 2014

We started with an activity to explore types of colleges. While picking colleges by ranking or name recognition is certainly done, it misses actually exploring student experiences and outcomes. Some very useful websites to explore include:

  • Unigo#mce_temp_url#: A student review website
  • Collegeprowler: another student review website
  • Payscale tracks college gradautes earnings. Take this information with some healthy skepticism as it does not tell the whole story. 

There are all sorts of interesting rankings out there. 

Which colleges has the smartest students? Lumonosity has the answer. 

A different sort of intelligence can be seen in which colleges produce the most PhD’s

What if your kids is heading to MBA or Law or Medical schools and not a PhD?

Wall Street Journal feeder schools

A document which lists the top 50 schools which feed students into the “selected 15 elite graudate school programs in medicine (Columbia, Harvard Johns Hopkins, University of California San Francisco, Yale), law (Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Michigan, and Yale) and business (Chicago, Darmouth’s Tuck School, Harvard, MIT’s Sloan School, and Penn’s Wharton School).

15 of the top 50 are liberal arts colleges. 



The more classic rankings of course include the three big rankings (be sure to read their methdologies):


Malcolm Gladwell take a close look at college rankings and concludes “Who comes out on top, in any ranking system, is really about who is doing the ranking.” 


There are many thinkers and list makers in college advisement world. One of our favorites is Steven antanoff author of College finder. This book is simply a series of lists like “Colleges where movies were filmed” or “colleges with the most students involved with fraternities.” His lists are available for free at the collegeexpress website. Some of my favorites from the 800 include:



Hit “next” to see more lists or choose some new filters and sub-categories to keep exploring!


Hit “next” to see more lists or choose some new filters and sub-categories to keep exploring!

Does going to a top college equal getting a top job?

While this is a widely held belief, the truth is far more complex. While going to a college with a strong name recognition probably does move you up list for a job interview so do good internships. 

Consider all these stories collected about students lack of career success inspite of the fact they attended an elite college. Perhaps more worthwhile reading can be found here:



“Irrespective of college major or institutional selectivity, what matters to career success is students’ development of a broad set of cross-cutting capacities…”



Malcolm Gladwell takes a very close look at two colleges, Hartwhick and Harvard, and their respective completation rates for STEM majors:



Top 3rd

Second 3rd

Bottom 3rd


























Hear Gladwell explain it himself

Malcolm Gladwell on why you should never study at an elite college, but should rather choose a college where you are sure you can be the top student in your program. “When it comes to choosing your undergraduate institution, you should never go to the best institution you get into. Never. Go to your second or your third choice. Go to the place where you’re guaranteed to be in the top part of your class.”


relative deprivation  theory: “And it describes this exceedingly robust phenomenon which says that as human beings we do not form our self-assessments based on our standing in the world. We form our self-assessments based on our standing in the — in our immediate circle, on those in the same boat as ourselves, right?”

“The smarter your peers, the dumber you feel; the dumber you feel, the more likely you are to drop out of science.” 

CEO’s of the fortune 500 companies

Liberal arts and sciences