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Education Reporter
Book of the Month

Choosing the Right College, The Whole Truth About America's 100 Top Schools, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Inc., 1998, $25, 672 pps.

Choosing the Right College
This 672-page guide features a half dozen pages of description of each of America's top 100 universities and colleges, private and public. Parents can learn useful information, gleaned from thousands of on-campus sources, about each school.

Reviews of the colleges are divided into four parts: (1) an overview of each school's history and current climate; (2) its fundamental requirements and how they compare to the liberal arts ideal, (3) the prevailing "political atmosphere," and (4) a discussion of extracurricular aspects of student life.

Though the colleges are listed in alphabetical order in the Table of Contents, an index would have been helpful.

Here are a few excerpts:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) "subjects all students to its harrowing basic curriculum." Humanities courses are "generally free of politici-zation, with science courses all but immune to such intrusions. It's difficult to teach 'Feminist Physics' or 'The Calculus of Oppression.' "

  • Michigan State University (MSU) "has avoided many of the problems that beset other enormous state schools," and has "an excellent curriculum in the liberal arts."

  • Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, "has a student body more focused on academics than activism, and is largely apathetic at both ends of the political spectrum."

  • Notre Dame suffers from "a growing moral vacuum," and has "a high degree of politicization for the nation's flagship Catholic university."

  • Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, "offers a very strong liberal arts curriculum in a traditional atmosphere. The sun and the beach are extras."

  • Princeton University "has a prestigious name, but the curriculum is increasingly bedeviled by politicized courses." Academic life is dubbed "Poisoned Ivy."

  • Tulane University in New Orleans "has remained one of the south's premier private schools, despite financial and other problems."

  • Washington University in St. Louis "is increasingly known for the quality of its graduate and professional programs, but some of the school's best qualities do not apply to undergraduates."

Write ISI, P.O. Box 4431, Wilmington, DE 19807, or call 800-526-7022, email isi@isi.org, web site www.isi.org.

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