Ursinus Is Among the “Colleges that Change Lives”

Ursinus College is among 40 “Colleges that Change Lives” cited in a book for the ability to help students succeed. The book, originally by Loren Pope, has been revised and updated this year by Hilary Masell Oswald.

For Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges (Penguin Books),  Masell Oswald conducted all new school tours and in-depth interviews, and built on Pope’s original work to create a more expansive work. Featuring a new introduction, a new “required reading” section, and a new chapter on learning disabilities, the book is organized into five geographic regions (Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, Northwest). Each profile includes admissions standards as well as relevant statistics including where the school ranks in post-graduate grants and fellowships, what percentage of students go on to graduate school or further education, distinguishing facts about the curriculum, percentage of professors who have terminal degrees in their field, and what activities are available to students and what they’re likely to do on weekends.

Ursinus’s chapter quotes Pope: “Ursinus is a star of the first magnitude in the small galaxy of colleges that change lives.” It goes on to state that of the student population, “each has his or her own tale of transformation.” The book notes a growth in students’ skills and self-confidence during four years at Ursinus, “how their aspirations rise, and how their perspectives broaden.” And it praises Ursinus professors: “The dedication to teaching is legendary.” It notes that students have in common, “civility, character, and an eagerness to learn” and declares that “rigor matters.”

Colleges That Change Lives has sold more than 150,000 copies and has gone into 24 printings. The late Loren Pope was the education editor of the New York Times and was the founder of the College Placement Bureau, a college administrator, and the author of Looking Beyond the Ivy League. He received an honorary degree from Ursinus College in 2007.

Hilary Masell Oswald lives in Denver, Colo. where she writes about education, architecture and design, and public policy. Her work has appeared in Newsday, the Chicago Tribune, Edutopia, and other publications and websites.

The non-profit CTCL is made up of the schools listed in the third edition of the book. CTCL works to dispel publicly held myths about college choice–particularly the notion that college choices are severely limited to today’s high school students–by hosting information sessions nationwide and coordinating outreach efforts with high school counselors and college counseling agencies alike. From their debut in 1998, CTCL events have been offered at no charge to the attendees, and they have been extremely well attended, continuing to attract standing-room-only audiences across the U.S. To support parents, students, and counselors who are unable to attend our events, the CTCL web site provides information, news and resources, which address current issues in higher education as well as common misperceptions about the college search process.