Prospective Students
Going to College?

Here are a few things you should know before you go to college.

You’re looking for a college. Your parents are worried about paying for it, your guidance counselor doesn’t know a lot about the schools you are interested in, and your friends have their favorites, which North Carolina College Findermay not be right for you.

And you aren’t sure where you can get in.

So how do you pick a college?

We’ll try to help. We are troubled by the rising costs of college, by too many lightweight courses, by the ideological bias of professors, and by the lack of moral and ethical standards on many campuses.

Some of these things may not bother you. But we believe you’ll be better off if you choose colleges that respect free markets and the distinctiveness of U.S. history and that recognize the complexity of human nature and teach courses that reflect it.

We will provide some guidance with online sources. Let’s start with those “elite” colleges. Here's what economist Thomas Sowell says about them. Then, check out Ashley Herzog's take on College Classes for Conservatives to Avoid.

Then, take a look at Minding the Campus' Short Guide to College Guides.

Don’t rely too much on the U.S. News rankings. See George Leef’s critique. (For more indepth analysis, you can read Leef's report on the subject.)

Fortunately, there are lots of other sources of information. Jane Shaw discusses them here. (She really likes the Princeton Review.)

Forbes has also come out with an intriguing alternative to the U.S. News rankings.

You can also check out the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education's free speech rankings of NC universities here. Or look at the National Association of Scholars' list of excellent programs at schools around the country.

While you're waiting for those acceptance letters, check out the Pope Center's Student Guide to Scholarships!

You can also browse the Pope Center's "If I Knew Then" Series: A collection of articles from current and former students about their experiences in college.

Let us know if these help. If not, what would you like to know? We have a lot of contacts in higher education. For more information, Contact Jane Shaw at or Jenna Robinson at


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