Oh, they're at it again. Those pesky lists of "Best" colleges in America. This time, as it does every year in the battle to win popularity ratings (as in, "it sells magazines"), Forbes comes out with its List of America's Top Colleges ("Top" simply being a euphamism for "Best," we suppose).
Interesting how this "list" just happened to come out on the very same day the Common App went "live." Hmmm. Design or coincidence? You decide.
Yes, right alongside those other winners of popularity contests, near and far -- best bagels, best beaches, best tanning salon, best tanning salon offering the best bagels near the best beach -- there they are: America's best colleges.
Of course, all of these lists, geared to suck you in and make you want to drool with dropped jaw (if not dropped drawers) beg the real question: Best for whom?
Princeton, Stanford, Swarthmore -- all great schools -- may be among the best choices for some, but are these colleges the "best" places for you to grow, to learn, to mature, to gain a foothold in this great big world of ours?
Maybe. Then again, maybe not.
How about The 100 Best Colleges To Go For. [NOTE: We do not suggest, by any means, that you apply to 100 colleges!]
What about best value? [As if money mattered. :-) ] Be sure to check out those Net Cost Calculators.
Best food on campus. Best library. Best Frat parties. The Lists go on and on and on.
The College Whisperer doesn't buy into the list mentality of "Best" (though he does subscribe to Forbes, Kiplinger and U.S. News & World Report). These lists are self-serving and subjective, at best (pun intended).
You can no more pick a college from someone else's list of "Best" than you can a walking shoe with a perfect fit from a list of bests. You need to make your own list -- or lists -- and determine where you will best fit in.
And speaking of lists (what a segue, folks). . .
Every year, the Long Island Press has it's annual Best of Long Island contest, and this year is no different. [Hey, it sells newspapers and brings people to the website. It's all about marketing.] Folks are asked to nominate Long Island individuals and companies, in a variety of categories (Arts & Entertainment, Education, Services, Food & Drink and so on) in what is, invariably, a beauty or popularity contest.
Now, while The College Whisperer is certainly no beauty -- though he is, nevertheless, quite popular -- one would think there would be somewhere, among all the many categories and sub-categories, for the nomination of Best College Planner.
And why not? After all, you can nominate a Best Mascot, Best Tween Fashion Store, Best Egg Sandwich, Best Psychic (psychic? Wouldn't she be able to predict the outcome of this contest? Hmmm) and Best Catholic School. So why the heck not, Best College Planner?
The College Whisperer may not be psychic, but he has been a great prognosticator over the years on where students should apply to college, the best strategies for admission, and finding the money to pay that tuition bill.
We sent a query to the Long Island Press on this most egregious oversight. To date, no response.
And so, we have taken it upon ourselves to self-nominate (rather than to self-medicate) for Best of Long Island 2013.
We had to be just a little creative, given the absence of a write-in category.
For Best LI Based Website (under the Services category), The College Whisperer -- www.TheCollegeWhisperer.com.
For Best Learning Center (under the Education category) [It's a stretch, but it's as close as we can figure it], College Connection -- www.CollegeConnect.info.
Now, it is your turn to show us some love (or at least a bit of "Like.") Nominate The College Whisperer and College Connection for Best of Long Island 2013.
While you're at it, send your feedback to the Long Island Press, asking why there's nowhere to place in nomination Best College Planner.
Look, if Divorce Lawyers, Auto Collision Shops, Sneaker Stores and Pool Halls (dare we mention, Colleges?) can get the accolades, why not Long Island's premier college planning service and your all-time favorite college guru?
HINT TO PATCH: You've got Best Deli, Best Pizza, Best Caption for a Zoo Animal. How about Best College Planner? Hey, we wanna be popular too! :-)
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of The College Whisperer.
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