StudentsReview ™ :: What is a "Good School"?

Search for Colleges by Region

or within distance of city

  Who's got the Best (variable)?

Perceptual Rankings:
You Make 'Em.
We Post 'Em.
You Vote 'Em Up.
You Vote 'Em Down.
Aww yeah.

What is a "Good School"?
by Beracah Yankama
Director, StudentsReview

Out on a dinner with some colleagues, the subject of a young woman came up and her school of choice, and someone mentioned, "She should be proud, Wellesley is a good school.” Immediately perplexed, I asked why he was so sure that Wellesley was a good school.  Avoiding the question, he shot back, “Well, what makes you think MIT is such a good school?”.  You see, this person is a male from MIT, and apart from MIT-Wellesley coregistration, it is impossible for him to know personally about the quality of education or preparedness of Wellesley. 

In your school search, you'll hear similar statements all the time.  People who could not possibly have any personal experience with a school will adamantly assert that a school is 'good'.  They may not have a well formed idea of why they think so, but they will passionately defend the validity of their belief.

When people state that when a school is “good”, they are usually not making a statement about the educational quality, but are making a different statement - in the same vein as one might make about a company.  Sony makes good products.  Adidas is a good company.  People do not have experience with all of the products of Sony or Adidas, but instead are making a statement about their brands.  “Sony is a good brand”.  While not a statement about education, that statement may still be important.  Companies and schools invest in their brand because it builds familiarity, recognition, and trust.  It is the brand that makes people comfortable enough to use the products, attend the school, or hire the graduate.  The brand mitigates the fear and risk of the unknown.  And schools that continually invest in their brand are increasing the value of the student's diploma, even after graduation.

But the brand may only present opportunities initially, when starting a career or changing jobs — it is the quality of education that helps you to make the most of those opportunities and build credibility of your own.

StudentsReview takes the position that for a school to be good, both components (the reputation/brand AND the educational quality) must be fulfilled.  The brand opens doors for you that otherwise might not be available, and educational quality teaches you how to step through them.  The best education, the hidden gem, is the one that teaches you how to find and open doors yourself.

For prospective students, the branding is plainly visible.  It is up to you however, to do the due diligence and investigate the educational quality behind the brand for the institutions you might wish to attend.

Beracah Yankama
Director, StudentsReview

Link me!
Forward me!

Other Articles:

• What is a good school?
• Statistical Significance
• How to choose a Major
• How to choose your Career
• What you make of it?
• How Ivy League Admissions works
• Student/Faculty Ratio (not all numbers are what they seem)
• Is a Top College Really Worth It?
• Talking to Your Parents when it comes to College.
• The #1 Thing Needed to Survive College and Graduate
• Sniffing Out Commuter Schools
• Start growing up before you begin college, not after you graduate!
• Preparing for College: A Roadmap to Your High School Career
• How to choose your Career or Job Security and the Job-Experience Curve.
• Applying to Graduate School
• On Ivy League Admissions... “get good grades, work hard, and be yourself”?
• What is a "Good School"?

Link me!
Forward me!

StudentsReview Advice!

• What is a good school?
• Statistical Significance
• How to choose a Major
• How to choose your Career
• What you make of it?
• How Ivy League Admissions works
• On the Student/Faculty Ratio

• FAFSA: Who is a Parent?
• FAFSA: Parent Contribution
• FAFSA: Dream out of reach

• College Financial Planning
• Survive College and Graduate
• Sniffing Out Commuter Schools
• Preparing for College: A HS Roadmap
• Talking to Your Parents about College.
• Is a top college worth it?
• Why is college hard?
• Why Kids Aren't Happy in Traditional Schools
• Essential College Tips
• Cost of College Increasing Faster Than Inflation
• For parents filling out the FAFSA and PROFILE (from a veteran paper slinger)
• How to choose the right college?
• Create The Right Career Habits Now
• Senior Year (Tips and experience)
• Informational Overload! What Should I Look For in a College or University?
• Personality Type and College Choice
• A Free Application is a Good Application
• College Academic Survival Guide
• Getting Involved: The Key to College Happiness
• Choose a Path, Not a Major
• The Scoop on State Schools
• The Purpose of a Higher Education
• The Importance of Choosing the Right College Major (2012)
• How to choose a college major
• How to guarantee your acceptance to many colleges
• Nailing the College Application Process
• What to do for a Successful Interview
• I Don't Know Where to Start (General College Advice)
• Attitude and Dress Code for an Interview (General College Advice)
• Starting College (General College Advice)