The Top 17 Most Recommended Colleges

With the help of a ranked list of the most recommended colleges by alumni.

Mar 8, 2014 at 2:00PM

"Insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"

-Albert Einstein

While that's great advice, the 21st century definition of insanity can be taken even one step further. Something to the tune of, "Doing the same thing as hoards of other people and expecting different results."

We live in a connected world. Though we may all be unique, there's no reason we can't benefit from the experiences of others. And in no other time in history has it been easier to access those experiences than today. 

I recently explored the idea of using reviews and social media in, "11 Colleges Even Its Alumni Wouldn't Recommend." I found alumni, when given anonymity, are much more honest about their Alma mater than I would have assumed.

So, with the help of, today I'll dig into the other side of the story. The top 17 colleges with the highest percentage of recommendations by alumni. 

Major findings
As I picked apart these "most recommended" colleges, I was looking for correlations. What do these schools have in common, and how can this information help future college students make more informed decisions?

There are a number of factors that hold no weight on its own. School size, acceptance rate, starting salary, most popular majors, and tuition rates varied significantly among the schools mentioned.

However, there was one common factor: of those schools that were nationally ranked, not one is ranked outside the top 100 in the U.S. News rankings. So, while I have been critical of US News's rankings in the past, it's a fine place to start your search.

The best advice that I could give students is to have a clear understanding of what you need to be successful, and what you want out of college. If you're able to do that, finding a great institution fitting that mold, where others have experienced success, should make your search much easier.

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A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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