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The Top 17 Most Recommended Colleges

By Dave Koppenheffer - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:00PM

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

"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 Payscale.com, 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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