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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

“Colleges that Change Lives” to be updated

“Colleges that Change Lives,” the book by the late Loren Pope which aims to help students in their search for the right college, will be updated with a new edition soon. On March 2, the author of the new edition, Hilary Oswald, visited campus, sat in on classes and spoke to current students.

There is no guarantee that Guilford will be featured in the new edition. According to Oswald, there will still be 40 schools included in the book, but the membership is likely to change some.

Guilford’s inclusion in the book has long been a marketing point for the college.

“Frequently, students say they heard about us from ‘Colleges that Change Lives,'” said Associate Director of Admissions Susan Bagley. “I don’t think there’s a college in the book that would say (being featured in the book) hasn’t been valuable.”

In a Guilfordian survey of 151 students, 83 respondents said that Guilford’s inclusion in “Colleges that Change Lives” influenced their decision to attend the college. However, the recruitment power of “Colleges that Change Lives” is not limited to the book itself.

“A valuable spin-off of the book is that the colleges featured formed a group and began touring together to spread the word,” Bagley said about the organization Colleges that Change Lives, which is separate from the book.

“We find that often, people do not realize that CTCL is a non-profit organization with a mission that is distinct from the book,” said CTCL Executive Director Marty O’Connell in an e-mail interview. “The 40 current member-colleges support the website, resources for students and counselors, and enable the message of a ‘student-centered’ search process that leads to the chance to develop life-long learners.”

Both the book and the organization have impacted admissions at Guilford, attracting students who seem particularly interested in the institution, according to Assistant Director of Admissions Nancy Riemer.

“Students who seem to find us through (the book/organization) seem to be looking for a school like Guilford,” said Riemer. “With those students, (Guilford) seems like a natural fit.”

“I’ve been surprised at the number of prospective students that say they read about us in ‘Colleges that Change Lives,'” said senior Daniel Hood, who works as a tour guide. “Families that have that background ask more piercing questions. They actually want instances of personal experience from tour guides rather than just basic information. It’s nice to have those families.”

Guilford has also become more widely known because of the book and CTCL.

“More than anything, (the book/organization) has brought Guilford into the lives of families that would not know about us any other way,” said Assistant Director of Admissions Thayle Heggie. “Students not necessarily familiar with North Carolina and the rank of schools here can know what we stand for. Guilford is such a hidden gem that a lot of people don’t know about.”

Though there is no guarantee that Guilford will be included in the new edition, the Admissions Office staff is optimistic.

“I sure hope we make it into the new edition,” said Riemer. “I certainly expect we would.”

117 of the 151 survey respondents also said that Guilford has changed their lives. Hood reflected on his own experiences.

“Guilford has been life-altering for me,” said Hood. “I left high school with low self-confidence and self-esteem. Now I’m in my last semester, I’m writing my senior thesis, I’ve applied to graduate school and I can’t believe how far I’ve come. The atmosphere here, the professors and the solidarity among the student body combine to make this perfect storm of awesome and wonderment.”

Hood’s words echoed those of Pope.

“(Guilford is) a stimulating place where the teachers care, where they expect a lot and where they provide the encouragement as well as the challenge to get young people to do things they had no idea they could do,” wrote Pope in “Colleges that Change Lives.”

Professor and Director of Peace and Conflict Studies Vernie Davis went to Kalamazoo College, another one of the institutions featured in Pope’s book.

“I went to my college because of the traits that would later lead it to be featured in “Colleges that Change Lives,” said Davis. “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if I hadn’t gone there. I wouldn’t even have considered that I could be doing it. There’s definitely something about (the featured) colleges that set them apart.”

Vice President for Enrollment Services Randy Doss commented on how Guilford’s inclusion in “Colleges that Change Lives” helps set it apart from other colleges.

“There are 4,000 four-year colleges in the United States,” said Doss. “To be in a book with only 40 of them is a pretty amazing thing.”

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