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The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price by Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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19. Grading Academic Departments

One of the most common questions I am asked is, “What are the best colleges for my intended major?” I’ve been asked this by prospective majors in just about every subject imaginable. My reply is always the same: You are asking the wrong question. The real question students and parents should be asking at the start of their college search is not which programs are “best,” but rather “What are the elements of a strong program in a particular major?”

—Carolyn Z. Lawrence, private college counselor and founder of AdmissionsAdvice.com

Not long ago, the new dean of the nationally renowned journalism school at Northwestern University received free reign to overhaul the place. To pave the way for changes, the university’s ...

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