Choosing the Right College by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute

“Choosing the Right College” is a guide published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), aimed at aiding students and parents in the college selection process. Let’s delve into a deeper analysis of this work.

Overview: The guide is notable for its unique perspective on higher education, as it evaluates colleges and universities based on their commitment to a broad, liberal arts education, the quality of teaching, and the presence (or lack) of ideological bias. It offers detailed profiles of various institutions, providing insights not just into academic matters, but also into the cultural and social environments on campuses.


  1. Unique Perspective: Unlike many other college guides that focus heavily on rankings, selectivity, and statistics, “Choosing the Right College” delves into the educational philosophies of institutions, making it distinct in the market.
  2. Detailed Profiles: The profiles of institutions in the guide often provide a level of depth that’s hard to find elsewhere, touching on faculty, curriculum, student life, and even political climate.
  3. Promotion of Broad Education: ISI, as an organization, values a traditional liberal arts education, which emphasizes critical thinking, historical understanding, and a comprehensive view of knowledge. This guide champions institutions that uphold these values.
  4. Alerts on Political Correctness: For students and parents who are concerned about excessive ideological bias or political correctness on campus, this guide provides valuable insights into the climate of discussion and debate at various schools.


  1. Potential Ideological Bias: Given ISI’s conservative leanings, some critics argue that the guide may show a bias toward institutions that align with conservative values or ideologies, which could lead to an unbalanced portrayal.
  2. Limited Scope: While the guide covers a good number of colleges, it doesn’t encompass all institutions. This selective approach could limit its usefulness for some readers.
  3. Overemphasis on Liberal Arts: While a liberal arts education is valuable, it’s not the ideal fit for every student. Some readers might feel that the guide doesn’t give adequate attention to schools with strong technical, vocational, or specialized programs.
  4. Potential to Polarize: By highlighting the presence or absence of “political correctness” at institutions, the guide might perpetuate a divisive narrative. Some readers may argue that this focus detracts from more crucial academic considerations.


“Choosing the Right College” by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute offers a unique and detailed perspective on the higher education landscape in the U.S. It is a valuable resource for students and parents seeking an education rooted in the liberal arts and a balanced perspective on ideological bias. However, readers should be aware of the guide’s potential biases and approach its recommendations with a critical mind. As with any college guide, it should be used in conjunction with other resources to ensure a well-rounded understanding of the options available.