3/3/17 ASHLAND, OHIO - Based on its excellence in engaging students, its great teaching, a vibrant campus community and its successful outcomes, Ashland University has been named as a College of Distinction for 2017.
“We are very pleased to be identified as a College of Distinction and believe that this recognition illustrates some of the things that we do best on this campus,” said AU President Dr. Carlos Campo. “We focus on great teaching as well as placing an emphasis on engaging students both inside and outside of the classroom with exciting living and learning environments, and that is drawing some attention.”
Ashland is one of only 14 Ohio college and universities listed in the Colleges of Distinction’s 2017 Guidebook, which is filled with profiles of schools as well as an abundance of tips, suggestions and information to help students and families navigate the long and complicated college search, admissions, orientation and financing processes.
A “college of distinction” university must be nominated by a high school guidance counselor, college administrators or the Colleges of Distinction selection team. The Colleges of Distinction methodology is a mix of qualitative and quantitative information related to four areas of evaluation and also uses quantitative data such as graduation rates, classroom size and other key stats that speak to the four distinctions.
Qualitative information is gleaned from college admission experts around the country and includes interviews with senior administration, faculty, alumni and current students at each nominated college.
Feedback is gathered from administrators at other colleges and high school counselors across the country, and the selection team visits each school to get a true feel for the campus.
The guidebook’s — and the company’s — mission is to help prospective college students and their families to, “Discover the school that’s right for you.” To do this, Colleges of Distinction goes above the biased assumptions of numerical rankings and popularity surveys, which are weighted to favor the largest, research-driven, Ph.D.-granting, Division-I athletics universities.
Instead, Colleges of Distinction strives to provide a reliable, journalistic look at schools that may not have the biggest names in higher education, but that consistently do a great job keeping students engaged — and preparing them for long, rewarding careers in fields for which they have a passion, while limiting the debt they have at the onset.
“Many schools are famous for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of their education programs,” explains Colleges of Distinction Founder Wes Creel, who launched his company 15 years ago after experiencing, firsthand, the frustrations of determining what schools were right for his own four daughters. “They may have big-time football or basketball programs. They may be known for top-notch research — conducted by scientists who never actually teach. They may be recognized for the quality of their Ph.D. programs and medical schools.”
Creel and his team set about creating a guidebook that focuses on things that matter more to average families, such as what questions to ask on a campus tour, what scholarships and financial aid options are available, and how to tell the difference between a good school and a school that’s a great fit for you.
“Finding the right college is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make,” adds Colleges of Distinction Chief Content Officer Tyson Schritter. “It ranks right up there with choosing a spouse and deciding on a career. Finding the right college can change your life; getting stuck at the wrong one can leave you frustrated, unhappy — and in debt without a completed degree.”
Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###