Knox College Selected for New Edition of "Colleges That Change Lives"

September 14, 2012

Colleges That Change LivesKnox is a place that will take you seriously, no matter where you grew up or what kind of high school you attended. Nobody cares if you want to dye your hair green, wear a cape to class, or dress in a suit every day. Instead, the focus is on cultivating your potential, stretching your limits, and sharpening your values so that when you leave, you are captain of your fate and master of your soul. -- Colleges That Change Lives, 2012 Edition

Knox College has again been selected for the best-selling guide to colleges that is noted for its in-depth approach -- Colleges That Change Lives. The new edition, published this month by Penguin, features new information about the colleges and interviews with students, faculty and staff.

Renowned for revealing details about colleges beyond numerical rankings, the book advises: "Knox delivers an elite education to a diverse group of students... Knox is a place that will take you seriously, no matter where you grew up or what kind of high school you attended."

First published in 1996 by Loren Pope, the legendary former education editor of The New York Times, Colleges That Change Lives identifies Knox as one of 40 colleges from across the United States that are distinctive for their admission standards, curriculum, extracurricular activities, and educational philosophies.

How Knox Changed Philip BennettThese Students' Lives


The new edition by Hilary Masell Oswald is a complete revision of the original, including updated information and extensive interviews with Knox students, faculty and staff.

"The new edition of Colleges That Change Lives maintains its emphasis on helping students find schools like Knox that value diversity, potential and initiative," said Paul Steenis, Dean of Admission at Knox. "The book encourages students, as we do at Knox, to look for a college based experiences on campus --  student-faculty relationships, learning styles, and support for opportunities."

Highlights from interviews with Knox students in the 2013-2014 edition of Colleges That Change Lives:

"Nobody here lets you get away with the minimum. You're always pushed to do more, but not in a rough way. Professors just see a lot in us, and they're trying to strengthen us."

"When I compare experiences with [friends at large universities], I think I'm getting just as good an education, but in a place where I'm building relationships."

"Not many high schools ask students questions [focusing as rigorously as Knox does on each student's personalized educational plan], so you're not used to evaluating your own life. But if you don't practice examining yourself and your goals, you'll just continue down the same boring path forever, maybe a path you didn't even choose for yourself."

Colleges That Change Lives describes Knox College:

Knox shows a "willingness to break the mold of typical college classes" through its unique "immersion" programs, such as Repertory Term in theatre, and Green Oaks Term, an interdisciplinary course that spans the natural sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences.

Knox "encourages professors to be innovative" and gives students "a lot of quality time with their professors" through the a distinctive academic calendar, with a standard load of three courses in each of three ten-week terms.

"Of all the guidebooks that are available, Colleges That Change Lives is the one that we hear about most often from prospective students and their families," Steenis said. "That is a testimony to the book's enduring value as a source of credible information and reliable advice."

Knox College also participates in the non-profit organization, Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL), formed by the colleges featured in the book, to advance the life's work of Loren Pope. CTCL organizes free college-search information sessions for high school students across the country and overseas, coordinates outreach activities with high school counselors and college counseling agencies, recognizes outstanding high school guidance counselors, and offers tips to college-bound students and their families on its website,

"Knox is committed to supporting the mission of CTCL -- helping students 'frame their search beyond the ratings and rankings and to find a college that cultivates a lifelong love of learning and provides the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life beyond college' -- which is consistent with Knox's own mission and values."