July 11, 2018 | Matt Kucinski


"Twenty percent [of students] collaborate with faculty on research projects." - Fiske Guide To Colleges 2019

The Fiske Guide to Colleges has again touted Calvin College as one the country’s best and most interesting colleges in its 2019 guidebook. The guidebook's editors also shortlisted colleges and universities with unusual strength in preprofessional areas. Calvin College is selected as one of 38 “small colleges and universities strong in business” and one of 20 “small colleges and universities strong in engineering.”

Compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, Fiske Guide to Colleges 2019 is a selective, subjective, and systematic look at 300-plus colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

For 35 years, the guide has aimed to help prospective students and their families discover the real personality of top colleges and universities based on a broad range of subjects, including student body, academics, social life, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food, and extracurricular activities.

In the two-page essay included in the guide, editors say Calvin “ranks high on the private college affordability list,” and “is founded on the belief that every subject—even the sciences or mass media and popular culture—can be approached from a Christian perspective, and faculty members work hard to integrate faith and learning.”

Current Calvin students quoted in the guide are appreciative of the challenging academic environment balanced with the support of faculty. “The faculty will challenge students in their intellectual pursuits as well as encourage them in their personal lives,” said an international development major.” A social work major says, “Class sizes are small enough that professors will get to know your name, but big enough to offer a variety of opinions in discussions.”

Fiske editors highlight Calvin LifeWork, “a new, optional program that teaches skills like financial literary and career readiness, to prepare students for success after college.” Participants who stay in the program for all four years receive an automatic $3,000 scholarship their senior year. And they also call attention to the many experiential learning opportunities Calvin offers its students, from internships to regular collaboration with faculty on research, presentations, and publications, to study abroad opportunities, which editors note Calvin being “among the top in the nation for the number of students” who study overseas.

Students also give Calvin high marks in the areas of residence life, extracurricular activities, and for its Grand Rapids location, offering access to restaurants, coffee shops, minor-league sports, galleries, and ArtPrize.

In addition to the guidebook, Fiske Guide to Colleges is also available as an iPad app on iTunes and a web program on CollegeCountdown.com. Fiske Interactive allows families to go beyond the book by viewing photos of each campus, creating school lists, and taking virtual notes.

Edward B. Fiske served for 17 years as education editor of the New York Times, where he realized that college-bound students and their families needed better information on which to base their educational choices. He is also the coauthor of the Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College and Fiske Real College Essays That Work.

Recent stories