High Praise Indeed
Schools that prepared students to succeed in their chosen field, were enjoyable and considered a good value for the money were the most recommended by graduates. The strongest correlation with recommending their college is the degree to which graduates feel they were socially developed. The second-strongest correlation is with the ranking they gave their college on Value for the Money. This is why the highest-ranking colleges in this measure do not necessarily line up with the best schools overall.
Interestingly, some graduates are less likely to recommend their schools for reasons that turn out to be thinly veiled compliments to the school: “it is very difficult to get high grades”; “the academics are very difficult, and most students would not do well there.” Therefore, some of the most highly selective schools (and those ranked highest overall and ranked highest on intellectual development) are not the most recommended.
Regardless of the rationale behind the graduates’ rankings, the list of the most-recommended schools is a good list for all prospective students to consider. Studies show the highest praise possible for a consumer product is one person’s recommendation to another. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, recommendation may be the strongest form of persuasion.