Happy New Year!
Whether you’re shuffling back to campus or logging in for another semester at online college, vacation is over. It’s back to business. Shake out the ginger bread crumbs, stow your ugly sweater in mothballs, stop playing that freaking Trans Siberian Orchestra album on repeat.
I’m not trying to be harsh. It’s just that we’ve got work to do. It’s time to get limber.
The spring semester can mean a lot of things. This may be the very last leg of your high school marathon; that great big, senioritis-riddled final stretch before college. Let’s be honest, you’re having a hard time focusing on your classes this semester. We’ll do our best to help you prepare for college so that you can live in the now.
Or perhaps this semester takes you right up to college graduation, and with it, a yawning chasm of uncertainty about your career and future. We’ll be here to talk about the next steps, whether you’re looking at grad school, entering the job market, considering military service, or concocting a creative way to repay your student loans.
Maybe you’re just getting started on your journey into higher education, or you’re returning to school after a long time away, or this is one more semester in a long and exhausting stretch of seasons that all seem to blend together because, frankly, you haven’t see much sunlight since starting your doctoral program. We’ll be here for you too.
We welcome you back to The Quad for another semester, one we promise to fill with useful advice, helpful resources, intuitive ranking lists, pithy observations, unique policy analyses and the occasional foray into surrealism (which I suppose these days sort of overlaps with policy analysis . . . )
Wherever you are on your educational journey, take us with you. We love to travel and this is cheaper than flying. Also, we’re pretty good company for a road trip. We’ve got all kinds of killer trivia, thematically cohesive Spotify playlists, and we’re not above eating at a Waffle House.
I can already tell this is gonna be an awesome year. But first . . .
Happy Birthday to Us
It’s kind of tough sharing your birthday with a holiday. Everybody’s singing
Auld Lang Syne and here we are with one little birthday candle. But don’t worry. We aren’t lonely. In fact, since TheBestSchools.org unveiled The Quad exactly one year ago today, we’ve had the pleasure of your constant company. Nearly two million of you dropped by for a visit in 2018.
But we want to see more of you in 2019. We want more of you to visit us, and we want you to visit us more often. We don’t mean to be greedy. We just believe that when we all get together, we can do great things.
That’s our theme for 2019 — doing great things. Wherever you are in your education, you have big plans. You’re setting yourself up to do great things in school, in your career, and in your life. This means that 2019 will be all about one thing here at The Quad: Supporting you on your journey to greatness.
Our New Year’s Resolution is to help you be your absolute best in 2019 and beyond! This isn’t like one of those idle resolutions that involves the gym, or cutting out junk food, or promising to swear less even though you have no #$*%$ chance of succeeding. This is a real resolution with actionable steps. Here’s what we have planned:
In 2018, TheBestSchools.org gained membership into two esteemed organizations: the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the American Council on Education (ACE).
These organizations represent the interests of both accredited, degree-granting institutions and the students who rely on trustworthy and accurate information in making critical decisions about higher education. As a member of both councils, TheBestSchools.org is beholden to the highest of standards when it comes to ranking colleges, universities and degree programs, as well as offering advice and support to students on their educational journey.
In 2019, we pledge to uphold these standards by expanding our outreach to subject matter experts on the areas of greatest importance to you, from navigating the college admissions process and pursuing an affordable education to succeeding in your specific degree program and advancing your career. We’ll also reach out for expert insight on subjects relating to student health, athletics, technical education, professional certification, and pretty much anything else we think might interest you.
This year, you can expect the same great features but now informed with an even greater depth of experience and knowledge from those who’ve been there.
Bookmark our Features page and learn about intriguing academic leaders, read thought-provoking interviews, and even follow expert-level debates from some of our most esteemed contributors.
One of our top priorities this year is to make sure that each and every visitor feels welcome and wanted at The Quad. We believe that every single person who wishes to pursue an education should have that opportunity. Whether at the primary, secondary, or post-secondary level; whether in-person, online, or blended; whether you’re seeking a degree, a professional certification, or just access to new knowledge, you should enjoy the chance to succeed. This should be true regardless of your race, religion, nationality, documentation status, sexual orientation, gender orientation, disability, health needs, parenting responsibilities, socioeconomic status, geographical disposition, and whether you are a person who loves cilantro or hates it. (On the subject of cilantro, science says there are only two kinds of people. Apparently, nobody is indifferent to cilantro.)
Anyway, point is, all are welcome here. We believe that education is meant to be the great equalizer.
Whether it works out that way in real life is another matter. Institutionalized inequality, geographical obstacles, and cultural marginalization remain very real for far too many Americans. This is why we are renewing our commitment to inclusivity. This includes:
- investigating education policy issues that impact marginalized groups;
- creating resources focused on suporting the educational goals of all student populations;
- spotlighting organizations, individuals and academic programs that benefit marginalized groups; and
- producing content and reflecting values that create an inviting atomsphere for students of every background and experience.
Most importantly, we’ll work hard every day to serve as faithful stewards of trustworthy, meaningful and actionable information; to bring you greater clarity as you make tough choices about how and where to pursue your higher education.
Visit our Resources Center whenever you get the chance. Last year, we unveiled extensive support resources for military service members and students with disabilities. This year, we’ll be working to expand our support resources for underserved groups including immigrant and undocumented students, members of the LGBTQ community, single mothers, prison inmates, ex-offenders, and more.
This is also a great portal if you’re kind of person that likes tips on saving money, getting student aid, landing scholarships, or attending affordable schools with a great return on your investment.
Bookmark our Resources page and visit regularly for updates and additions.
More Online Colleges
The online college sector had another big year in 2018. In an era when growth in college enrollment is generally stagnant, students continue to flock to online education for its convenience, flexibility, and accessibility.
At The Quad and TheBestSchools.org, we’re doing our best to keep up with growing demand. This means more insightful ranking lists, more awesome degree programs, more online learning opportunities, more great schools. We’re working like crazy over here just to keep pace with this ever-evolving frontier in higher education.
In 2019, we’re bringing you more great online associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but we’re also expanding our look at online doctoral options, online professional certifications, and other areas of online education where new and exciting things are happening.
Speaking of exciting things, we also just unveiled our list of the very Best Online Colleges for 2019! These 50 schools are the cream of the crop in online education.
We’re like, two minutes into the New Year, and we’re already making good on one of our resolutions. But we won’t stop there. We’re always updating our rankings, adding new categories, and plumbing the depths of this ocean called online education.
Bookmark our Rankings page and come back here often for new lists, updated lists, and just a generally good time. And while you’re eagerly anticipating our new rankings, check out a few of our current favorites:
- The Best Online Colleges By State
- The 50 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Bachelor’s Degrees
- The 50 Best Online MBA Programs
- The Best Colleges Providing Free Tuition
More of What You Loved
Last year, Quad readers were all about the study stuff. You loved our Study Starters. Thousands of you flocked daily to our crash-course primers on popular subjects like Government, Religion, and Philosophy.
You also seem to enjoy a spirited debate, now and then. Our Controversial Subject starter, and our piece on Logical Fallacies That You Should Know Before Getting into a Debate were two of your very favorite landing spots here at The Quad.
You also dug our examination of the issues, whether it was our meditation on the Pros and Cons of Eliminating the Grading System in College, our analysis of the stalled federal education bill, or our reflection on the The10 Realistic Qualities of Outstanding Teachers.
A lot of you came to us in search of unique degree paths, including our looks at the Best Degrees for Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse, 15 Subjects that Should be Mandatory (But Aren’t), and Matriculating in Marijuana: The Best
Green Degrees. In fact, you guys seemed to love that last one ;-).
Sooo, with that in mind, we’ll make sure that our 2019 editorial calendar includes plenty of new Study Starters, more ways to achieve debate-team dominance, continued attention to important policy issues, more unique degree programs, and, hey, I guess more stuff about weed.
Like I said right up front, we’ve all got a ton of work to do. We’ll stick with you the whole way and we’ll give it everything we’ve got if you promise to do the same.
Every semester is a marathon. Hydrate, stretch properly, and get your mental game in check. And we’re off!