We all like to hear that what we do is good – this is human nature. A compliment that concerns one’s career and future is not only charming but gives confidence that you made the right choice. Before you came to Lawrence, you may have wondered if it would be the right college to attend because there are so many of them … You have made the choice already, so just enjoy the good rankings that Lawrence has recently received in a number of guidebooks and magazines on colleges and universities. Lawrence has been included in every major national guide to quality colleges, where it is frequently mentioned on the same list as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, and Notre Dame. Along with Grinnell College and Elon University, Lawrence is mentioned in the 2005 “Fiske Guide to Colleges” as an “unpretentious school that appeals to both left and right side of students’ brains: those with an analytical bent and the creative types.” The Fiske guide takes a close look at 43 colleges and universities nationwide and determines the “Best Buys” based on the quality of their academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance. Lawrence turns out to be one of only 23 “best buy” private colleges and is furthermore “one of two small colleges in the nation that combines the liberal arts with a first-rate music conservatory.” The guide goes on to say, “With its outstanding liberal arts curriculum, knowledgeable and caring faculty, and an administration that treats students like adults, all tucked into a charming country setting, Lawrence University is easily one of the best little known schools in the country.” In U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges,” Lawrence is once again ranked along with Harvard, Yale, and Stanford for first-year experiences based on the freshman studies program. In the same magazine, Lawrence is ranked 53rd out of 217 in the category “Best Liberal Arts Colleges,” and this is not the first time. It is already the sixth consecutive year that Lawrence has been named among the top quarter of liberal arts colleges. In the latest edition of The Princeton Review’s “The Best 361 Colleges,” Lawrence scores high and is placed in the top 10 percent in the categories “level of academic challenge” and “enriching educational experiences.” The ranking list is based on a survey of 110,000 students attending the colleges in the book. Along with 158 other colleges, Lawrence is named a “Best Midwestern College,” and as one of “America’s Best Value Colleges” it is designated as one of the best overall bargains based on cost and financial aid among the most academically outstanding colleges in the nation. The magazine has a lot of different categories and Lawrence ranked in the following: Professors Make Themselves Accessible (rank # 16), Gay Community Accepted (rank # 8), and Best College Theatre (rank # 20). “The Unofficial, Unbiased Insiders’ Guide to the Most Interesting Colleges” reminds everyone that the Honor Code is taken seriously in order to build a non-competitive situation among students and refers to the variety of areas of study from East Asian languages and cultures to biomedical ethics to environmental studies. The “Yale Daily News’s Insider’s Guide to the Colleges” designates Lawrence as a “comfortable place” and one of the top music conservatories in the country, where close student-faculty relations and small classes provide the opportunity for some 90 percent of students to pursue independent work with individual faculty members. Out of 1300 four-year small liberal arts colleges and major private universities, Lawrence can be found in the Kiplinger 100, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine’s top choices for “Best Values in Private Colleges” based on best combination of academic excellence with generous aid packages and lower total cost – the magazine puts greater weight on quality than on cost. Ranked 14 in aMagazine’s “The 50 best Colleges for Asian Americans” listing of the top 52 liberal arts colleges for Asian-Americans, Lawrence is recompensed for its exceptional support for Asian-American students. In light of all these statistics, Dean of Admissions Steve Syverson says, “College rankings, while popular, should be taken with a huge grain of salt. They tend to suggest that one college is substantially “better” than another, but students should be focused on finding a good college “match” for themselves, rather than looking for the highest-ranked college. A college that provides a great learning environment for one student can be a very poor match for another student. There are lots of great colleges in the country!” So basically, no matter why you chose to attend Lawrence University and whatever the rankings are and will be, just enjoy being a member of the Lawrence community and make the most of it.