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Julie Lythcott-Haims

Check out more resources on the myth of the brand-name college, the danger of the checklisted childhood and the benefits of chores, curated by Julie Lythcott-Haims.

The Myth That Brand Is Brawn When It Comes to College

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    Where You Go is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania

    Frank Bruni
    Grand Central Publishing, 2016

    The 'Top 20 Colleges' mindset has many of us in a stranglehold; Bruni walks us through the evidence that you don't have to attend a big brand name school in order to be successful and happy.

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    "Who Needs Harvard?"

    Gregg Easterbrook
    Brookings Institute, 2004

    Lovely summation of the evidence that a couple hundred colleges and universities can be considered "top" in a country that has 2,800 accredited 4-year schools, and that success in life comes not from the brand name of the college you attend but from how you behave when you get to college.

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    David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

    Malcolm Gladwell
    Back Bay Books, 2015

    On the value of going to a school one tier lower than the so-called 'best' you got into: being a big fish in a small pond.

There Are Plenty of Great Schools Out There

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    Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools that Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges

    Loren Pope
    Penguin Books, 2012

    Many of us don't intrinsically understand what makes a college experience valuable and worth the investment, so we tend to rely on Top 20 lists. Pope -- the former Education editor at the New York Times -- conducted extensive research into what makes a college experience truly life-changing for students. This book is a summary of Pope's conclusions, with profiles of forty small colleges whose alumni uniformly say 'This place changed my life.'

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    The Alumni Factor

    If you must look at a college rankings book, then this is the one I recommend. Designed as an unbiased assessment of how alumni have fared in the world -- from finances and net worth to happiness, friendships, and intellectual engagement -- as well aggregating alumni views on political and social issues, The Alumni Factor yields far greater insight the community of people who attend a particular college, what they care about, and who they become.

The Power of Chores and Love

Our understanding of the power of chores and love emerges from a set of longitudinal studies known as the Harvard Grant Study and the Harvard Glueck study supervised by Professor George Vaillant of Harvard Medical School.

Help Stressed-Out Kids Turn Things Around