13 Best Colleges That Change The Lives Of Students After Graduation

Attending a quality college where not just knowledge is acquired but also, opportunities for students after graduation is golden.

According to CTCL, Personalized, student-centered experiences are at the heart of every Colleges That Change Lives education. While the CTCL member schools all share that mission, they are otherwise very distinctive from one another.

Here is the list of 13 best colleges and schools that change lives of students after graduation.

While some just offer academics, there are exceptional colleges that go beyond the norm and render extraordinary services to students while in school and after graduation.

For example, some colleges offer after graduation counseling services to their students, some also help students who had a good grade get jobs with their affiliate companies while some of the colleges directly employ the students.

Because of this, we have made a list of these colleges and we urge you to attend them as an intending student.

Take a quick look at the table of contents below.

What are the Colleges That Change Lives?

According to Wikipedia, Colleges That Change Lives is a college educational guide originally put together by longtime student advocate and former education editor of The New York Times Loren Pope. It was first published in 1996, with the second edition in 2000, the third edition in 2006, and the fourth edition in 2013. It addresses college admissions in the United States.

It has become a leading advocate for college choice, with resources supporting “the knowledge, character, and values of young people by introducing them to a personalized and transformative college experience.”

A college that changes lives is a college that has the students at heart. Their teaching method is personal to the students. There are other factors that include:

  • Small classes
  • Dedicated faculty
  • Holistic admissions
  • A learning environment that fosters personal and intellectual growth in unexpected ways.
  • After graduation privileges

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List of 13 Best Colleges that Change lives of Students after Graduation

There are over 40 colleges that change the lives of students according to the original book. But in this post, we are going to list the 13 best Colleges That Change Lives.

Here they are!

1. Allegheny College

Allegheny College is one of our top colleges that changes lives. Here students expand their concentrations beyond one academic division, develop an interest in their future dreams, and inculcate the habit of critical thinking.

After graduation from Allegheny college, this college can change your life in the following ways ;

  • By providing employment opportunities. 95% of job-seeking graduates are hired within six months of graduation.
  • Allegheny ranks in the top 5% of all schools whose graduates go on to earn PhDs in all fields. We rank in the top 4% for the natural sciences, and specifically in the top 2% for chemistry.
  • Students are accepted into graduate schools easily. For example, acceptance rates to graduate schools (including law, medical, and business schools) typically fall between 85-100%, which is twice the US national average.

2. Agnes Scott College

Agnes Scott College is one of the best colleges that change the lives of women. Are you a female who is willing to take the world by storm? This college is the right choice for you.

What this college that makes a difference does is to educate women to think deeply, live honorably, and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.

Agnes Scott College fosters an environment in which women can develop high expectations for themselves as individuals, scholars, professionals, and citizens of the world.

The after graduation experience can be summarized thus;

  • Because of its mission to groom intellectuals in women, its graduaants win several fellowship opportunities like Fulbright Fellows, Truman Scholars, and Goldwater Scholars to positions with Teach For America and the Peace Corps. They are able to pursue their passions across the country and around the world.
  • For example, the class of 2018had a 100% graduatation rate and acceptance into professional programs.
  • Generally, college graduates from this great college that changes lives have 91% of them earn a degree in four years.
  • Her alumnae work for a variety of organizations, from small nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies and everything in between, including CARE, CNN, Cartoon Network, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, General Mills, Harpswell Foundation, Museum of Modern Art, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Zurich Insurance Group. 91% of the Class of 2018 accepted a position into these positions.

3. Centre College

According to Colleges That Change Lives, “No university faculty compares with Centre College in terms of the impact it has on the growth of young minds and personalities. Its faculty is earnestly committed to and excels at the art of teaching.”

After graduation, this great private institution empowers students in the following ways;

  • Within 10 months of graduation, 97% of the Centre graduates who report (on average) are either employed or engaged in advance study.
  • It is one of the top 10 colleges that its alumni pursue graduate school. Most of them gain entrance to top graduate and professional schools including Harvard, Yale, Chicago, M.I.T., Oxford, and Cambridge.
  • Let us use this as an example. Class of 2018 First Destinations Survey Results: 68% Employed, 29% Enrolled in Graduate School, 2% Still Seeking, 1% Applying to Graduate School

4. Eckerd College

In the list of our colleges that change lives, Eckerd is among the top 50 colleges that produce graduates who go on to get doctorates in the sciences and in the humanities.

How can Eckerd change your life after graduation? Here’s how…

  • You can be awarded a Hollings scholarship. 89 Eckerd College students have been awarded. This is more than at any other college in the U.S. The scholarship, awarded by NOAA, recognizes the top 100 sophomores in the country who are preparing for careers in environmental, marine, oceanic, and atmospheric sciences. This might just be you!
  • Eckerd alumni also get fellowship opportunities easily like Rhodes, Truman, Goldwater, Gilman, National Science Foundation Research Fellowship, EPA Star Graduate Research Fellowship, and Fulbright.
  • If you have an interest in serving at the Peace Corps, this college that makes a difference has produced many numbering more than 166
  • Within a year of graduation, 71% of grads are working full time; 45% are in graduate schools. Some are doing both.

5. Bard College

As a college student to be I like to think out of the box. Cctl has this to say about this college that changes lives, “Bard appeals to the student who shuns labels and whose thinking is not compartmentalized.”

There are many benefits to graduates from this college. Brace up to be shocked by how awesome a college can be.

  • You get to attend BardWorks, a week-long workshop series that connect students to the Bard network while honing job search and professional skills. BardWorks pairs participants with a mentor in a field of their interest, help create and expand a professional network and develops interviews, resume, job hunting, and networking skills.
  • You may get an internship in the community Bard is located in. The college calls it Civic engagement.
  • The Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City (BGIA) provides a unique opportunity to take advanced courses in international affairs while working in selected internships based on individual interests. BGIA has semester and summer programs. The student’s study and practice international law; international relations theory; global public health; political economy; international reporting; and other aspects of international affairs.
  • The Bard Career Development Office (CDO) helps students translate their liberal arts education to the workplace through a variety of programs and resources. From one-on-one meetings, workshops, and special events, to collaborations. Bard College students and graduates have pursued internships, jobs, and graduate school at different organizations, companies, and institutions.
  • 70% Bard students are employed within 6 months of graduating, – 22% enrolled in graduate programs, and – 8% volunteering or seeking education.

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6. Lawrence University

This is another of our favorite colleges that changes lives. One of the things that endear this college is that the learning experience is not limited to research, it includes travels and professional experience.

Lawrence University offers both a college of liberal arts and a conservatory of music.

For the graduates, here is what you stand to benefit.

  • In the first year after graduation, about 73% are working in different professional fields including Apple, Facebook, Google, Hiroshima Prefectural Government, Baltimore City Public Schools, Mediterranean Center for Arts & Sciences (Italy), Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Peace Corps, and Humana.
  • Mid-career salaries that are among the top-tier of liberal arts college graduates.
  • For those not working right out of college, about 22% are attending graduate, medical, and law school right after graduation.
  • Badging Fulbright Scholarships and Watson Fellowships, and internships.

7. Hampshire College

This is one college that actively engages the mind of its students.

Because the minds of students are engaged, innovation becomes easy at Hampshire.

This college that changes lives aids graduates in the following ways;

  • You develop the ability to ability to question, research, analyze, write, negotiate, and undertake substantial independent projects—competencies that graduate schools and employers seek in their ideal candidates. Employers love Hampshire graduates because they know how to work well with others, take initiative, self-direct, solve problems, communicate effectively, and take risks.
  • You might just be a recipient of a Fulbright Award.
  • Starting a business is very popular among graduates. 1 in 4 Hampshire alums start a business, organization, or non-profit.
  • Top 3% of colleges and universities sending their alums to earn research Ph.D.s
  • 90% report receiving a job offer within six months of graduation.
  • Famous Hampshire alumni include award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Duolingo co-founder Jose Fuentes, comedian Eugene Mirman, and author Jon Krakauer.

8. Clark University

Clark University is a relatively small institution where individual learning is the core. That is to say, due to the smaller number of students, individual attention is given to each and every one of the students.

The graduates can boast of having attended a leading research college that changes lives for the following reasons.

  • The educational model, Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP) enables students to translate their studies into remarkable careers and purposeful, accomplished lives.
  • Clark graduates are engaged with the world and working to improve it. Our alumni are driving innovations in their fields, following their passions, and leading lives of consequence and fulfillment. The most popular industries for Clark graduates are non-profit, finance and business, high tech, healthcare, and communications. Recent employers include Amazon, Forbes Magazine, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Google, Bloomberg, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Public Schools, the Peace Corps, and many others.
  • Around 43% of our alumni go immediately to graduate school–many of them to Clark’s Fifth-Year Free Accelerated BA/MA program, where they earn their graduate degree tuition-free.

9. Birmingham-Southern College

Students from any part of the world can comfortably attend this college that changes lives and not only be comfortable but also grow intellectually, morally, and personally.

The graduation experience is not limited to these ones mentioned below;

  • The opportunity to be mentored by a professional in a field of interest who will help the student to find internships and shadowing opportunities, building the student’s resume. This provides Birmingham-Southern graduates with hands-on experiences that place them ahead of their peers.
  • You learn/ develop skills like—Oral and written communication, solving complex problems, the ability to work independently, and as a member of a team.
  • Birmingham-Southern annually ranks No. 1 in Alabama and among the nation’s best win percentage of all graduates accepted to medical, dental, or health career programs, often receiving prestigious scholarships and in law schools. Graduates who choose to move directly into their professional careers have a distinguished record of job placement.
  • BSC students have received the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship, Fulbright Scholarships, Rotary Scholarships, and performance awards and honors. Other students put off their career or graduate school for a year to serve others through the Peace Corps and Teach for America.
  • The average salary for BSC graduates is one third higher than the national average.

10. Reed College

Reed college is another top college that changes the lives of students.

The graduates enjoy;

  • You stand the chance to win outstanding opportunities like Rhodes Scholarship, and National Science Foundation Fellowship.
  • A large percentage of Reed alumni continue their education after leaving Reed: 70% attend graduate, law, or medical schools, and a quarter of Reed graduates continue on to earn a Ph.D. But Reed is more than just “Ph.D. prep.” Thirty-one percent of Reed alumni have found careers in business and industry, creating small tech start-ups, contributing to major corporations, and working in national security advising, policy, law, and management.

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11. Whitman College

Located in the friendliest town in America, Whitman college is one of the colleges that makes a difference.

 ‘If you’re not willing to get involved, don’t bother to come here.’ By ‘involved’ that student would mean in one’s studies, with one another, with teachers, and in campus life.”Cctl says about this college.

The graduates are;

  • They are ethical leaders. Whitman currently ranks in the top 15 colleges nationwide for Peace Corps volunteers and the top 20 colleges in Teach for America participants.
  • Recipients of awards like Rhodes Scholar, Fulbright, National Science Foundation, Watson Fellowship. In addition to Beinecke, Goldwater, Truman, and Udall scholarships and awards.
  • Known to further their education. Seventy percent of Whitman graduates further their formal education: In medical school, law schools, business. “Whitties” are passionate life-long learners.

12. St. Olaf College

Everyone likes to think of what makes him unique. Here is Olafs:  it doesn’t produce ordinary college grads. Oles are the people that companies want because they know how to get stuff done. They think harder, approach problems differently, persevere with enthusiasm.

For the graduates, here’s what you stand to gain; Encouragement to apply your liberal arts skills in professions and careers. The Piper Center for Vocation and Career is a powerful tool for developing strong links between academics and experiences: career planning, coaching, internships and research, and networking with St. Olaf alumni across the country and around the world.

13. St Johns College

“St. John’s is a school for the intellectual explorer …  if you’re game for an adventure that equips you to think and communicate about complex ideas with a collegial community of scholars, St. John’s might be your nirvana.“ Says Cctl

This is another of our most favored colleges that changes lives.

 St. John’s alumni excel in their careers, from law to medicine, to politics, military, information technology to fashion design, from manufacture to farming, from nuclear physics to film making.

70% go to graduate school. St. John’s is in the top two percent of all colleges and universities in the nation for percent of alumni who go on to earn PhDs; in the top one percent for degrees in the humanities and the top four percent for those in science and engineering.

You stand a chance to get a scholarship. Many of the students have testified to her good works in shaping their careers.

Career Services helps students apply for jobs, prepare for interviews, choose graduate programs, and get internships. Over half of students do internships in the summers, many of which are funded by the college.

14. Rhodes College

Many readers will assume I skipped this. It was an intentional act not to include it as the last.

Rhodes graduates are perceptive thinkers, creative problem solvers, and lifelong learners, and they have the skills and abilities that connect them to the country’s top graduate and professional schools, interesting careers, and fulfilling lives.

  • Within a year of graduation, 96% of the most recent graduating class was employed, attending graduate school, or participating in full-time service.
  • Additionally, more than two-thirds of them reported that they were accepted by their first-choice school.
  • Rhodes is in the top 10% of all US colleges for the percentage of students who earn Ph.D.s in the sciences and in the top 6% for psychology.
  • They conduct mock interviews, resume bootcamps, and networking receptions to prepare students to enter the workforce. Alumni can return to the school for help and advice at any point in their career.


As the higher education and college admissions landscape continue to evolve, CTCL remains a leading national advocate on the practice of student-centered college learning. The organization supports the goal of each student finding a college that develops a lifelong love of learning and provides the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life beyond college



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