Our Mission: Colleges That Change Lives, Inc. (CTCL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process. We support the goal of every student finding a college that develops a lifelong love of learning and provides the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life beyond college.
The Colleges That Change Lives, Inc. (CTCL) story begins in 1996 when a book by the same name — Colleges That Change Lives — was published by retired New York Times education editor and journalist Loren Pope. A longtime student advocate and independent college counselor, Mr. Pope sought to change the way people thought about colleges by dispelling popularly held myths and challenging the conventional wisdom about college choice. His groundbreaking ideals were welcomed by students and the college counseling community alike. As a result, many of the colleges featured in the book began working together to further promote this philosophy of a student-centered college search. In 1998 the CTCL organization was formally organized, independent of Mr. Pope (although with his blessing) and his publisher.
Today, CTCL is regarded as a leading advocate on the subject of higher education access and college choice. In addition to the resources available through this web site, CTCL offers printed materials and numerous outreach efforts to students, families, college counselors, schools and education agencies. Additionally, CTCL supports those in college counseling roles who ascribe to a similar philosophy and are working to help students frame their college search beyond the ratings and rankings.
Furthermore, CTCL was founded on a philosophy of building the knowledge, character and values of young people by introducing them to a personalized and transformative collegiate experience. Although the member colleges approach this challenge with varying perspectives, institutional missions, and pedagogical strategies, a student-centered mission is common to all campuses. As an organization, CTCL will provide information and the opportunity to pursue a best-fit college to all students regardless of race, color, religion (creed), national origin (ancestry), sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, marital status, disability, military status, or any other means by which a student could be discriminated.
Governed by a voluntary board comprised of college counseling professionals, Colleges That Change Lives is leading national voice in the field of college choice and is recognized by the IRS as a non-profit, charitable 501(c)(3) organization, and donations to CTCL are tax-deductible. For information about how to contribute and support our mission, contact Executive Director Ann Marano.