Why do some students in the United States make the most of college, while others struggle and look back on years of missed opportunities? What choices can students make, and what can teachers and university leaders do to improve more students’ experiences and help them make the most of their time and monetary investment? And how is greater diversity on campus—cultural, racial, and religious—affecting education? How can students and faculty benefit from differences and learn from the inevitable moments of misunderstanding and awkwardness?
Two Harvard University Presidents invited Richard Light and his colleagues to explore these questions, resulting in ten years of interviews with 1,600 Harvard students. Making the Most of College offers concrete advice on choosing classes, talking productively with advisors, improving writing and study skills, maximizing the value of research assignments, and connecting learning inside the classroom with the rest of life.
The stories that students shared with Light and his colleagues about their experiences of inspiration, frustration, and discovery fill the book with spirit. Some of the anecdotes are funny, some are moving, and some are surprising. Many are wise—especially about the ways of getting the best, in classroom and dormitory, from the new racial and ethnic diversity.
Filled with practical advice, illuminated with stories of real students’ self-doubts, failures, discoveries, and hopes, Making the Most of College presents strategies for academic success.