We have an exciting announcement today: The Other College Guide: A Road Map to the Right School For You, has been shipped out to bookstores and will be available, cheek-by-jowl with the U.S. News guide, on March 3.

Here’s a link to the website announcing and explaining the book, co-authored by Jane Sweetland and Paul Glastris with help from an assortment of WaMo staffers. The basic idea is to provide a college guidebook for students and parents (and those who advise them) that isn’t just focused on elite colleges and the self-serving criteria that make them elite, but on all colleges and all the people they serve. Like the annual WaMo College Rankings from which the book draws its inspiration, it doesn’t view endowed wealth and selectivity as the only, or even the best, measures of college quality. A school’s affordability, its commitment to seeing its students graduate, its sense of service to the nation and the community, and its success in helping graduates achieve their full economic potential, are all factors The Other College Guide accentuates, along with very practical advice on how to prepare for the whole process of selecting a college.

In a particularly noteworthy feature, this book expands WaMo’s recently inaugurated “Bang for the Buck” rankings of colleges from those at the top of the list to all colleges. And it offers fifty in-depth profiles of individual institutions.

We’ll have more on the book here and on the site in due time. But for now, check out the website, order your copy, and maybe order another for any friends you have who are facing the often treacherous process of choosing a college, or for your local school guidance counseler. After years of challenging the rankings in “traditional” college guides like those published by U.S. News, WaMo’s very happy to see some direct competition to the product itself.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.