Chris Katucki is a retired attorney in Somers, N.Y., who had invented his own system for identifying the hidden gem colleges we have been discussing in Admissions 101. When his son Tommy was a high school junior, Katucki began experimenting with available undergraduate statistics and produced what seems to me a clever formula for the kind of place we would want our children to attend.
Back in February, as Tommy was nearing a decision on college, Katucki told me “I recompiled a list of small colleges (under 3,500 undergrads) that admitted at least 50 percent of applicants and had an 80 percent retention rate.” Then he looked for schools on his list that also got raves in guidebooks, like my “Harvard Schmarvard” or Loren Pope’s “Colleges That Change Lives.” (By retention rate, I think he means six-year graduation rate.)
His list included places like Austin College, the University of Dallas, Goucher, Lewis & Clark, Rhodes, St. Olaf and Willamette. He is thinking of turning his list into an e-book, or a long article. “I wonder if readers of Admissions 101 think such an e-article, written by a dad not a pro, would be useful to students and parents,” he said.
I told him it would be interesting to me. Katucki has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease (which, as a Red Sox fan, he finds irksome.) He types with just one finger, but has lots of time to go deep into the numbers. Does his method make sense to you? What more do you think he should try to glean from his stats?