Learn

What Are Peer Colleges?

Campus of Emory College with a statue of a horse in the foreground.

What Are Peer Colleges?

Published July 18, 2023

Campus of Emory College with a statue of a horse in the foreground.

Peer colleges are institutions of higher education that are deemed comparable to each other based on specific criteria. These criteria may include factors such as mission, size, academic programs, public or private, student demographics, faculty profile, research output, or geographical location. 

By identifying peer institutions, schools can establish connections with others that face similar challenges and have similar aspirations. Peer networks can include a wide range of schools, from small liberal arts colleges to large universities.

What are the Benefits of Peer College Networks?

Peer colleges collaborate on various initiatives, including joint research projects, faculty exchanges, or shared academic programs. These collaborations help to improve the educational experiences for students.

Colleges can evaluate their strengths and weaknesses by comparing themselves to similar schools. This helps institutions identify areas for improvement, set realistic goals, and make informed decisions about resource allocation and strategic planning.

Peer networks also allow schools to share best practices in areas such as teaching methods, student support services, diversity and inclusion initiatives, or sustainability efforts.

How Colleges Choose Peer Schools

The process of selecting peer colleges involves careful consideration and evaluation. While the selection process may vary by school, here are some key steps that schools take.

  1. Colleges begin by completing a self-assessment to understand their own characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. 
  2. Once colleges have a clear understanding of their own identity, they decide what criteria are most important for selecting their peer institutions.
  3. Colleges then research potential peer institutions by examining publicly available data, rankings, and reports. They also consider input from faculty, administrators, and students.

Peer colleges play an important role in higher education by fostering collaboration, benchmarking, and the sharing of best practices. By carefully selecting peer institutions based on specific criteria, colleges create relationships that contribute to their own growth. Through these networks, institutions can work together to tackle common challenges, exchange expertise, and provide a better educational experience for their students.

_______

Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like:

Can You Find Ivy League Quality at Non-Ivy League Schools?

What to Know about the NESCAC and the Little Ivies

10 Reasons to Consider Smaller Schools with High Acceptance Rates

JOIN ONE OF OUR FACEBOOK GROUPS & CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS: 

PAYING FOR COLLEGE 101

HOW TO FIND MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

In this article:

Upcoming Events

Similar Articles for You

Dear Roadie: Should I Get A Second Job So My Daughter Can Graduate Debt-Free?

Advice

Dear Roadie: Should I Get A Second Job So My Daughter Can Graduate Debt-Free?

Dear Roadie, I am flabbergasted at the cost of college today. My daughter is a stellar student, and the last...

Dear Roadie: Do Parents Need to Become College Admission Experts? I’m So Lost

Advice

Dear Roadie: Do Parents Need to Become College Admission Experts? I’m So Lost

Dear Roadie,  I’m the mother of a 10th-grader, and I’m realizing I need a crash course in college admissions. I...

Dear Roadie, My Son Returned From Orientation Hating the College He Chose. What Now?

Advice

Dear Roadie, My Son Returned From Orientation Hating the College He Chose. What Now?

Dear Roadie, I’m a bit freaked out. My son returned from his two-day college orientation and said he hated everything:...

Become a Member

At Road2College you’ll find everything you need to make the admissions and paying for college process less stressful and more transparent.

TOOLS

Explore R2C Insights™ — your source for finding affordable colleges and merit scholarships.

Coaching

Get coaching on admissions and college financing.

Community

Join Road2College where parents and experts work together to inform and inspire college-bound families.