Western Carolina University is listed among “the top 100 outstanding but under-appreciated colleges” in a new book by one of the nation’s most-respected education writers, who debunks the notion that a quality education can be found only at brand-name, Ivy League schools.

In his book, Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That is Best for You, Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews calls Western “one of the nation’s hidden gems and among the 100 colleges that are better than you think.”

Mathews’ book is based on his 20 years of reporting on higher education issues and on a survey of high school guidance counselors and teachers from across the United States. Western receives high marks in the book for the beauty of its 265-acre mountain campus, its affordable tuition and fees and its wide range of majors. Mathews also recognizes that Western was the first institution in The University of North Carolina system to require students to report to campus with their own computers, and he cites the university’s residential Honors College.

An alumnus of Harvard University himself, Mathews refutes the common belief that image is everything when it comes to picking a college, and he argues that success in life is determined by individual talent and energy and not by the name of the institution on a college diploma. He emphasizes the importance of picking a college or university that fits a student’s individual needs, instead of on the basis of successful marketing strategies.

To learn more about Western Carolina University, call the Office of Admissions at (828) 227-7317, or toll-free at (877) WCU4YOU (928-4968), or click on the Web at