The 35th edition of Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges is now available. As you go to the cover page, please check the "Bookmarks," now throughout the entire book. There is no timetable for the 36th edition.

August, 2021 - The USA and beyond hears about Rugg's through Slate's advice column for parents.

May, 2019 - America's College Counselor, Sara Harberson, in her monthly parent blog, 5 Admissions Resources You Should Know About, "Rugg's is the best kept secret in the industry. I love Rugg's famous list of colleges."

August, 2012 - Please go to and type in Rugg College Mapper. Two college articles will pop up on the colleges featuring Fred Rugg being interviewed on his college research and his latest college recommendations. The interviews were conducted by veteran educational counselor Susanna Cerasuolo of Seattle.

February, 2011 - Fred Rugg is interviewed on the colleges by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine.

January, 2011 - Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges is noted by the Amherst College Admission Office as one of three college guidebooks for parents and students to start with.

by Betty Johnston
Staff Writer
The North County Times (CA) March 18, 2008

It's pretty safe to say that Fred and Barbara Rugg have a special affinity for teenagers. Rugg is the creator of the handbook Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges that experiences a surge in sales every spring. This is, after all, the season when high school juniors and seniors and their parents can go into meltdown from the pressures of trying to make sense of upper-division education. Choosing a college or colleges to apply to is only the first step in an agonizing process.

Rugg's 25th edition of the handbook, out this year, is 283 pages of stripped-down information about some 1,100 four-year colleges out of more than 2,000 that offer bachelor's degrees.

The opening section of recommended undergraduate programs, and the colleges that offer them, occupies the first 123 pages. The programs are classified in three groups (Most Selective, Very Selective and Selective) in 39 fields of study, ranging from agriculture to zoology.

The second section of the book focuses on miscellaneous majors --- or shorter lists of majors that include fields such as actuarial science, Africana studies, mortuary science and wildlife.

The next section deals with SAT scores, and what individual schools insist on as entrance requirements.

The last section contains a list of the 1,100 colleges used in the study, designating where -- right down to ZIP code -- each one is located.

Writing in the introduction about the information he receives for his book, Rugg says, "a variety of college personnel lobby for a certain program at their university."

"Also ... we get tipped off at workshops (presented) around the U.S. ... Almost every year since 1977 I've added 300 departments to my list. This year that number is over 600."

Before coming here, Rugg spent 20 years in public schools as a guidance counselor. A 1967 applied mathematics graduate from Brown University, he was the only member of his class to enter public school teaching, and he brought with him into his "new field" some skills he must have learned in his applied mathematics courses. He has created a handbook people can use.