College Application Video Tip #1: Which College Guide is Best?

College Application Video Tip #1: Which College Guide is Best?

August 27, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


This week’s college query: What’s the best college resource book that can help me start figuring out where I want to look/apply? There’s SO much information out there about
colleges, it can be hard to know where to begin. But one of my personal favorite resources
is Fiske Guide to Colleges. A lot of books, and even articles on the web,
focus on statistics. Percentage of students accepted. Average SAT score. Best academic
departments or popular majors on campus. All of that info is good, but it can get pretty
overwhelming very quickly. What I like about Fiske is that it doesn’t
shortchange you on the important statistics. It gives you handy little boxes of critical
info for each school—set off to the side so you don’t miss them. BUT, what it also gives you—and this is
why I like this college guide so much—is each school’s story. It incorporates actual
quotes from students, and research into the social dynamics, academic dynamics, and social
life at each school, so a three-dimensional picture of the college emerges. I’ve never
read another guide that conveys so much about a school’s personality—and that can be
so helpful in determining where you feel you might fit in as a student. The one downside to Fiske is that it certainly
doesn’t cover EVERY college. For example, it offers narratives about some of the schools
in the SUNY (State University of New York) system, but not all of them. Still, Fiske is a great place to start. Even
if it doesn’t feature every college you’re interested in, it will give you enough information
to help you figure out what questions to ask about those schools that aren’t in the book.