College Research

  • The Fiske Guide to Colleges Fiske Guide Website ~ Summary of approximately 300 colleges with ratings in academics, social, and quality of life.  Includes strongest programs and “overlap” colleges.  “Representing students and parents as consumers, the Fiske Guide has developed one of the most comprehensive collegiate databases available, and the only one that includes real feedback from students and schools, filtered through the eyes of a journalist and pioneer in higher education. With the goal of helping students and parents navigate the increasingly complex college admissions scene, the independent, ad-free annual guide has become a standard part of college admissions literature and is now the country’s bestselling college guide.”  Source: Fiske Guide website. 
  • The Insider’s Guide to Colleges: Students on Campus Tell You What You Really Want to Know, compiled and edited by the staff of the Yale Daily News ~ More opinionated summaries of colleges, organized by state, and offers a different perspective from Fiske.
  • The Best 375 Colleges, by Princeton Review ~ Organized alphabetically, each college summary contains an overview about academics, life, student body, comments from the Princeton Review and from the admissions office.  Snapshots of popular majors, current student profiles, and comparable colleges are included.
  • Colleges That Encourage Character Development, by The John Templeton Foundation ~ Listing of colleges where the foundation has reviewed institutional vision and purpose, resources, character-development and leadership initiatives, and impact.
  • Loren Pope’s books.  Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change The Way You Think About Colleges and Looking Beyond The Ivy League.  Pope focuses on the value and advantages of attending liberal arts colleges as opposed to a large research universities.

About The Process

  • The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College, by Jacques Steinberg ~ “Given an unprecedented opportunity to observe the admissions process at Wesleyan University, Mr. Steinberg accompanied an admissions officer for nearly a year as he recruited the nation’s most promising students. “The Gatekeepers” follows a diverse group competing for places in elite colleges.”  Source:  The Choice blog.
  • The College Admissions Mystique, by Bill Mayher ~ “In this fresh and plainspoken book, admissions professional Bill Mayher demystifies the college application process, guiding students and parents through this too often anxiety-filled ritual. He covers practical issues, including discovering colleges, narrowing down the search, finding financial aid, and using college counselors to the best advantage. And he deals with the emotional issues, since this is a time of transition and growth for the whole family. Finally, he makes it clear that the best college choice is not simply the school that is the most difficult to get into.” Source: