Choosing a college is one of the most important and difficult decisions that you will make in your entire life and the Fiske Interactive College Guide app would like to help.
With complete profiles of every school that include: social environment, academic rigor, intellectual environment, religious affiliation, campus location and surroundings, student living arrangements and all the key statistics you need (acceptance rates, tuition, test score ranges, etc.), you will have everything you need to feel prepared to make your choice.
Back in my day (long before the Internet but slightly after the time when you had to walk uphill to school both ways, in the snow, carrying pails of water and not having any shoes) it was very difficult to learn about schools outside of your geographical area. It was expensive to travel to visit them, and if you wanted to see promotional materials, it meant making a phone call or writing a letter (the kind that required an envelope with a stamp on it) and waiting patiently for your parcel of pamphlets to arrive. The idea of doing a comparison of top schools that service my interests in moments, complete with guides and maps and every detail I could possibly want didn’t even cross my mind.
The best feature of this app is the ability to make lists. Choose your “Safety Schools,” “Probable Schools,” and “Reach Schools.” Choose the schools you want to look at again. Choose the schools you want to visit.
The app is very well laid out, easy to navigate and the language in the writing is very playful and would definitely appeal to a less-formal young person shopping for a place to continue their education. A built-in rating system makes it easy to skim for strengths and weaknesses (with a build-in definition system so you know what each number of stars means).
What I liked: Sure it might seem whimsical and silly to profile the food and social life options available in and near the schools, but I think it is very valuable to provide a full sense of the experience you can expect — and that includes the creature comforts.
What I didn’t like: I wish that this app included universities from outside of the United States, particularly those in Canada. While International students do tend to pay a higher tuition, there are good schools across the border that may be excellent choices (and for some students living near a border, may even be closer to home).
To buy or not to buy: If you or your child need advice on which college to choose (or even strive for, it’s never too early to plan), this app is essential and a very worthwhile investment.
- App Name: Fiske Interactive College Guide 2012
- Version Reviewed: 1.2
- Category: Education
- Developer: Sourcebooks, Inc.
- Price: $19.99