How to Choose the Right College. (software package) (Evaluation)
by Joyce Sides
For many high-school students and their parents, the process of choosing a college frustrates instead of exhilarates. The College Knowledge Series from Education Information Systems offers welcome advice to help you make this important decision.
Of the three programs I've used, How to Choose the Right College is the most useful in helping you pinpoint a college that meets specific needs. The program lists 4450 colleges with detailed information about each, such as majors offered, student body size, work opportunities, financial aid availability, intercollegiate sports programs, and lots more.
To narrow your choices, you enter information such as degree type, field of study, preferred location of college, and other student-specific data. You also enter your SAT or ACT scores.
Once you've entered your criteria, you search the database in one of several ways. Full Search lets you print or view a general report containing location, size, tuition, and application deadline. You can also get an ACT or SAT comparison list, a detailed report on each college that matches your criteria, or a report of colleges listed in descending order by tuition, student body size, or application due date.
Main menu choices include Overview of Colleges Today, Match Criteria to Database, State Search (colleges in a specified state), Personal Letter Writer, How to Finance College Education, and How to Evaluate Colleges.
One feature not fully developed is Major Fields of Study. The fields aren't broken down into specifics. For instance, the sciences major is broken down into 10 or 15 options such as Life Sciences and Biology, but not into a specific field like marine biology, even though over 1200 schools offer degree programs in biology or life sciences.
You shouldn't depend completely on a computer program to pick your college, but they often yield valuable aid. At $79.95, the price tag is a little steep, but if you have the money to spare and you don't have the resources to find this information yourself, it can be money well spent.