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Review: Fiske Interactive College Guide 2011 for the iPad

For many high school seniors, the school year will be consumed with visiting college campuses, meeting with advisors, writing essays, filling out applications, and waiting by the mail or inbox. And where does a search for a college begin? With a guide.

Title: Fiske Interactive College Guide 2011
Developed by: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Platform: iPad exclusive, requires iOS 3.2 or later
Version: 1.0
Price: $19.99

Gr 9 Up-For more than 25 years, students have consulted The Fiske Guide to Colleges in choosing their path to higher education. This app offers much of the tome’s content in a streamlined and interactive format.

Like the book, Interactive‘s primary strength is its detailed profiles of more than 300 schools. The app expands on its print counterpart’s usefulness with color photographs and hyperlinked URLs and email addresses for each institution, enabling users to email admission departments directly. Students can also add notes about each college and create customized lists such as “Safety Schools” and “Reach Schools.” Embedded Google maps pinpoint each institution’s location, facilitating college-tour planning.

The interface is straightforward, but not perfect. Selected lists such as the top 25 “best buys” in private and public education will guide students, but the main database is organized alphabetically–not the most intuitive way to find one’s future academic home. A search function allows students to access schools by state, price, enrollment, and other criteria, and the “overlap schools” feature on each profile, (which lists comparable colleges), both aid in navigation, but these features are not readily available from the first screen.

Fiske’s foray into the app world is somewhat basic, with potential for more functionality to be added in subsequent versions. Although this app doesn’t exhibit a groundbreaking use of technology, the sheer scope of its content may make it a worthwhile purchase for the college-bound. Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA


  1. […] the 2011 version of The Fiske Interactive College Guide (Sourcebooks; Gr 9 Up; $19.99), the 2012 edition contains […]