Super-sleuthing Colleges                                       By Joyce Salter

By Patti Brugman

Ah summer.  Time for swimming, sodas, and weekend movies.  Also, time for families to pester their seniors about colleges, of course!  If you’re a sophomore, you’ll have it easy.  Just plan a summer doing a meaningful service project faraway or near to home. (More about that in a later blog.) If you’re a junior, though, now is the time to get started on the whole college application process.

 This is an exciting time for future seniors.  You have the potential to go anywhere and major in anything you want.  College is a fresh start where all your hopes and dreams can come true.  So how to get started? I love the idea of going to the library and getting the thickest book you can find to read about colleges. The Fiske Guide might be that book.  It is an excellent resource because it lists over 300 colleges and makes each one of them sound like the best college in the country.  It is the main resource for college counselors, so you can be assured that it is an excellent place for you to do your research.

 I also love the idea of having a map handy.  We, at Perfect Fit, keep a plastic placemat of the United States in our bag.  It is covered with little red dots to indicate schools in each state.  Having a map handy is a great way for students to visualize just where Colorado is.  Or how close New York is to Pennsylvania.  With a map and a bit of imagination, you’re ready to go anywhere!

 After perusing lots of books (see our website for a list of titles), you can go online.  Search these websites: and for fun facts.  Go to and for more serious details.  From there, you can click on links with pictures and student interviews.  Check out the majors at each school. There are majors you might not have known even existed.  Rather than being a business major, how about majoring in finance?  Rather than being an engineering major, how about majoring in computer science?  Rather than being a political science major, how about majoring in diplomacy and world affairs? It’s all there for you, a world of possibilities.

 Learn new college names and look at campus pictures.  Talk to your friends. Often, students start the process with names that they’ve heard of before and soon branch out.  The Fiske Guide has an entry after each school that reads:  “Student who applied to this school, also applied to…”  Check them all out.  That’s where the magic is; finding the hidden gems of colleges that will offer you personal connections both on campus and off.

 Knowledge is the key to, well, more knowledge!  For you to get your “perfect fit” college, you need to become totally in love with several schools that will offer the amazing world you’re looking for.  Applications come a bit later.  For now, it’s just time to dream (I mean, research!)

 All the best from Perfectfitcollege.Net  6/12