Peterson's College Guide

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Peterson's College Guide App Poster Image
Find basic college stats on this simple, searchable tool.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Search for and read the stats on prospective higher education institutions, compare admission rates, tuition, and more to make wise decisions and learn fiscal responsibility.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use. Follow prompts. Enter school name to search. Read information.


Some schools that are "featured" are listed at the top of a search, even if their names only partially match the title searched. If users do not select "only allow schools I save to contact me" they may be contacted for marketing by any affiliated school. 

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Peterson's College Guide app is a searchable guidebook of colleges, universities, and professional schools. Students and parents can find school information -- such as size, tuition, acceptance rate, "admission difficulty," majors offered, and more -- by searching more than 60,000 entries. The app includes community colleges, four-year colleges, universities, online, and professional programs. Users must enter personal information such as name, address, grade point average, and student athlete information. If a user does not select "only allow schools I save to contact me," they may be contacted for marketing purposes by any school affiliated with Peterson's College Guide. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To use PETERSON'S COLLEGE GUIDE, sign up by entering your name, phone number, email address, and a password. Then choose whether you will allow any schools to contact you or only schools you save. Choose undergraduate or graduate schools, and then answer some personal, demographic, and school-related questions. Add five dream schools to your search list. Search for other specific schools; tap the heart to save favorites. Read each school's stats: setting, size, tuition (in- and out-of-state), acceptance rate, "admission difficulty," application deadlines, and majors and degrees offered. A contact number and email address is listed at the bottom of each school's page.

Is it any good?

If you're looking for a searchable database of colleges and universities that includes basic information about each institution, this app works. However, Peterson's College Guide is a very simple app; there's no way to compare schools' stats side-by-side, or list choices by tuition costs or some other factor important to a particular student's search. What it may do is get your student a lot of marketing information. Users may want to select "only allow schools I save to contact me" to limit marketing. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to make a wise decision when choosing a college or university. What stats on Peterson's College Guide are important for your student to consider? What are some other features not included on this app that your student should look for when researching prospective schools?

  • Talk to your student about limiting how much marketing they get from schools by choosing which schools can contact them.

  • This app requires students to enter a lot of personal and demographic data. Read Common Sense Media's "Who is collecting my kid's data and what are they doing with it?" for more information on the topic of personal data collection and marketing.

App details

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