Parents' Guide to

The College Fair

By Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Browse slick feed to find college info with some flaws.

The College Fair Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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There's a lot to like here: It's appealing and inspirational to scroll through a social media-style feed to browse colleges, majors, and cities, but there are some drawbacks. Overall, The College Fair is an approachable way to help introduce kids to different schools and majors they might pursue after high school. The focus on the cost of college is helpful to a point, since it's important to have frank conversations with your kids early on about the cost of college and how your family will pursue financial aid to cover that cost. However, the most problematic element is the ways it uses averages. If you put in a very high GPA and test scores, the app will say that you have a 62 percent chance of getting into Harvard or Stanford -- which simply isn't true for schools that routinely admit fewer than 10 percent of their highly qualified applicants. Similarly, saying that graduates of those schools make an average salary north of $100,000 a year is misleading and gives the impression that a teen should make a decision based primarily on possible salary. This app clearly isn't built to deliver those kinds of nuanced messages, and its broad strokes might be misleading to kids and families who are navigating college admissions for the first time. So, while it's a great way to start the conversation about a college search, more detailed support from a college counselor, teacher, or parent will help shape a well-rounded college search.

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