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Reviewing Brochures To Investigate Colleges

Feb 22, 2008
Every school's marketing brochure attempts to position the college as the best available. To judge anything significant from their literature, you need to know specifics to look for and how to read it with scrutiny. Here are a few considerations to take into account when looking at pamphlets and booklets from colleges and universities.

Style of Learning

There are many ways of both teaching and learning, and each college has its own fundamental approach. Check whether the school is focused on small classes and discussions or rather on learning via large lecture halls and tests. Does it encourage collaboration among students, or competition? Do they permit students to arrange their own paths of study, or do they provide rigid guidelines for course selection? Find the answers to these questions in the brochures and make selections based on your learning style preferences.

Professors and Administrators

Brochures usually contain a fair amount of information on the people running the school, instructors, and the students. Most full-time staff should have PhD's and a wealth of experience in teaching. Occasionally, on campus professors are well-known authors and scholars. If a brochure cannot boast about the accomplishments and credentials of its staff, then it is probably of questionable quality.

Types of Students

Every school attracts a unique student body, so the brochure attempts to paint a picture that adequately portrays them. Some are comprised mostly of a single demographic, such as women or, in the case of historically black universities, African-Americans. Others are known for their liberal politics and are characterized by a more bohemian student population. Others still are focused around sports and boast a high percentage of athletes. Determining the general makeup of the students is essential to choosing a school where you can be happy and fit in.

Policies and Expectations

Those same brochures will explain unique policies the school adheres to, such as a dress code or required events. These provide you an idea of daily life at the school and expectations of you as a student. Read it carefully to determine whether the college requires anything that you would have a strong desire to avoid.

How to Apply

The school's brochure will instruct you how and where to obtain an application, and outlines standard requirements for your application. It will also include the information needed for your application to even be considered. Read these sections carefully to make a determination whether you should even apply at all. For instance, some schools require you to have a taken a foreign language in high school and to have reached a certain level of math competence. If you have not achieved those absolute requirements, there is no benefit in applying.


Not all brochures communicate costs to attend their school, so search carefully for that information. If tuition and other basic expenses are not included, the pamphlet will normally provide a phone number where you can call for additional information. Keep in mind that you may be eligible for need-based and merit scholarships from the college or other educational funds.

A brochure is only an initial source for learning about a school, but it can be helpful in weeding out considerations you don't want or can't attend. Use the brochure as a starting point in your investigation. It will provide details concerning what the school wants you to know, but you will have to do your own research to learn the rest.
About the Author
For practical info concerning college & university options, such as the University of Phoenix online , psychology graduate schools , community colleges and many more, visit www.college-selections.com, offering great higher education insights!
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