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KLIATTStudents shopping for colleges have long relied on The Princeton Review's publications. The Complete Book of Colleges lists 1,669 colleges and universities, providing facts and figures on students and faculty, academics, facilities, extracurriculars, admissions, and costs and financial aid. The "Admission Wizard" section at the front helps readers identify schools that fit certain criteria: selectivity, region, cost, size, and environment. There is also a section of extended listings from several hundred colleges (who have paid for the privilege), supplying additional details on their academic programs, student bodies, campus life, and more. The Best 351 Colleges (up from 345 last year!) provides two-page spreads on each school and rates them in terms of campus life, academics, selectivity, and financial facts, with tips on getting in. It also includes frank and revealing quotes from students attending these institutions: e.g., one student notes, "It's true what they say about Tufts; the school is filled with bitter Ivy League rejects"; another points out, "It's cool to be smart and studious" at Trinity. There is in addition an entertaining "Schools Ranked by Category" section, with such headings as "Dorms Like Dungeons, " "Party Schools," and "Students Most Nostalgic for Bill Clinton." The Best Northeastern Colleges, which covers Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont, is one of a new set of five regional compact "best college" guides; the others are The Best Mid-Atlantic Colleges, The Best Midwestern Colleges, The Best Southeastern Colleges, and The Best Western Colleges. The information inthese is taken from The Best 351 Colleges, with a section of two-page spreads on each college covering academics, life, student body, admission, financial aid, and a statement from the school's admissions office, along with ratings of quality of life, academic, admissions, and financial aid. Rather awkwardly for the user, you have to turn to a separate alphabetical section for detailed statistics such as freshman SAT scores and tuition costs. However, these regional books are much easier to handle (and cheaper) than the bulky The Best 351 Colleges, and therefore worthy of consideration. These titles belong in all high school guidance offices. KLIATT Codes: S-Recommended for senior high school students. 2003, Random House, The Princeton Review, 1374p. indexes., Ages 15 to 18.
— Paula Rohrlick