I have some great news for fans of The College Prowler. For the first time ever, the entire collection of single-school guides is now available absolutely FREE of charge at www.collegeprowler.com. Students, parents, and counselors can view all the most up-to-date information from all the Prowler guidebooks by entering the website and clicking on “All Schools” under “College Search” on the homepage. That’s more than 45,000 pages of content on more than 270 schools.
High school students naturally seem to gravitate to the slightly irreverent, but always entertaining college reviews contained in the handy little booklets produced by Prowler staff. Recruited from school newspapers and journalism or English departments, student reporters at each campus randomly survey between 75 and 150 of their peers to generate school-specific content including editorial reviews, direct quotes, and a few miscellaneous but helpful statistics. Letter grades (A through F) reflecting student opinion are generated in various information categories including academics, local atmosphere, campus housing and dining, athletics, weather, nightlife, and transportation—to name a few. Some of the reviews can be frank and a little unsettling especially when addressing issues such as substance abuse and sex on campus. Nevertheless, the information tends to be up-to-date, engaging, and to the point. And, readers have access to biographical information on the authors from each school—no more anonymous marketing statements originating directly from the dean’s office, as is often the case with other guides.
Until recently, the complete collection of College Prowler guides was offered online as a subscription for $39.95 per year. Although competition from other campus reviews and guides no doubt contributed to the change of heart, the value is still there. Along with school profiles, the Prowler website also offers college search tools which students should find useful. To make best use of these tools, students will need to register, but the information required is absolutely minimal and the Prowler folks promise not to fill mailboxes with spam generated by registering (like other college search engines).
Individual guidebooks as well as the complete compilation of school profiles may still be purchased on the Prowler website. Experienced high school students know that the little orange books are great for taking along on college visits and confronting tour guides with annoying questions. Prowler is working on expanding the list of schools to 300 by next April and is always recruiting new salaried reporters on campuses already covered to keep their reviews on the cutting edge.