5 reasons to write college reviews

By Maria Saracino Lowe

Choosing a college is hard. During my senior year of high school, I was bombarded with loads of information about higher education  my mom bought me a copy of "Colleges That Change Lives," I combed through the Princeton Review, and I searched the Internet, trying desperately to get a sense of various campuses. When you’re 18 years old and thinking about making a four-year commitment that can shape the rest of your life, it’s pretty important to make the right choice.

Academics is the most important thing to consider, but your college also has to be a good fit in many other ways. Here’s why it’s important for current students and alumni to channel their inner confused high school senior and review their college.

1. There’s no substitute for experience

No one understands a school’s culture better than a current student. Channeling that understanding into a solid review can hugely benefit your school’s future students. Tools like the Princeton Review paint an invaluable academic picture, but only a student (current or former) can accurately describe the social scene, campus safety, and the importance of choosing the right residence hall.

Only 11% of students choose to attend a college that’s within 500 miles from home.

2. College reviews are an essential resource for prospective students

Many people are interested in traveling out of state in order to get a degree; only 11% of students choose to attend a college that’s within 500 miles from home. But not all students can afford to travel cross-country, or even a few miles from home, in order to visit a school’s campus, which means foregoing campus tours, overnight stays, and talking to current students. Having solid college reviews can provide out-of-state students with information about a given school’s culture.

3. Current students are the most objective resource

I don’t mean to imply that a college would misrepresent itself, or that the administration would lie. However, schools tend to sell themselves to students at the expense of presenting a balanced view of their school. This goes back to my first point — as a current student, you have unique insight into your school’s campus, culture, and quirks. The admissions office isn’t going to tell people that the dining hall serves a weirdly large amount of onions. It’s up to you to educate (or warn) potential students by writing college reviews.

Reviewing your school can serve as a way to get your college administration to pay more attention to the student experience.

4. Schools pay attention to college reviews

One effect of the national obsession with college rankings is that universities are very aware of their rank. Like any organization, they pay attention to their online presence. As such, reviewing your school can serve as a way to get your college administration to pay more attention to the student experience — this is a good thing!

5. It's a great way to procrastinate

This is the worst reason, but a reason nonetheless. Think about it. Maybe you have a midterm tomorrow. Maybe you’re writing your thesis. Maybe you’ve already clicked on every BuzzFeed article. Might as well review your school so you can put off thinking about homework for another 20 minutes and help prospective students out there in the process.

Share your experience, get your college's attention, and help out prospective students by reviewing your college.

About the author

Maria is a recent graduate from Lewis & Clark College. She enjoys binge-watching all movies on Netflix, traveling, and reading food blogs. Hobbies also include staring longingly at the outdoors from her cubicle.