Guidebooks can be an excellent source of information for students seeking to learn more about the offerings and environment of a college. They often provide useful information about strong programs, important admission indicators, and social/extracurricular opportunities. However, they also have a couple drawbacks. First guidebooks are usually limited to a certain set of highly competitive institutions. Second, many guidebooks are written from the perspective of someone who is not currently enrolled at the institution, and who may describe an institution in a vague or unrealistically positive manner. Therefore, in addition to reading guidebooks, it is also important that you conduct your own research. Meet with a college’s faculty and staff, talk with current students, and if possible, take time to visit campus.