I know, I know. You have tons of stuff to do when you’re applying to college. There are meetings at school with your guidance counselor. Your parents talk to you every night at dinner, asking you what’s going on with whatever school. You get letters and postcards in the mail. It seems like it’s everywhere you turn.
Well, here’s one more source of college information: the podcast. Podcasts are downloadable digital media files (mostly audio, but sometimes video) produced in a series format. You subscribe to a podcast and receive files every time the podcasters create a new one. A good podcast is easy to understand and current. You don’t want to follow a podcast that has horrible audio or one that focuses on college admissions ten years ago.
The best part of podcasts is that they are portable. You can listen to them when you’re going for a run or taking the bus to school. You don’t have to lug your computer around or stay stuck to a big TV to watch a podcast. If you’ve got an MP3 player, you’re good to go. Literally.
You should first see if the colleges on your list have podcasts. Most schools do, especially for athletic updates and admissions. Some independent podcasts are produced by people who are professionals in the college admissions field and others are people who are just interested in colleges. The information you hear on a podcast has not been evaluated by anyone in particular, so make sure that you analyze what you hear for accuracy, timeliness, and bias.
There are some very good podcasts out there and there are some pretty dumb ones too. To save you time, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites. There are many more that you can download from iTunes:
National Public Radio has a show called “This American Life” that has a college admissions podcast.
The College Bound Chronicles is more for parents, but it’s useful for high school students too.
Admissionado has a podcast that addresses all kinds of topics related to the college search, including what to do when, dealing with the Common App essay, and how to succeed once you’re in college.