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If college is in your future, then visit the Princeton Review

By Eric Goodwin

McClatchy Newspapers

One of the most comprehensive college prep sites on the Internet, The Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com), keeps getting better. Each year, the site adds features to an already impressive stockpile of research and preparatory tools. High school students (and parents) getting ready for standardized tests and college applications should add Princeton Review to their set of bookmarks.

Embracing digital audio, Princeton Review now offers podcasts at a price everyone can afford — they’re free (you can download them from the Princeton Review Web site or subscribe to them in iTunes, myYahoo and my AOL among others). The Vocab Minute podcast use catchy melodies and lyrics to help you learn complex vocabulary terms. For example, take these lyrics from "Social Classes" mp3 song:

"As soon as I became a strong young man,

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I got me (sic) a job working with my hands,

I got a blue-collar shirt and a yellow hard hat,

I became a member of the proletariat."

Parents can get in on the action too, with the Princeton Review Parents podcasts. About 10 minutes in length, each episode is devoted to a specific topic. The episode exploring campus life, for example, looks at the latest trends in dorm living, from washing machines that e-mail students when they’re done to college’s new approach to dining plans.

The Princeton Review’s college resources are top-notch, giving you just about everything you need to know about a school. The site’s college profiles include tuition rates and student body statistics as well as an admissions factors chart, which rates the importance each school places various criteria such as class rankings, standardized test scores and extracurricular activities.

Recently, Princeton Review has partnered with theU.com (www.theU.com) to add video tours of several top colleges and universities to the site. Taking a cue from MTVs popular show "MTV Cribs," these videos feature real students talking about what life is like on their school’s campus (only clips are available on the Princeton Review site). The clips are uncensored, so don’t expect the kinds of things you’d hear on an official tour — in addition to academics these students give you the lowdown on the dating and party scene, also what they think of their fellow students.

These are but a few of the features you’ll find at the Princeton Review Web site. If college is in your future, be sure to check it out.

Eric Goodwin writes Hotlink for McClatchy-Tribune News Service. You can send e-mail to egoodwin@krtinfo.com.

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