An independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, DC


Using the Web

There are literally thousands of websites that can provide students with information useful to their college searches. Of course, many of them are also unhelpful or contain erroneous information. Here’s a list of useful websites:

  • In addition to being the place to register for the SAT, this site has a very useful college search engine.
  • The site to register for the ACT.
  • This comprehensive and useful site can assist you with finding financial assistance to help cover your college costs.
  • The place you should go to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online.
  •,, and Three (of a myriad of sites) on which you can do scholarship searches.
  • The web page for the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) that is available to residents of the District of Columbia. The DCTAG Program pays the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, up to $10,000 a year with a lifetime maximum of $50,000, to assist DC residents with out-of state tuition fees at any public college or university in the nation. Undergraduate students who choose to attend private colleges and universities in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area and any private HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in the nation are eligible to receive a grant.
  • You can see the list of participating Common Application schools and complete the Common Application on this site.
  • Students who are planning to continue their athletic involvement should go to this site to learn about eligibility requirements for the NCAA as well as to register to determine their eligibility to play a sport at an NCAA Division I or II college or university.

Browsing the Shelves

Even though most people do much of their college searching and investigating online, many students and parents still find a hard-copy resource to be helpful. The books listed below are some that are used regularly by the college counselors, or the books have been recommended by a parent or student who found the book to particularly useful.

Huge, Comprehensive, and Objective

  • Four-Year Colleges 2012 by Peterson’s
  • College Handbook 2012 by The College Board
  • Scholarship Handbook 2012 by The College Board
  • Profiles of American Colleges by Barron's (Includes free access to Barron's web-based college search engine)

Smaller, Selective, and Subjective

  • The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2012 by Edward B. Fiske
  • 440 Great Colleges by Peterson’s
  • The 376 Best Colleges, 2012 Edition by The Princeton Review

Even Smaller, (occasionally) Critical, and Subjective

  • Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges by Loren Pope
  • The Insider's Guide to the Colleges 2011: 37th Edition by Yale Daily News
  • Making a Difference Colleges: Distinctive Colleges to Make a Better World by Miriam Weinstein
  • Guide to Service-Learning Colleges & Universities by Student Horizons, Inc.

Specialized Guides

  • International Student Handbook 2012 by The College Board
  • Book of Majors 2012 by The College Board
  • College Guide for Performing Arts Majors by Peterson's
  • College Guide for Visual Arts Majors by Peterson's
  • K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities, 10th Edition by Princeton Review


As you work through the various forms related to your college search, you’ll notice that many organizations will ask for Potomac’s School Code as a way to uniquely identify the School. Most online forms will help you find Potomac’s School Code; however, in case you need it, Potomac’s School Code is 471396.