Gift Ideas for the College Searcher in Your Family

Dec 06, 2007, 00:00 ET from Allegheny College

    MEADVILLE, Pa., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Finding the perfect
 gift for a loved one who's trying to find the perfect college need not be a
 struggle this year.
     Here are 10 fun ideas from Scott Friedhoff, vice president for
 enrollment and communications at Allegheny College, which are sure to
 tickle your preoccupied teen and shine a little holiday light on the
 important journey ahead.
     1. A GPS device to help find the many colleges located off the beaten
     2. An iTunes gift card to help prevent the fines associated with the
 illegal sharing of music.
     3. A bookstore gift certificate from your student's top college.
     4. A gift certificate for a major restaurant chain for when your
 soon-to-be college student tires of cafeteria food --- or just needs a
 late-night snack.
     5. A thoughtfully written book about colleges and the college search
 process. Loren Pope, for example, writes very well about the advantages and
 disadvantages of particular types of colleges. His "Colleges That Change
 Lives" and "Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That's Right
 for You" are two must-reads.
     6. A text-messaging lesson for yourself. Communication --- any kind of
 communication --- is important during the search process and particularly
 important in that first year of college. Do what you can to keep the lines
 of communication open, even if it means learning text-messaging shorthand
 like TTYL (Talk to You Later).
     7. A cookbook. A great social activity in college is fixing a meal. You
 might even practice a couple of recipes with your son or daughter during
 the holiday break.
     8. Boots, particularly if you are looking at northern colleges. Being
 cool and bootless in high school is no longer cool in college. Plus,
 late-night sledding parties are much more fun if you are warm and dry.
     9. A cardboard box containing a simple message that your student should
 fill his or her future with knowledge gained through an open-minded
 exploration of many academic areas of study no matter how unusual the
 combinations. (To avoid seeing eyes roll, it might be a good idea to
 paperclip some cash to the message.)
     10. Your love and support. The college search can be an anxiety-ridden
 process; you can keep the stress levels down by affirming choices and
 keeping communication lines clear and open.
     Friedhoff has nearly 30 years of experience in higher education, 21 in
 enrollment management at private colleges, and a national reputation for
 using multidisciplinary, research-based techniques to increase
 institutional visibility, selectivity and retention. He is nationally known
 in the field of college admissions and education finance and is a regular
 resource for the New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and USA
 Today, among others. He serves on a variety of advisory boards including US
     For more information about college searches, contact Friedhoff at
     A national liberal arts college where 2,100 students with unusual
 combinations of interests, skills and talents excel.

SOURCE Allegheny College