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What is PICS?
PICS is the only college-selection software program that ASSESSES a student's personality and then DETERMINES the ideal characteristics of a college suited to the individual. This is not an inventory in which a student indicates preferred student body size, living environment and campus attitudes. In fact, there are very few questions related to college at all. Instead, PICS evaluates each answer to the set of paired questions and then provides a profile of the kind of college or university the student should consider.
What do students say about PICS?

In a full-page article, USA Today asked ten students currently in college to rate PICS.  

arrow "The 15 colleges PICS recommended are almost the same list I came up with on my own but it took me forever."
Robert Sobczak
of Bel Air, MD
arrow "I was stunned. PICS knows me better than I do."
Stacey Fox of Hillsdale, NJ
arrow "It's so-o-o-o-o accurate. It recommended 6 of the 8 colleges I applied to."
Emily Lo of New Orleans, LA
arrow "The best way to find the right college is by talking to students and visiting campuses, but PICS would be a good place to start your search.... but I am truly amazed they could learn so much about me from those questions. The analysis is pretty accurate as I see myself."
Steve McLaughlin of Seattle, WA
What does PICS tell a student?
arrow Personality Size. Would a small college, a moderate-sized college or a large university be most comfortable?
arrow Learning Style Size. Would the student learn better in small classes with active participation or be more successful in large lecture classes, or either?
arrow Setting. Would the student be happiest in an urban setting, a suburban setting or a small college town?
arrow Distance from Home. How far from home can a student go before homesickness and lack of interaction with family takes its toll?
arrow Academic Pressure. Can the student handle a great deal of academic pressure or is a more supportive, less tense educational environment necessary?
arrow Curriculum. Can the student thrive in a program that has few if any course or distribution requirements or would a more structured academic program provide a better learning environment?
arrow Commitment to Proposed Major Field. Is this student likely to stick with the major of current interest or better advised to keep all options open?
arrow Prestige or Values-Orientation. How important is prestige to the student? How important is a college that has an orientation toward social values? Or would the student be happiest in a prestigious college that has high value-orientation?
What are the questions like?
PICS determines student preferences through 54 paired statements in which a student must select one of the two statements as closest to self description. Example:
 
a) I enjoy making plans without necessarily carrying them out.
b) I prefer carrying out carefully laid-out and detailed plans.
OR  
a) I like to argue.
b) I am uncomfortable when people argue.
What's in the report?

That depends entirely on a student's answers to the questions. In each case, all the categories above will be assessed and a recommendation provided for each category. In many cases, the answer provides hints for identifying those colleges with the trait. As we said above, reports tend to range from seven to ten pages long.

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