The cumbersome college guidebook, with page after page of statistics-heavy summaries, is creaking under its own weight, and the glossy brochure is increasingly consigned to the wastepaper basket like so much junk mail. Instead, more high school students are pointing and clicking their way through the college search, tapping into an array of new matchmaking web sites that pair them with prospective schools based on their personal preferences, reports the Boston Globe. And colleges, no longer content to cede the digital terrain to the teenage set, are also turning to the Facebook-like pages in their recruiting efforts. The shift is reshaping the admissions process, long dominated by mass mailings and college fairs, into a virtual, yet highly personal, courting process many liken to online dating. "In searching for a college, you have to make a lot of the same decisions that you would with relationships," said Jerry Slavonia, founder of Campus Explorer, which has a database of more than 6,000 schools. Students are flocking to the sites, a mix of new social-networking pages and traditional guides such as Peterson’s and the College Board, to streamline the often-overwhelming search for the right school. The sites allow them to sort colleges by location, enrollment, cost, and majors, and get an unedited glimpse of campus life by chatting with current students or browsing their photos and videos. At many sites, students can get an estimate of their admission chances by entering their grades and standardized test scores…

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