college searchThere are many websites students can use for the online college search. Below I list 6 of the most popular ones, each having a different focus, but all extremely useful. I would recommend your teen spend a few minutes to look at them all and your student will quickly realize which 2-3 will be the most helpful.

Big Future by The College Board is an ideal place to start if your teen is just beginning the college search:

  • Provides a simplified, step-by-step college search
  • Answers to questions will provide a snapshot of preferences
  • College matches based on various criteria
  • School comparison data

Cappex is one of my favorites as it has it all – from school comparisons to how other students feel about a school:

  • Create a personal profile to fine tune the college search
  • Student reviews of schools
  • Ultimately, find out best matched schools
  • School comparisons
  • Calculating financial aid options
  • Comprehensive data on schools
  • Plan campus visits

College Confidential may be best known for its discussion forums from test preparation tips to preferred colleges by students:

  • Good to use when just starting out
  • Very helpful discussion forums with professionals, parents and teens; NOTE: Not all the information posted may be reliable.
  • 20 point checklist for preferences – from party life to majors
  • School matches provided from over 4,500 schools
  • Option to ‘pin’ favorites to see how schools compare

Niche is a great site if you’re looking for one that provides tons of stats on colleges and universities:

  • Provides letter grades for different aspects of student life
  • Best schools lists by category, i.e., best liberal arts colleges, best private universities in Texas, etc.
  • Comprehensive reviews of what colleges offer
  • Create a free profile for college match
  • Store a running list of interested schools and be notified when local reps are in town

Unigo a very attractive site, but also has written and video reviews from students:

  • Schools are rated 1-10 based on student feedback in 9 categories such as campus safety, intellectual life, alcohol use, drug culture, greek life and more.
  • College pages contains map of the surrounding area, financial aid and admissions statistics as well as stats on all aspects of student life from the 9 categories
  • Many pictures of schools along with video reviews
  • Compare a list of schools using different criteria such as selectivity and tuition

College Simply is a more singularly focused site, with the numbers a student needs to potentially get into a school.

  • On the home page, put in your test scores and up pops college matches
  • Also prominent on the home page are the most recent college reviews
  • College matches based on GPA
  • List of schools with the highest or lowest acceptance rates

These sites should be able to make the process easier and much more palatable!

 

Resource: Prepscholar.com

 

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