There 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!