The internet is full of numerous college resources and navigating through them can be a challenge.
But there are a few well-known websites that every prospective college student should know about - some will help you research schools, others will help you navigate the world of standardized testing, and some focus on financial aid.
Take a quick tour of the some of the Web’s greatest hits for college web sites now:
Rankings and Review Sites
There are a lot of schools out there, and sorting through them can become a task in itself. If prestige and rankings are important factors in your decision, the granddaddy of rankings sites is US News and World Report. They’ve been doing their rankings yearly since 1985. You can review their lists of the top liberal-arts colleges and universities and read what goes into their rankings. However, the usefulness of these reviews will depend on which type of schools you are researching. While the US News reviews do cover many different categories, they may not have as much information as you need about smaller schools, regional schools, community colleges, or vocational schools.
Peterson’s and Princeton Review both offer helpful search options and statistics. Peterson’s allows you to narrow your school search by state, by major, or even by specific features like sports programs. The Princeton Review is an informative database of college information, and offers important details about each school, like the student-faculty radio, campus resources and break downs of the student body. Princeton Review is also well known for its test preparation resources.
If you’re ready to start searching for schools now, CampusExplorer.com offers a complete school search engine.
Speaking of testing, possibly the most significant website related to testing is The College Board, a non-profit association that manages the PSAT, SAT and AP examinations. You will use The College Board website to sign up for, review and submit your test scores to schools.
Some schools will accept an ACT score in place of an SAT score, so be sure to research each school individually and understand its test requirements and restrictions. The College Board is also one of many websites that offers information on financial aid and scholarships.
Financial Aid Sites
One of the most important websites for prospective students seeking financial aid is FAFSA, the government website you must use in order to apply for federal financial aid.
If you are seeking scholarships outside of school grants and loans, there are plenty of websites to use for your research. Fastweb is one of the best. Many scholarships have special deadlines and requirements, so be sure to begin your search early.
Once you have specific schools in mind, the most valuable online resource is the school’s own website. Every school has unique admissions requirements and deadlines, as well as its own detailed descriptions of its resources. Spend some time navigating through each school’s site and familiarize yourself with what it has to offer. Learn more about how to navigate school web sites.
College Resources on the Web: Tips and Tactics
- When it comes to finding the perfect fit, it pays to use the online resources available to closely evaluate your options.
- At first navigating through all of these resources will take some time and patience. But once you understand the layout of one school site or financial aid site, you'll find yourself understanding them all and clicking through with relative ease.
- Remember, the best websites will be both informative and reliable, and effectively connect you with information you need.
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