Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wish I Knew Wednesday

"I wish I had known which college search sites were really good resources. All I did was Google at first."
Adrianna P., 25, Peterborough, New Hampshire 

A college search website is like the gateway to a million possibilities! They have so much information and resources condensed right into a single website with easy-to-use menus! For my college search, I relied heavily on college search sites to find different colleges that fit all of the criteria that I wanted. Here are some great sites that you can use either as you begin your college search or if you are trying to find other options for yourself!

This is the website that I used religiously from my 8th grade year pretty much until I graduated from high school. I used the search section where I could select all of my non-negotiables that I knew I wanted in a college, then it popped up with all of the colleges and universities that matched that criteria. It also has some great articles and sections about things such as Financial Aid, college majors, and even about visiting colleges. It is a really great resource and I definitely suggest checking out the matchmaker search part of the website!

Every year, the US News and World Report puts out rankings of universities and colleges on so many bases. So, they have lists like the best online universities, the best colleges for Business majors, the best colleges in the Northeast region ... etc. SO MANY LISTS!!! I'd suggest using this more as a way to see what universities are out there and what they are known for, so to speak. Disclaimer: Rankings are not everything!! You can love a college and university that is listed as 30 on a regional ranking and absolutely hate one that is listed 5 nationally. It all depends on your preferences, but if you are looking for prestige or for a ranked university, then check out the US News and World Report rankings! 

This website, put out by the United States Education Department, has some really great features to help the college search as well. One is the Navigator portion, this allows you to search for a university, much like the Collegboard one, but it is a little simpler and fit for a certain geographic location. So, I was able to find all of the public and private universities in a 20 mile radius of New Orleans, LA by doing this search. If you know that you really want to be near a specific city, then this would be a good tool as well.  You can also find information on college affordability and preparing for a college education. This is put out by the government, so it has some really good information specific to national guidelines and standards!

This is a really great resource if your parents didn't attend college or if they attended a long time ago or if you just want more guidance than what they are providing to you. Much like Chasing College, this website also provides information on the admissions process, transitioning into college, and on campus lifestyle information like looking for a job, but is geared more towards the first generation student. You could click around this site for hours, that's how much great information it has! So, whether you are a first generation student or if you just want more guidance, this website has some great information that can help you with all aspects of going to college!

Late in the summer I attended a virtual college fair through this website and you can see my post about it here, but this website has so much information about a ton of different colleges and universities. What's great though is that from time to time those universities will have admissions representatives on hand to answer your questions about their campus. They also have virtual events that take place throughout the year, like college fairs and information sessions, so if you create an account with them, you can be notified of which universities have representatives when and when their virtual events will take place. It is all virtual so you can attend college fairs and chat with representatives all from the comfort of your home and in your pjs!

While you can always google to find information about colleges and universities, I really suggest using one of these websites, specifically a match-maker one to help you determine the colleges that fit your needs! Even if you've already done one, go back and do one again, you never know if your non-negotiables have changed or if the universities that match your needs change, so you can alter your college search! 

Is there another college search site that you've used or a website that is your go-to for the college search? I'd love to hear, so feel free to comment below so that we can add to our resource list! Have a great rest of the week everyone!

enjoy the chase,

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