6 Choosing a College

PLEASE NOTE **There often is a fee for on-line applications. Read the information carefully to determine the fees and consider if the costs are worth any advantages gained by applying electronically.

***Most of the search programs do not search all of the accredited institutions of higher education.  The database may be limited to private, public, or client colleges who have paid to be in included in the listing. Try a few of the search engines for a more varied listing. In reviewing the rankings of institutions, consider the criteria used and the sources of the data.

****Some of the sites require registration (it may be called membership) in order to access the services they offer.  Generally there is no charge for registration but the introductory information should be carefully read to be sure.  The registration generally asks for name, address, e-mail, phone number and some questions on interests or preferences.  Be aware that this information may be shared with client colleges or with other sites that are selling products.  Those who register may get unwanted e-mail advertisements.

2001 Colleges, Universities, and Scholarships
Information is given on colleges in the U.S. and the site includes free financial aid, scholarship searches and SAT and ACT test preparation tips.  E-mail addresses and telephone numbers for admissions officers and financial aid officers are available.  Noteworthy is the information for home schoolers planning to attend college.

Adventures in Education
A site sponsored by the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corp., it has information on career planning, selecting a school, and paying for college.  The site is useful for middle school and high school students, and those students already in college. The middle school information links academic preparation and course requirements to career ideas. A chart is provided that can be used to plan high school courses.  For high school students and their parents information on choosing the right courses, selecting a college, taking entrance examinations, applying for admissions, and financial aid is provided.  For students already in college there is information on financial aid, changing majors, transferring to another school, and an in-school and after-school budgeting sheet.  There is a separate area on career planning.  This site also links to E-Hound which will track admissions and financial deadlines upon registration.

Campus Newspapers on the Internet
A good way to learn about what a college is really like is to read its newspaper.  This links to U.S. collegiate newspapers that are online. 

Center for All Collegiate Information
A page with links to college information sites;department sites; student, graduate and faculty sites; sports sites, and collegiate organization sites. 

College Board
This site has information on the major components of the college admissions process.  There are search engines for college choice, scholarships, and career exploration.  Information on PSAT SAT, AP examinations is included.  Students can register for SATs on-line. Links are also provided to CollegeSearch (a college choice search engine) and Going Right On, a planning site for pre-high school students.

College Choice Web Site Home page
This website, provided by UCLA, presents an informative introduction to the major issues in thinking about and applying to college such as preparing for college, selecting a school, the college application, paying for college, first year away from home, college choice timeline, and links to websites with related information. The information is straightforward and useful when beginning to think about college.

College Edge
The site contains comprehensive college profiles and a search engine to match students’ parameters with colleges. Students can enter a profile that will become available to college recruiters. This site has forums for interactive discussion, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and advice columns to give students an opportunity to address individual concerns.  A career search based on interests and goals is accessible.

Find and select the best college(s) for you from a database of over 3,200 two- and four-year colleges. Search by name if you have a specific school in mind or search by criteria (location, type of school, financial aid, etc.) to find schools that match your preferences. You'll get information about each college and you can link directly to its web site.

College Net
This comprehensive search site includes a feature in which students can enter a personal profile which is made available to campus recruiters.  Photos of colleges from viewbooks or virtual cameras, for some campuses, are accessible.  The site has links on financial aid, test preparation, college sports, and academics.  There is a search engine for education-related websites. 

College Prep 101
This informative site provides information to help prepare for a successful transition to college.  There are clearly-explained mini-lessons on topics related to the admissions process and tips on becoming a successful college student.  For those students applying to college, there is an explanation of the materials used in the recruiting process and financial aid.  Practical advice and suggestions for navigating college issues including campus life, dormitory living, multiculturalism, study skills, and transitioning to college are given.

College Search
This college search program from the College Board is accessible through its home page. 

College Student Email Center 
This site consists of a list of student email addresses. Need to find a student who goes to a particular college? Want to ask anyone a campus question? Here is one place to start. 

What will college be like? What do you really want out of the experience?
How will you survive cafeteria food and your first-year roommate? 
Get a clue by playing the Amazing College Simulator!TM

College Opportunities On-Line (COOL)
A direct link to information on over 9,000 colleges and universities in the United States. If you are thinking about a large university, a small liberal arts college, a specialized college, a community college, a career or technical college or a trade school, you can search for them here.

College View
The site offers free on-line search services including a college search program and on-line applications.  Profiles on all accredited colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada are accessible, and detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities are included.  There are virtual tours of over 100 campuses.  Career advice and planning tools are obtainable.  Ask Experts encourages users to e-mail a question regarding college admissions to professionals in the field and the Question Archive lets users read some of the previously asked questions.  Excerpts from books about college give information about specific areas of the college planning and admissions process.  There is a message board to post questions and get feedback from other students. 

College Xpress
This site has a basic search program which generates a list of possible college choices from a database of independent institutions.  It has an area for finding financial aid, scholarships, and loans.  A section of advice on admissions, financial aid, and campus life is included.  Students or parents can ask questions and receive e-mail answers about the college admissions process, financial aid, and about campus life.  An area has information and links for student athletes and on-campus athletics.  The tip of the day for college success is included.  Upon registering, further information from client colleges can be requested. 

Critical Comparisons of American Colleges and Universities
A site providing information that allows students to make factual comparisons of colleges based on data collected from a variety of educational research sources.  Comprehensive reports on colleges include information on costs, reputation, library, crime statistics, financial aid, student body, and majors.  Data from educational research sources results in the use of some higher education terms; but a glossary is included. 

Disability Friendly Colleges
This site links to an on-line article from New Mobility Magazine listing services available at public colleges and universities in the top tier of the U.S. News and World Report rankings.  The information is taken from the responses sent to disability resource offices at 50 public universities and colleges in the U.S; exceptional programs or services are noted. 

HEAR(Higher Education Access Resources)
This is a database with information about more than 175 resources promoting college attendance for low income and first generation college students.

Kaplan Educational Centers
This site, created by the Kaplan test preparation company, has free and useful resources.  There are practice PSAT and SAT examinations and tips on taking the tests.  Study helpers, such as vocabulary building and logic brainteaser aid in preparation for the tests.  There is also information on MCAT and LCAT examinations.  Information on the admissions process and financial aid is available. The college life simulator game raises awareness of balancing college living issues that students experience on campus.  The interactive college admission interview has realistic questions and tips on answering them.  There is a well-conceived search engine for picking colleges.  Career and job search information is available. Information also is available for parents.  This site is fun and informative with lots of games, puzzles, information, and suggestions.

Minority On-line Information Service (MOLIS)
This site contains information on and links to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  It also includes information on financial aid, scholarships and grants.  The database can be searched by faculty and academic discipline. 

Maintained by the Peterson’s Guide folks, this site refers to itself as the most comprehensive educational resource on the Web.  It includes a college search engine and financial aid information.  It also includes information on test preparation.  On-line applications are accessible.  Information is obtainable on study abroad.  Advice is provided on how to find a summer camp, program or job.

Power Students Network
This site links together several sites. Admissions and scholarship information is accessible.  Students have a chat area to talk about their experiences with college and financial aid issues.  There are links by specific topical areas to six related sites.  Campus Tours offers virtual tours of client campuses.  College Web offers book and music reviews, commentary and essays.  Super College contains an on-line book on the admissions process and links to other sites.  FreSch is a free searchable scholarship database and e-mail scholarship newsletter.  Information is given here on avoiding scams while searching for scholarships.

Princeton Review
Students can take a practice SAT test here.  The site provides advice on the admissions process.  It also includes college rankings on academic and campus life issues.

U.S. News and World Report .EDU
The 1999 rankings are accessible here.  There is a search engine that can be used for matching students with community and four-year colleges using several criteria.  Also included are “lite rankings”- hot and coldest campuses, largest and smallest average class size, best marching band, and colleges without football.  The site has information on financial aid and a scholarship search engine.  The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), especially “how do I get started,” are helpful.  Questions on admissions and financial aid are answered on-line by admissions/financial aid experts.  Information is also available on college life.  Life after college is a section focused on careers and graduate schools.  There is also a glossary of terms used in the admissions process.

XAP Corporation
The site contains applications that can be downloaded or can be submitted to client colleges on-line.  Note: Electronic application to all Massachusetts independent colleges and universities will be forthcoming.  The site has links to standardized testing companies and test preparation courses.  There are also links to career search sites.  Information on financial aid and scholarships is provided.

Other Sections:
Why College Middle and High School Careers College Planning
RI Resources Choosing a College College Listings Financial Aid
SAT and ACT Sites About Sites RI Opportunity Programs Send us Feedback

Rhode Island Office of Higher Education
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Website Developed in December 1998 by Timothy S. Chace and Phyllis Harnick
Site last updated December 2000