Fortunate college applicants of the Internet age! You have so many resources at your fingertips to find the right school for you! Here are ten of our favorite free resources for an online college search.
College Scorecard: A user-friendly and engaging tool to search for schools from the U.S. government College Affordability and Transparency Center based on a range of criteria. You can also find out how much the average student pays for a school, how much they borrow, and graduation and employment prospects.
College Confidential SuperMatch: A search tool that uses 20 criteria (attributes such as location, major, diversity, special services, and party scene) to help you find the right school for you. It uses a “fuzzy” approach to ranking schools based on your preferences, meaning it finds not only the perfect matches, but also the schools that are pretty darn close.
College Navigator: Not quite as fun as College Confidential’s tool, but is an authoritative one hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. You can search for schools by criteria, compare them side by side, and pinpoint school locations on an interactive map.
Big Future from the College Board: Another well-respected search tool. Of particular note is the ability to find schools based on test scores, those that offer academic credit for advanced high school courses, and those that meet financial aid needs.
U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges: The most famous national source of college rankings, highly anticipated each year. You will need either a website subscription or a purchase of the magazine for full details on the rankings.
Colleges that Change Lives: A non-profit organization promoting a small group of liberal arts colleges supporting a student-centered college experience. Also has numerous quality resources for a general college search.
Best Colleges: Uses compiled information from various sources to rank colleges on specific features (for example, online colleges that offer free laptops, tuition-free colleges, and colleges with lowest out-of-state tuition)
eCampus Tours: Offers 360-degree virtual tours of 1300 campuses.
College Week Live: A virtual college fair. Live chat with admissions representatives and students at 300+ colleges and universities.
Niche (formerly College Prowler): aims provides the “real dirt” on colleges; students review aspects of the college experience at their respective schools, such as the sports scene or campus food. Lots of information; take individual student opinions with a grain of salt, though.
Unigo: Similar to Niche. Compiles student reviews on various schools.
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About Kristin Fracchia
Dr. Kristin Fracchia currently focuses on our MCAT and LSAT Prep, but she also has expertise in a wide range of standardized tests, including the ACT, SAT, GRE, and GMAT, as well as college and grad school admissions. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004. She enjoys the agony and bliss of long distance trail running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.
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