Free College Search Resources

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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Author

  • Kristin Fracchia

    Dr. Kristin Fracchia has over fifteen years of expertise in college and graduate school admissions and with a variety of standardized tests, including the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT, with several 99% scores. She had a PhD from the University of California, Irvine, an MA degree from The Catholic University, and BA degrees in Secondary Education and English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award and the Chancellor’s Club Fellowship from the University of California, Irvine. She’s worked as a high school teacher and university professor, as an independent college and graduate school admissions counselor, and as an expert tutor for standardized tests, helping hundreds of students gain acceptance into premier national and international institutions. She now develops accessible and effective edtech products for Magoosh. Her free online content and YouTube videos providing test prep and college admissions advice have received over 6 million views in over 125 countries. Kristin is an advocate for improving access to education: you can check out her TEDx talk on the topic. Follow Kristin on LinkedIn!

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