7 Sites to Help Students Choose and Apply to Colleges

This year my advisory group at school is comprised of Juniors (11th grade students) who will be exploring their post-secondary options and applying to colleges. As I mentioned last week, one of the things that they will be doing tomorrow is Googling themselves as part of a lesson on digital footprints. Throughout the year we will be exploring many topics related to the college application process. Over the last few years I’ve gathered some Internet resource that could be helpful for students and their parents as they work through the college application process. Here are seven resources to help students and their parents select, apply, and prepare for college.

My College Calendar helps students organize their college applications. Students select the names of the colleges to which they are applying then My College Calendar generates a calendar with important due dates for the application procedure at each college. Also on My College Calendar students will find advice regarding the logistics of going away to college and living on campus. My College Calendar provides advice about finding a part-time job, establishing a bank account, managing phone bills, planning travel, and other important non-academic tasks that are fundamental to going away to college.

One of the guidance counselors at my school recommended College Confidential to me because she is very impressed by it. College Confidential provides students with a wealth of information and tools for choosing a college, applying to college, and paying for college. After being accepted and figuring out how to pay for college, students can come back to College Confidential to learn about what to expect in their first year and how to thrive as a new college student. College Confidential has a section called “Ask The Dean” where students can find answers to frequently asked questions like “will my writing be a problem in college?” College Confidential doesn’t leave parents out of the mix. Parents and students can join discussion boards on College Confidential to share experiences and advice with each other.

Unigo relies on huge database of student generated content for college reviews. Unigo has reviews written by students as well as video content. The value of Unigo extends beyond college reviews to first-hand accounts of mistakes made and lessons learned in the first year of college. Finally, as you might expect, Unigo has a social networking aspect through which current students and future students can connect. The video below, shot by Allen Stern of Center Networks, is an interview with Unigo’s founder in which he explains how the service was started and what the service does. The value of the video extends beyond an explanation of Unigo. The founder, Jordan Goldman, explains why he feels that a liberal arts degree has helped him in business.

College Crunch claims to be “the best college resource online ever.” I don’t know if it’s the best ever, but it is good. College Crunch features college reviews, college profiles, tips for navigating the logistics of college financing, and career planning advice. The career planning advice includes lists of salaries by career.

Educaedu is essentially a search engine for degree programs. To use Educaedu select the geographic area in which you would like to study. Then select the type of program you are searching for. Educaedu will then generate a list of schools offering your desired degree program. You can refine your search to find certificate programs, associate degrees, bachelor degrees, and masters degrees.

Campus Explorer gives prospective students the option to search for colleges by location and or degree/program type. What makes Campus Explorer a potentially valuable resource for those searching for a college is the advice section attached to each college review. The advice appears to be genuine advice from real students. In addition to the advice section, where available, videos are attached to each college’s review.

The University Parent Connection is a website offering advice to parents of college students and college-bound students. University Parent provides advice about all of the typical concerns that parents have as their children prepare for college. In addition to advice about college planning, financing, and admissions University Parent provides online guides to specific colleges and universities. University Parent plans to have a parent community discussion forum in the near future. The discussion forum could be a good place for parents to share experiences and learn from each other.

Thank You Readers for 14 Amazing Years!