College Admissions: Top 10 College Admissions Websites
Monday, April 16, 2012
Are you tired of trying to keep current on all the media regarding college admissions? This newsletter pulls together the top stories each week and e-mails them to you. It’s intended for high school guidance counselors, but parents and students are welcome to join, and it’s free. http://hscounselorweek.com/
It’s hard to find reliable sites with student reviews that aren’t littered with those who are bitter and angry. I think Collegeprowler does the best job of proving a balanced view from students of their college, and it has a great scorecard for each institution. As with all review sites, take it with a grain of salt, but it’s the best that I’ve found so far. www.collegeprowler.com
Finaid.org explains the various financial aid programs available to families, from loans to scholarships. It also provides calculators and the necessary forms for parents to fill out. It’s a safe site that will not ask you to pay for information, and it is not sponsored by a financial institution trying to lure you into selecting their loans. The author also puts out Fastweb, a great free scholarship search engine. www.finaid.org
Merit aid is money available to students regardless of income, but it can take hours to find and read each college’s individual information. This website lists all of the merit aid opportunities in the U.S. and allows you to search by college or special talent area. www.meritaid.com
The federal government now collects campus crime statistics. If you have concerns about the safety and security at colleges, this is the place to go. Keep in mind that controversy does swirl around truth in reporting and whether nearby off-campus crime is included. Nevertheless, it is the most cohesive source for campus crime data available today. http://ope.ed.gov/security/
Founded by former coaches and ESPN executives, this athletic recruiting site rocks! Some of the features are free and others cost a nominal amount. Many recruiting sites will charge you thousands to post your information for coaches, but this site won’t. It’s an excellent place for athletes to get information on the recruiting process and post their athletic resume and videos for coaches to review. www.berecruited.com
This robust website provides SAT registration and information, a college search engine, and financial aid guidance. www.Collegeboard.com
If you aren’t familiar with the ACT, you should be. It is an alternative to the SAT and accepted at ALL 4 year colleges in the U.S. For many students, it can be a more favorable measure of their abilities than the SAT. www.act.org
Not everyone is a standardized test whiz, and studies have shown that the SAT is not a predictor of how well students will do in college. So today, more than 800 colleges and universities in the U.S. have joined Fairtest and do not require students to submit standardized test scores. Find the list of member institutions here. www.fairtest.org
While I am not an advocate of rankings in general, I do find them helpful in some respects. For instance, if you are looking blindly to determine which universities have the best engineering program or nursing program, they can be helpful. However, be very skeptical of listings that name the top “hard liquor” or “reefer madness” colleges. Those lists tend to be wildly inaccurate and are designed to see magazines--period. http://www.usnews.com/rankings
Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic, college counseling and athletic recruiting services for students. http://www.collegeadvisorsonline.com/.
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