What are the best ways to navigate a college's website?

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Our counselors answered:

What are the best ways to navigate a college's website?

Scott White
Director of Guidance Montclair High School

What are the best ways to navigate a college's website?

Use it for information only. Use other sources for more subjective information.

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

visit undergrad and grad school pages

if you are looking for admisisons information, you can limit yourself to undergrad admissions as perspective student. if you are researching majors and departments, you may go to academic departments to seek out faculties and programs. graduate school pages will offer you something else, sometimes, students learn graduate programs at school as undergrad students but apply graduate programs at different colleges.

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC


College websites should have a mandatory format, shouldn' t they? Each one has a different format. I navigate college websites all day long and one thing I always look for is "fast facts". Give it to me in a nutshell. Don't make me search for what I seek.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

College Websites

Navigating college websites can be a challenge. Everyone organizes them differently and some have so many layers that it is easy to get lost! Initially just start poking around. If something intrigues you, go with it. Before long you will find yourself circling back to the same info. Now it's time to be purposeful in your browsing. Click on the academics field. Next, click on the admissions tab and learn what you can about the process for that school. Make notes and be organized as you explore. Before you know it, you have checked out the school inside and out.

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.org

and this one is just right...navigating college websites

College websites are so different. Some are very user friendly, while others require patience. If you are writing a college app essay about a college, using the website can really help you. First, go to academics. Follow the academic links to programs that interest you. Find courses, professors, and programs that sound intriguing. If you're not sure about academics, search first year programs and see what kinds of freshman seminars and other programs they offer. Also search for student life and find out about community service and other extracurricular activities. Look for current info as many student groups are outdated. You can also research club and intramural sports. Finally, look for blogs. Many colleges are now posting student blogs about all kinds of topics. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to explore each college's website. It's worth the time.

Erica White
College & Career Counselor Middletown High School

Every website is different, but....

There are 4 main areas to look on a schools website... - Admissions/Information for prospective students.... information on how to apply, deadlines, FAQ's about a school, virtual tours - Academics...information on specific majors and course offerings - Campus Life...information on campus housing, events, and activities - Athletics...information on sports teams, schedules, team members and contact information for coaches

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

Navigating college websites

Here is my recipe for successful navigating: 1. Go to Admissions/Future students first. Check out scholarships and financial aid. 2. Check out the virtual campus tour. 3. Read about the requirements for acceptance, including test score requirements. 4. Go to Academics, look at the majors. What interests you? Click on department websites that you find compelling and see what the program offers. 5. Go to Housing/Residential Life. Anything interesting, like learning communities? Themed housing? 6. Check out the clubs. Are your interests represented? This is how to navigate....after you do this, you can browse and look at majors, college events, speakers, etc. College websites are FULL of information.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

Common Data Set - Real Data Without the PR Spin

The best way to get real statistics regarding admissions rates, academic profiles of admitted students, and the availability of financial aid is to Google the name of the school you are interested in along with the phrase "Common Data Set." The Common Data Set is "a collaborative effort among data providers in the higher education community and publishers as represented by the College Board, Peterson's, and U.S. News & World Report. The combined goal of this collaboration is to improve the quality and accuracy of information provided to all involved in a student's transition into higher education, as well as to reduce the reporting burden on data providers." It has all kinds of juicy information like number of applicants, number of applicants accepted, AND the number of applicants enrolled. It also provides information on how much need based and merit based financial aid a college has given each year. The CDS also provides information as to the numbers of students in various majors and degrees earned. For more information about the Common Data Set, please see http://www.commondataset.org/. If a school chooses to share its CDS answers with the public, it will usually be part of their Office of Institutional Research. If a school doesn't provide their CDS on their website, you should ask for it or ask why they don't share this information.

Patricia Aviezer
President Inside Track To College, Inc.

Too Much Information

Like anything else, too much of something can be a bad thing. College websites are the "best" source of information and most up-to-date resource about a particular college, but, you need to remind yourself once you enter the site, why you're there! Here's what to look for: 1. Planning to apply-then look for the undergraduate application page. 2. Read about their application plans, are they, ED, ED, REA and what are their deadlines? 3. What is required in their application, SAT/ACT, recommendations, interview, make sure you know in advance. 4. Interested in a particular major, then look into that department and glance at what their courses look like. Would you be interested in studying in that major based on their delivery model? 5. What are they highlighting on their home page, does it interest you? Do they have a facebook page, if they do, why not add it to your list so that you can follow them? Before you go into any site, determine what it is you're looking for. We all know it's easy to get lost.

Cheryl Millington

What are the best ways to navigate a college's website?

There are thousands of pages on a school’s website and it can be daunting to get the information that is important to a potential student. The best way to navigate a school’s website is to go directly to the admission page and then click on links that are relevant to you.