What are the quickest ways to research colleges?

College Search

Our counselors answered:

What are the quickest ways to research colleges?

Scott White
Director of Guidance Montclair High School

What are the quickest ways to research colleges?

There are many good college search engines: college board, princeton review, naviance, etc.

Wendy Andreen, PhD
College & Career Planning

College Information at Your Fingertips

Search engines have become the fastest way to investigate just about anything. There are several excellent avenues to research colleges: college fairs, personal visits/tours, guidebooks, brochures, alumni interviews, community meetings hosted by college admissions officers, and reps coming to high schools. Take advantage of all of these options whenever possible. For speed, use the internet. 1. Begin with the college website. Look for tabs that say things like, 'Fast Facts', 'Quick Links', 'Prospective Students'. These will provide highlights and important information you need to know as an applicant. A majority of college websites offer virtual tours so you can see the campus in action. 2. When you don't know which colleges have the degree or major you want, turn to the variety of search engines that provide 'college matches'. Obviously, you are using one of the biggest right now, Unigo. Use the "Find a College" section to match you with prospective colleges and see data, pictures, & videos of campuses. 3. The two major admissions tests sites - ACT & SAT, each provide free college searches and data on universities. 4. Other sites that may be helpful include: CollegeMajors101.com, MyMajors.com, CollegeConfidential.com, and Naviance. You can experience information overload quickly, so take notes as you research and create your own computer files to store the information you want to retrieve later.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

My Favorite Search Sites

1. College Navigator allows user-defined searching on a number of key parameters. http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/ 2. Perfect for students that loathe rankings, USA Today’s college search tool is based on the National Survey of Student Engagement. The methodology couldn't be more different than US News. http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/nsse.htm 3. The "Inside College" site is a list maker's dream! Available lists span everything from “Schools for Gleeks” to “Schools with Distinction in Dance” to “Schools with a Club Sailing Team.” http://www.insidecollege.com/reno/home.do

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

College Finds

I appreciate that on Google, you can do an "advanced search" using specific words, phrases, or majors. I always have one tab opened to Collegeboard and one finger jammed inside The College Finder, my dear mentor and colleague, Steve Antonoff's indispensable and utterly relevant book of college lists.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Researching 101

Obviously the web will give you an immediate read on colleges. Whether you use school-specific sites, Unigo.com, or other search engines; there is nothing like the instant feedback from the internet. Talking to folks is another avenue to pursue when gleaning information. Guidebooks, view books, and educational consultants/guidance counselors are other options to consider.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

Research online first

Here is my advice on researching colleges online: INFORMATION TO CHECK ON EACH SCHOOL WEBSITE: VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE SCHOOL/YOUNIVERSITY videos! ACCEPTANCE RATE PROFILE OF THE LAST ENTERING FRESHMAN CLASS AVERAGE GPA AVERAGE SAT/ACT MAJORS/DEGREES AND COURSES OFFERED: WHICH PROGRAMS AND MAJORS ARE YOU INTERESTED IN? DO YOU LIKE THE PROGRAM? CAMPUS LIFE: GREEK LIFE? CLUBS? HILLEL? ARE YOUR INTERESTS REPRESENTED? LOOK AT HOUSING AND RESIDENTIAL LIFE. HOW MANY STUDENTS LIVE ON CAMPUS? DOES THE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY INTEREST YOU? WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT IT? WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF THERE? DO YOU WANT TO VISIT?

Diane Coburn Bruning
choreographer/counselor in performing arts College Match, Inc, Performing Arts Specialist

Dance and Performing Arts - a different way to research them

In the case of dance and the performing arts, outside of the usual search methods, a very savvy way to research the departments is by reading bios of artists in dance companies, orchestras, opera, theatre to learn which colleges they attended. These bios are often on the company websites and also in the playbills of the performances you may attend. If you read enough of them, you may see a trend toward several schools and get a feeling for which departments graduate the artists who work in companies to which you aspire.

Riche Holmes Grant
President Innovative Study Techniques

Quick ways to research colleges...

I love using the College Board's college search tool: http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/index.jsp For the "inside scoop," I like using The Princeton Review's search engine/rankings: http://www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings.aspx and College Confidential: http://www.collegeconfidential.com/college_search/

Geoff Broome
Assistant Director of Admissions Widener University

The internet has everything!

Use the internet. That is the sure fire quickest way to research an institution. Use sites like Unigo, Collegeboard, or if your school uses Naviance. Make sure that you check out each schools specific sites too.

Margaret Tung
Strategist Yale University

What are the quickest ways to research colleges?

1. Ask for their brochure and go to their website! 2. Contact any alumni friends your parents, brothers/sisters, or teachers might have who would be interested in discussing it with you--remember it's not an interview, it's an opportunity for you to see whether you'd be interested. 3. Google them! See what they're about. Check out college forums, college profiles--their website, college newspapers and publications...