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.

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.

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...

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

What are the quickest ways to research colleges?

In this day and age the internet is without a doubt the quickest way to undertake initial college research. Whether you are focusing on size or location, program or cost, a few strategic, appropriately chosen words entered into a “Google search” can lead you to a wealth of first impression information from which you can later expand your search and get a more defined sense of the schools you might be interested in. Whether through lists or rankings, in numeric or narrative form, there is a wealth of information out there to be had, but much of its real value will stem from how carefully you have identified what it is you want to know. The search–even at its earliest stages—is about trying to find the best possible fit for the individual student.

Patty Finer

What are the quickest ways to research colleges?

the internet

Janet Elfers

What are the quickest ways to research colleges?

Clearly the internet has made researching colleges quicker and easier than ever before. But you can get bogged down in the glitz of a website. Instead of randomly browsing a site, pick out several elements that are important to you, then compare only those features of college websites you visit. That way you're comparing the same elements. Here are some suggestions to get you started: majors offered, study abroad opportunities, greek life, online student newspaper, faculty accomplishments, admission profile. Add or subtract elements as you refine your search. And take notes or make a spreadsheet of facts and observations about each college.

Karen Ekman-Baur
Director of College Counseling Leysin American School

What are the quickest ways to research colleges?

I suppose that the quickest way to research a college/university is to go to the institution's website. You can find out information about how to apply, financial aid/scholarship options, activities, campus facilities, facts and data about the institution, and so on. An advantage to the website over printed material is that, depending on the school, the websites are usually kept up-to-date on an ongoing basis. Each website is structured differently, so what the institutions choose to highlight will also differ. While there is a certain amount of marketing involved in the developing of the college websites, they are not as intensely focused on marketing as are the promotional brochures which are distributed because they are also sources of information for current students, their parents, and others already involved with the institutions. It's a good idea to supplement the information which you find on institutional websites with research in independently-published books about college/university characteristics and features, conversations with current and former students at the institutions in which you are interested, input from your guidance counselor, visits to the schools which are on your "short list" - and basically, any other way that you can add to your knowledge of a college/university.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

What are the quickest ways to research colleges?

Take virtual tours on the Internet, talk to current & students who graduated, visit schools close by if they're on your list.

Angela Conley
College Admission Expert VentureForth

What are the quickest ways to research colleges?

Typically, I encourage those with whom I collaborate to use the following three web portals: 1) College Board is incredibly useful explaining "college choice" testing options and providing access to every school. www.collegeboard.org 2) In discerning which schools have four-year graduation rates and the diversity of its student body and staff, I encourage folks to consider: collegeresults.org 3) Finally, because college is as much business as education, I strongly encourage clients to consider the Forbes listing which describes the "ROI" or return on investment when considering indebtedness against the market value of a particular schools' brand. Just as I apprise clients that the mantra for success in marketing their brand is: "hearts - your awareness and engagement in the larger world and community" "smarts - can you effectively compete in the intellectual setting that is your desired college as confirmed by your coursework, exam scores and manifest intellectual curiosity" "character - are there those, besides your relatives who will attest to your integrity, persistence and wherewithal in diverse settings both intellectual and interpersonal" Clients are encouraged to assess colleges, universities and other post-secondary settings in a similar way. One's education is an investment, a rite of passage and a privilege which should not be entered into unadvisedly.