How to Review College Websites

College Websites

By Jeannie Borin M.Ed., College Connections

So you can’t visit all the colleges where you choose to apply. The internet is a great source to do lots of homework on colleges. Visit college websites and it’s easy to be drawn into the fantastic graphics, sunny weather and smiling students.  In addition to providing information on their schools, appealing to students via glorious websites is an objective colleges have to lure students into applying.

Here are some tips:

  • Take notes when gazing at college websites. Keep track of things that impress you and whether you see yourself as a good match for that college.  A typical essay question colleges ask students is why they are a good fit for their college.

  • Read the college’s mission statement. This information is generally found on the college’s “about” page. Philosophically, one can learn a tremendous amount by this statement.

  • Read the campus newspaper.  Students write current stories on hot topics, posting opinions and discussing relevant issues about that college. One can learn about “the pulse” of a campus this way.   

  • Visit student-run campus websites. Look at campus events.

  • Check out the academic programs. It’s a good idea to look at any core requirements the first two years.  For example, if a college wants you to take lots of science classes and that’s not your thing, that may not be the college for you.

Most importantly, know yourself!  What do you like and dislike?  What are your strengths and weaknesses? In what kind of an environment are you most comfortable? Is this college affordable? Can this college help fulfill your career goals?

Generally, admission offices will welcome phone calls. You can speak with an admissions representative and counselor to get any specific questions answered. However, it is important to visit college websites first as many of your questions will be answered there.