5 Free Tools for Comparing Colleges

Deciding which college to attend might be one of the most important decisions young adults will ever make. It can be life changing to say the least. But how can they be sure they’re choosing the right school? Below are several free tools for prospective college students to use to help them compare schools and make the most informed choice about their post secondary education.

  1. College Navigator. Created by the United States Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (IES), this tool allows future college students to search the IES data basebased using several criteria: the name of school, the state, distance from a specific zip code, programs or majors available, level of available degrees, institution type (public, private, four year and two year), maximum tuition, campus setting, admission test score requirements and even varsity sports teams. With so many search options available, students can really narrow down the list of potential schools.
  2. College Prowler. This tool also offers students an easy-to-view comparison chart. It determines a “quicklist” of schools nearest your location, divided between community colleges and traditional colleges. This site then offers a grade from A+ to D to various school criteria, including academics, athletics, dining, housing, computer, greek life, health and safety, parking and transportation. It also offers an overview of costs including tuition, room and board and financial aid.
  3. College Search by College Board. This is a little different than the above compare sites because it allows students to enter the names of the colleges they want to compare. Students can compare up to three schools at one time and are provided with information about school type, enrollment numbers, percentage of new students accepted, application requirements and average costs of tuition, room and board.
  4. College View. With this tool, students can find and compare schools based on area of study, name and location. By searching for schools with the area of study criteria, students can find the colleges and universities in their area that will provide them with the degree program they want to major in. It also offers students the option to search by tuition, school type and minority representation.
  5. Campus Compare. With the option to search three schools at once, this website breaks down the top majors of each school, study programs, study support and quick facts like total faculty, tuition costs, and admissions percentages. It also displays the school’s mission statement for students to get a better understanding of the collegeís goals and personality.

These tools are a great and free way to learn more about potential future colleges or universities. With these websites future college students should have all of their questions answered and be able to make an informed decision about their post secondary education.

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