• Counseling and Advising

  • College Information Websites

    This page is a collection of websites useful to both parents and students in college and post-high school planning.

    anchor College Search Websites
    anchor College Rankings Websites
    anchor College Application Websites
    anchor College Essay Websites
    anchor Athletic Information Websites
    anchor General Information Websites

    = Counselor Favorites

    College Search Websites

    There are many college search programs. The programs listed below are the ones that the counselors have found most helpful. They allow the student to indicate (and think about) their criteria for choosing a college. Based on those criteria, they generate a list of possible schools. Such computer-generated lists are only a beginning point. Students then need to evaluate the lists, research some of the schools, visit with their counselor, etc. (One of the most valuable contributions of doing these college search programs is that the questions the programs ask force students to think about which criteria really are important to them.)

    • www.collegeboard.com
      Look for “Finding the Right College”
    • www.princetonreview.com
      Sponsored by Princeton Review. Look under “college”, then “search for a college”
    • www.petersons.com/college-search.aspx
      Sponsored by Peterson’s—includes excellent general search but also specific searches for visual and performing arts, culinary, nursing, etc.
    • www.collegenet.com
      Excellent search engine—hotlinks right to the schools that interest you—has on-line applications--customized Internet admissions applications built for over 1500 colleges and universities. When applying to more than one program, you save redundant typing since common data automatically travels from form to form.
    • College View
      A free online college search service with profiles of 3,500+ colleges & universities,sites, virtual tours, electronic applications, financial aid info, career planning tools, and more. Find others with similar interests in Coffee Shop.

    College Ranking Websites

    The counselors would advise you to take rankings “with a grain of salt.” The quality of rankings varies based on the criteria used to compile the rankings, who is doing the rankings, etc. However, with this in mind, they can provide some general comparisons of schools that are valuable.

    • College Confidential
      Discusses the pros and cons of ranking colleges.
    • College and University Rankings
      The University of Illinois has gathered links to a collection of sites that rate colleges with various criteria. The site also discussed the philosophical difficulties with the whole process of ranking colleges.
    • Kiplinger's Best Public Universities
      Site sponsored by noted finance magazine. Sorts the schools in their survey of public colleges by overall rank, cost, quality measures or financial aid measures. Clicking on the college names after the search will take you to their Web sites. the site also has a similar search for private colleges.
    • U.S. News & World Report
      U. S. News and World Report’s yearly rankings of “America’s Best Colleges.” Includes tips on latest trends.

    College Application Websites

    College Essay Websites

    • Essay Edge
      This commercial site offers to assist students with writing essays for college applications. It also offers free access to admissions essays accepted by top colleges.
    • Ivy League Admission
      Commercial essay writing service also gives free writing advice for competitive admissions programs.

    Athletic Information Websites

    • NCAA
      This site contains much valuable information for the potential college athlete including eligibility requirements for Division 1, 2, & 3 schools.
    • 2018-2019 Guide for the College-Bound Student Athlete
    • NCAA Recruiting Calendars 2018-2019
      The recruiting process must balance the interests of prospective student-athletes and the Association’s member institutions. Information from NCAA. The rules define who may be involved in the recruiting process, when recruiting may occur and the conditions under which recruiting may be conducted.
    • NCAA Registration
    • College Coaches Online
      Database of 25,000 current head coaches at NCAA (Divisions I, II and III), NAIA schools and Junior Colleges. Find coaches names, addresses, emails and phone numbers in seconds. Search for colleges by individual categories: location, size, tuition costs, sport, division and academics (grades, class rank, SAT/ACT.
    • NJCAA
      The National Junior College Athletic Association provides opportunities for student-athletes to continue their athletic careers. The NJCAA is divided into three divisions just like the NCAA. The schools who are members of this organization are two-year community and junior colleges. After completing their eligibility, a student-athlete may choose to continue their academic and athletic career at a NCAA or NAIA school.
    • NAIA
      The small, private colleges and universities that are members of NAIA offer most of the same opportunities as NCAA schools.
      National Christian College Athletic Association
      Find Division 1 and 2 Christian colleges for various men's and women's sports

    There are many fee-based sites that offer to connect athletes and college coaches and athletic programs. Consumers need to investigate such sites thoroughly to make sure that they provide services that are commensurate with the costs or fees. For a list of some of these sites go to Wise Man Tech.

    Be wary of organizations that will promise to find a student a sports scholarship. The only athletic divisions that give scholarships have very clear academic ACT/SAT guidelines. Work with your counselor to determine your eligibility and the process for registering with the NCAA. You will first register for the NCAA Clearinghouse after your junior year final grades are recorded.

    General Information Websites

    • America's Top Colleges
      List compiled by Forbes magazine
    • Colleges
      The Colleges, Universities and Scholarships Page is designed to offer college-bound students, parents, and counselors easy access to information on colleges and universities throughout the United States, free scholarship and financial aid searches, SAT and ACT test preparation tips, and more
    • Accredited Online Colleges
      Complete list of Accredited Online Colleges and Universities in Minnesota
    • ACT
      Information and registration for ACT, financial need estimator, etc.
    • All About College
      Excellent search engine for colleges, test prep, and financial aid
    • American Education Services
      Comprehensive site with information on the college selection and application process and financial aid.
    • Campus Explorer
      Search through a database of over 8,500 schools by location, minor or degree. Site includes two and four year programs as well as certified programs in vocational or technical training.
    • Campus Grotto
      Comprehensive site assists students in finding and preparing for college. Financial aid and scholarship information also included.
    • Campus Program
      This site not only searches for college programs by state, but also allows you to find colleges by specific career fields, majors, and occupations.
    • Campus Security
      The OPE Campus Security Statistics Website is a direct link to reported criminal offenses for over 6000 colleges and universities in the United States. If you are thinking of attending college in a large urban city, a small liberal arts college, a specialized college, or a community college you can find their security statistics here. Website is maintained by the Office of Post secondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education.
    • Campus Starter
      Searchable database for colleges and universities in Canada
    • Campus Tours
      The Campus Tours Index provides fast and easy access to interactive tours of colleges across the United States.
    • Cappex
      This free site allows students to list information about what they are looking for in a college. 
    • Careers and Colleges
      Comprehensive, but somewhat commercial site on a variety of post secondary opportunities.
    • College Answer
      This site is sponsored by Sallie Mae, a large provider of student loans for colleges. Students wondering where to go to college and how to get there, or parents trying to unravel the mystery of the college and financial aid application process can find answers here.
    • College Atlas
      Colleges and Universities by Major
    • College Board
      Students, parents, & counselors will find a comprehensive menu of information to aid in the transition to college. Includes EXPAN - for free - college, career & financial aid database Includes SAT and AP (Advanced Placement) testing information and registration.
    • College Compass
      Huge site contains links to careers and majors, college selections, financial aid, scholarships, test preparation, and summer programs.
    • College Confidential
      Comprehensive site guides you through the entire process from researching colleges to getting in and paying for them.
    • College Data
      Comprehensive site includes information on finding a college that fits your needs, getting into it, and paying for it.
    • College.gov
      College.gov is built by the U.S. Department of Education in collaboration with students. It is intended to be the go-to source for information and resources about planning, preparing and paying for postsecondary education (such as 2 or 4 year colleges and universities, and vocational or career schools).
    • College Grazing
      Interactive self discovery surveys provide immediate feedback to give college planning focus and insight. College application essay writing guide & other tools for successful college search.
    • College InSight
      This site makes data on college affordability, diversity, and student success easy to find, compare, and analyze. College InSight is the successor to EconomicDiversity.org and provides data for almost 5,000 U.S. colleges and universities. In addition to college-level data, it features totals and averages for states, sectors, and other groupings of colleges.
    • College Lists Wiki
      Counselors are always creating lists of colleges for their students that fit specific parameters. The lists are constantly changing.
    • College Majors 101
      This site is associated with a course that teaches students about different college majors in depth so that they can make more informed college and career choices
    • College Navigator
      Search for the college that's right for you by geographic region, state, city, type, major, or Title IV eligibility.
    • CollegeNET
      Wide variety of college info including searching for matching characteristics, graduate programs, financial aid, scholarships, featured schools.
    • College News
      Free campus new wire includes text from many college newspapers in the Chicago, New York Boston, and Philadelphia areas.
    • College Niche
      Find the perfect school for you with the assistance of reviews and editorials written by students.
    • College Opportunities On-line
      This site is a direct link to over 9,000 colleges and universities in the United States. If you are thinking about a large university, a small liberal arts college, a specialized college, a community college, a career or technical college or a trade school, you can find them all here. This site was created by the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education. It was authorized by Congress in 1998 to help college students, future students, and their parents understand the differences between colleges and how much it costs to attend college. If you are not sure what colleges might be of interest, COOL has the tools to help you search for a college based on its location, program, or degree offerings either alone or in combination. Once you've found some colleges of interest, you can obtain important and understandable information on all of them.
    • College Planning
      Comprehensive site to help students prepare for college is especially strong in highlighting programs that promote support services for underprivileged students.
    • College Prep 101
      This on line course is intended to provide high school students with the information they will need to decide on attending college. Included in the lessons is information to help with college preparation, selecting a college, easing the transition to college, and managing the changes in life which occur during college.
    • College Profiles
      Features in-depth profiles with information about academic programs, athletics, campus life, and financial aid, along with geographic search,directories for honors programs, women's colleges statistics on minority enrollment and numerous other resources for prospective college students.
    • College Results
      This site allows students to: examine overall graduation rates and see how those rates have changed over time, learn about universities' records graduating diverse groups of students and compare the graduation rates of similar institutions - colleges and universities that share many characteristics and serve similar student populations.
    • College Surfing
      Searchable database offers more vocationally oriented categories such as arts/design/fashion, aviation, beauty programs, business, criminal justice, etc.
    • College Zone
      Takes a student from choosing a college as a senior to finding success on a university campus as a freshman.
    • Colleges of Distinction
      College guide with a unique approach. Instead of looking for the richest or the most famous schools, it considers topics such as - Which colleges are the best places to learn, to grow and succeed? You'll find both prominent names and "hidden gems" on their list.
    • Colleges That Change Lives
      Based on the book by Loren Pope and filled with information and first hand experiences, this website offers a unique perspective on forty remarkable liberal arts colleges. You can also sign up for a free monthly newsletter filled with advice on preparing for college and specific universities.
    • Discover Business
      Comprehensive Guide designed to help you learn about different business degrees.
    • Dormitories Around the World
      On this page you find links to various dormitories (or residential homes) from all over the globe. Some offer pictures of their dorms and/or include short essays. The dorms are sorted first by the country they're in and secondly by the university's name.
    • Educators for Fair Consideration
      Comprehensive site strives to assist undocumented students with college, career and financial aid information and provides resources for these students as they wait to become citizens of the U.S.
    • Education Planner
      Comprehensive college planning and preparation site sponsored by a financial aid organization.
    • Educated Quest
      Site focuses on how to choose the best college for you. It includes detailed descriptions of universities the creator has visited, Q & A section, and a blog.
    • EDURegistry
      Information on topics to consider as students research colleges such as location, environment, size, admission requirements, academics, expenses, financial aid, housing, facilities and financial aid. The site also has links to all the college web sites organized by state.
    • FairTest
      Site run by National Center for Fair and Open Testing. University section includes latest on college testing and list of schools that do not use standardized tests as part of application process.
    • First in the Family
      Students who are the first in their family to attend college, need special help in planning and anticipating what is involved. This site is specially designed to assist those students through the college application process.
    • Go College
      Comprehensive commercial site has information on selecting a college and paying for it.
    • Greenes Guides
      Website maintained by the authors of several very popular books on college admission. Counselors find the “Advice and Articles” and the “Knight Ridder Columns” sections very helpful.
    • How College Admissions Works
      The admissions director of Duke University gives real life examples of how the admissions process works. (especially good for students applying to select colleges and universities)
    • How to Get In
      Help sections cover all years of high school with college preparation and planning, testing, advice on applying to college and paying for college. Our admissions forum is moderated by college admissions and financial aid experts. If you have a question, they have the answer. Site also includes a searchable college database.
    • Institutional Accreditation
      Searchable database run by the US Department of Education helps you to determine whether a school or university is accredited and if so, by whom.
    • International Student
      Site offers advice and services of all sorts, including links to information about being a student in another country, an international scholarship search, student loans and insurance.
    • iTransfer
      This site offers course selection information for students who plan to attend a community college and transfer to a university in Illinois. It identifies schools that are members of the Illinois Articulation Initiative and have agreed to a common core of general education courses that will transfer.
    • Kaplan
      Test Prep on line. College application software, career info, self tests plus many more topics.
    • Know How 2 Go
      This site is especially helpful to students who are the first in their family to attend college. Guidance starts in middle school and provides step by step advice all the way through high school.
    • Mapping Your Future
      On this site you'll find information to help you plan your career, select a school & plan for your future.
    • Match College
      Search through this site to find the school that is right for you. It includes over 6,000 colleges and universities listed, providing information on housing, financial aid, tuition, admissions, athletics, current events and more... Schools can be filtered by state, city and type of degrees offered or you may look for a specific school by name.
    • My College Guide
      This site has a college search section as well as articles about admissions, getting money for college, and doing well once you are admitted.
    • My College Options
      Make a list of the particulars you would like your college to have and get a list of up to fifteen matches. Colleges can view the profile you have created and contact you.
    • My Majors
      Take a short quiz on this site and it analyzes this information and suggests six majors to think about because they match your interests and high school experience. It can also give you more information about what these majors are, what type of courses you would take to get a degree and what jobs are available to graduates with various degrees.
    • My Footpath
      Free "Ask the Counselor" advice on the college planning and selection process and fee-based admissions reports.
    • My Road
      Comprehensive site allows you to explore majors, find a college and research careers. A searchable database of 900+ career fields, 6000+ vocational schools, colleges, and universities and links of scholarships, sources of loans, financial aid and advice.
    • NACAC
      The National Association for College Admissions Counselors maintains a site with a variety of resources including a directory of early decision colleges, when and where college fairs are held, their monthly newsletter for students, and student's rights in the college admissions process.
    • Next Step
      Comprehensive college information site.
    • Nursing ProgramsSearch for Nursing programs
    • Overseas Association of College Admissions Counseling
      This site is designed for counselors who work with students who intend to study in another country. It has resources for American students who would like to study overseas and exchange students who would like to continue studying in the US.
    • The Personal Statement
      Site from the University of California - Berkley walks a student through the process to follow to compose an exemplary personal statement as part of the college application process.
    • Peterson's Education Center
      Major publisher of materials about colleges and process of selecting a college. The Education and Career Center includes consistently organized information about educational opportunities at all levels. It also gives the ability to search Peterson's databases and share info with others. On line applications for 209 universities and graduate schools - some can be transmitted electronically and some can be printed and mailed in the usual manner.
    • Preparing Your Child for College
      This site produced by the US Department of Education explains the benefits of a college education and about ways to put college within reach academically and financially. Throughout their school years, students make academic and other decisions that affect whether they will be eligible to enter college.
    • The Princeton Review
      The Princeton Review helps people find and get into the right college or other school. They have great resources to help with testing, admissions, financial aid etc.
    • QuestBridge
      QuestBridge is a program that links bright, motivated low-income students with educational and scholarship opportunities at some of the nation's best colleges.
    • Scholar Stuff
      Offers a little something for everyone; a comprehensive list of colleges from around the world, chat rooms, financial aid sites, and links to information on college prep exams.
    • School Choices
      Help students of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds find the right post-secondary educational path to their dream career. We work towards this mission through our comprehensive database of nationwide schools, our expert content, and our user-contributed reviews
    • Schools in the USA
      Searchable data base allows visitors to locate a suitable college by program, name or location. Once a college is selected a student can request more information electronically. A parallel version of the site is especially for international students who wish to study in the US.
    • Schools that accept American Sign Language
      as fulfilling the foreign language admissions requirements. This wiki is kept by volunteers so check with the school to verify that the information is still valid. A related list is Foreign Language not Required.
    • Search University
      Find colleges of interest searching by name, location, or program. You'll find financial aid, career, and admissions information here as well.
    • Steps to College
      The National Association for College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) distributes a bi-monthly newsletter with timely college advice. Articles are on many topics of interest to students and parents. New topics are highlighted. Archived topics are also readily available.
    • Student Paths
      The online Student Paths Current Issue is a collection of articles and information from eleven publications throughout the country. From Diary of a Senior to Wacky Scholarships, the online current issue combines the best of the best to give you the inside scoop on how other students are making their transition to college and what they have experienced in their first year beyond high school.
    • Super College
      Comprehensive college guidance site has sections on searching for a college, admissions & tests, and scholarships.
    • Teen Ink
      Check out reviews of colleges - public and private, from the Big 10 to the Ivy League, from small liberal arts schools to large state universities, including 2-year and 4-year programs - written by prospective students like you. Students also submit their admissions essay, which may give you some ideas of how to approach this subject - or not.
    • Ten Steps to College
      Guide to college planning and selection sponsored by PBS.
    • Undergrad Zone
      Takes a student from choosing a college as a senior to finding success on a university campus as a freshman.
    • Unigo
      Unigo is a new platform for college students to share reviews, photos, videos, documents, and more with students on their campus and across the country. Fnd out what life is really like at North America’s colleges, and find online friends who can help you find the right school.
    • U.S. Department of Education
      Search for the college that's right for you by geographic region, state, city, type, major, or Title IV eligibility.
    • U.S. News
      U.S. News and World Report—tools and reports to take through the steps of the college process—from choosing where to apply to the application process itself.
    • Venture Scholars
      Resource center of valuable links for students preparing for college.
    • What Will They Learn?
      Provides unique information on whether colleges make sure their students learn the things they need to know. You can find what they expect their graduates to study outside their majors, how much they are charging, how many of their students graduate, and what the colleges say about the education they offer. There are more than 125 institutions currently covered.
    • What Can I Do With a Major In?
      Site from the University of North Carolina links career to the majors available on campus.
    • XAP
      Comprehensive site allows students to search for colleges, take virtual tours, apply online, get financial information and plan a career. 

    Updated December 5, 2019