Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Top 10 Websites for College Bound Students

College Board & ACT

You will need to create an account at College Board so you can register for the SAT and Advanced Placement (AP) exams. It is also a great starting point to gather and compare basic data on colleges and universities. Information found on this site includes admission requirements, program offerings, cost and much more.

Students who are planning to take the ACT surely will need to create an account. The site also offers information about planning for college, selecting a major and the financial aid process. The ACT also has a blog by students, at every level- from freshmen in college to juniors in high school.

College Confidential

This site is an online community of Admission Counselors, parents and students. In addition to helpful articles on admission and financial aid, it features various discussion boards where parents and students post questions and Admission Counselors respond to the questions. All you need to do is register and you can join the conversation.

College Prowler

This website provides college reviews for prospective students from current or recent graduates. For each of the more than 7,000 colleges listed, you can learn about everything from the admission process to student life. In addition, this site offers a ballpark assessment of your chances for admission at the schools you are considering.

Common Application

Almost every high school senior is familiar with the so-called “common app.” Over the years, this has become a go-to resource for students considering applying to a variety of colleges and universities across the nation. Students complete one main application and essay that can be submitted to multiple colleges. Keep in mind that some schools have supplementary materials that are unique to that particular school that you will need to complete.


If you think you will need assistance with paying for college, become familiar with the website of the Free Application for Financial Student Aid. The website is administered by the U.S. Department of Education. It is a user-friendly resource that is loaded with a variety of information on how to finance your college education. Most importantly, this is where you complete an application if you want to be eligible for Pell grants, Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans and Parent Plus loans.


If you are hoping for a scholarship, this is a great place to start. After registering, you can custom-search a database of 1.3 million scholarship possibilities based on your own individual qualifications and needs. FastWeb also supplies information on jobs and internship programs, and has an active discussion board as well.


FinAid is a website sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Some financial aid counselors describe this website as the most comprehensive resource about paying for college. You will find detailed information on different types of loans, scholarships, grants and even military programs. In addition, it has calculators to help estimate the cost of college, calculate expected family contribution, estimate how much you need to borrow.


Any student athlete who dreams of playing at a Division I, II or III school should log onto this site and download the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s guide. This guide will inform you of the rules and regulations that spell out information such as how college coaches can recruit to what SAT or ACT scores a high school athlete must attain. This is also the place where athlete applicants submit a “clearinghouse form” that is used by college coaches for recruitment purposes.


Peterson’s is a great website to find a wealth of information in a single place. You will find data about hundreds of colleges and universities, including criteria for admissions, courses of study and total cost. In addition, the website provides helpful articles on virtually every aspect of the admission process.

The Princeton Review

Even though the Princeton Review is focused on encouraging students to sign up for the company’s test prep program, the site contains a large amount of free content, including articles on applying to schools, choosing a major and finding a study abroad program. One unique feature is the “counselor-o-matic” tool that asks questions about grades, test scores and interests and activities, then spits out a list of “good-fit” schools.

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