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How to Choose a College Search Website

January 29, 2008 By: Category: Best College Tips, Choosing a College, College search tools

If you have come to this website, it’s most likely because you were searching for a college on the internet.  And if you haven’t figured this out already, there are a lot of crappy sites out there.  But don’t worry, there are actually some good ones too.  There are about a handful of online resources that provide an unbiased matching process.

Most of these companies are extensions of well-known publishers that have historically provided printed college directories. In my opinion, the best sites in this category are Collegeboard.com and Petersons.com.  These sites are definitely a good place to start, but they do have limitations.  They are geared toward traditional high school students, so the questionnaires are pretty lengthy and are sometimes limited in the number of schools in their database.  myUsearch.com has a comparable service, but it also asks questions relevant to nontraditional students, provides instant results, connects students to the schools they match with and has an intuitive questionnaire (It will only ask the user questions that are relevant to them).  It is, in my opinion, a much better search and I’m not just saying that because its our search. I honestly feel that way.  With that said however, we are a new company and we still have a lot of improvements that we want to make.  If you have any suggestions or problems, we’d love to hear about them. 

Unfortunately, most of the other college search websites are completely useless.  They exist solely to collect your contact info and the student/school match they provide is determined only by the school’s willingness to pay for a listing.  Findtherightschool.com and Courseadvisor.com are examples of this.  These sites are not offering a good resource for the schools or the students and should be avoided. 

In conclusion, when you start your college search online, look before you leap.  Often times, the worst sites are listed at the top of your search with search engines such as google, aol and others.  Make sure to choose one that looks legit before you give them your contact info. Lastly, don’t limit yourself to just one of these search sites. Try two or more of these sites, because you may end up with different results from each site, that collectively locate your ideal college. It’s similar to getting a second opinion with a doctor.

Which college search sites do you think are best, and WHY?


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