If you are a high school student in any grade, you most likely have been asked about college. For example, ‘Where do you want to go?’and ‘What do you want to do?’. Presumably, unless you are a senior in your second semester, you do not know the answers to these questions. Luckily, these websites and apps are here to help. Whether you are looking for colleges that match the criteria you want or majors that might interest you, at least one of these websites will have what you are looking for. Not only is it important to find what you want in a specific college, but it is important to get your name out to colleges. Signing up with these websites will put you out there, and colleges that are interested in you can get into contact with you, making it easier to have an idea on where to apply senior year.
I started signing up for websites like these ones the summer before my freshman year of high school. That way, when I wanted and needed to start looking into colleges, I already had a basic account set up with all my information. Because I signed up for websites, I started receiving letters and emails from colleges that were already interested in me, before I had even started high school! I highly recommend all of these websites, as they are great ways to fuel your college search.
Big Future (bigfuture.collegeboard.com)
CollegeBoard is the owner of the Big Future website as well as the SAT, PSAT, and AP tests and classes. Big Future has a college search engine where you put in factors that you want in a college, for example: size, location, majors, selectivity, and diversity. It goes through all the schools in it’s database and picks out the ones that match what you want. After you search, you can then pick specific schools to look more in-depth in. Big Future provides average GPA, average test scores, what the campus life is like, average cost, deadlines you need to know, and more. Big Future also provides inside looks into different careers and majors, planning tools to help you get on the right track for colleges, and has information about financial aid and affording college.
Cappex is a great way to connect with colleges. Colleges can send you messages through this site and if you state that you are interested in a specific school, Cappex will connect your profile with that school. Cappex is interesting because you can see your chances of getting into a certain school. Cappex provides statistics for average test scores, an admissions scattergram, campus life, your fit at that school based on criteria you enter into your profile, and tuition and costs. Cappex also has a quiz you take to see what majors or careers are right based on your personality and a tab where you can find scholarships.
College Raptor (collegeraptor.com)
College Raptor also has a college search engine. You put in information such as GPA, test scores, financial information, and intended major and it matches you to schools that have what you want. It also provides if the school is a reach, target, or safety school. (Safety: a school you will probably get into for sure, target: you have about a fifty percent chance of getting in, and reach: it is a stretch to get in, but it might happen.) This site gives you an approximate percentage of the chance you have getting into a school and you can add schools you are interested in to your college list. College Raptor also provides statistics for each school and has a blog page and a YouTube channel.
Niche (formerly collegeprowler) has many great factors including a feature called “Chance Me”. Chance Me basically allows other students to look at you GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and basic information to determine how good of a chance you have of getting into a certain college. Niche also ranks the colleges with scores ranging from A+ to F. You can find scholarships you are interested in and compare colleges side by side with their compare tool. They also give you recommendations of colleges you might be interested based on your profile and schools you have already added and connect you with the colleges you are interested in.
Raise.me can also be a considered a college search engine, but is actually a scholarship website. This website gives micro-scholarships for simple things you have completed in high school, such as getting an A in a class, scoring well on the ACT/SAT, participating in an extracurricular activity, volunteering, and participating in a college event. If you choose to go to a school that participates with Raise.me, they add the scholarships into your financial aid package. Not every college participates, but many are being added every day. (One school has given me $45,030, which is $11,258 per year!
Schoold (get the app at schoold.co)
Schoold is an app that can also aid you in your college search. It is not very in-depth, but if someone mentions a college, you can quickly look it up and learn some information about the school. If you add them on Snapchat, they give snapchat tours of different colleges and give away scholarships. You can also find careers, majors, and scholarships right on the app and Schoold gives you an approximate percentage of your chance of getting into different schools.
It is important to take the college admissions predictions from these websites with a grain of salt. Do not let yourself be discouraged if a website tells you that you do not have a good chance of admission at one of your dream Universities. It is important to still apply and see what happens, you never know.
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