College Women

Useful tools for selecting colleges and universities

Some students have little difficulty selecting the next step in education: colleges and universities.

Legacies, specific fields of desired study, perhaps even acquired preferences often play large roles in narrowing the choices for higher education.

But for many other students – and parents – the selection is not always so easy.  That is normal and natural, too.

International StudentsIf you’re at the beginning, middle or even at the end of your college search, the following tools may be of assistance:

  • Read my book,The New College Guide: How to Get In, Get Out, and Get a Job.  This book will help you to ask the right questions before you even file one application.
  • The College Navigator provides lots of useful information on colleges and universities.
  • The College Scorecard gives families comparative information on colleges and universities.
  • The Shopping Sheet gives families a standardized financial aid form.
  • Net Price Calculators must be posted on all colleges and universities awarded federal financial aid funds. This gives the college applicant information on what the family is likely to pay if enrolled.
  • Salary Surfer is a California community college website that details how much money students earned before and after completing an associate’s degree or certificate program in the California system.

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has produced a report on the investigations involving for-profit colleges.  Under investigation are: Corinthian, DeVry, ITT and Education Management Corporation.  Be very careful before applying to for-profit schools. There are many other choices available.

Sometime this year the U.S. Department of Education will produce a ratings system of all U.S. colleges and universities. The system will measure outcomes, like graduation rates and employment at graduation.

Stay tuned.