The Free Website that Prospective College Students Should Explore

Updated: Sep 12, 2019

According to the 2015 College Decisions Survey: Part V, "63% of recently-enrolled and prospective students say they have often felt lost when researching college or financial aid decisions" (page 4). You are not alone in your frustration with the college search process.

One surprising result from this survey is that only 16% of those participating in a college search indicated that they have used resources provided by the U.S. Department of Education. This includes website resources such as College Navigator or College Scorecard. However, of those who did use these resources, 80% indicated that they found them to be "helpful" or "very helpful." Interestingly, this 80% satisfaction level was actually higher than the percentage of respondents who indicated they received helpful information from friends, parents, teachers, or even a guidance counselor. In other words, those on the college search were more likely to indicate that they received better information from a federal government website than from a person they know personally.

Nearly 3 million first-time college students will begin college this next fall in the United States. The problem is the vast majority of these new students and their families are not aware of and are passing up helpful resources provided by the US Department of Education. At the very least, take the time to explore the College Scorecard website. It's free and easy to access. In a later post, I'll help you decipher various aspects of the website and how to interpret the results.


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