College Search Tools

These tools and resources will assist you in thinking through your choices about college. Some of the sites also contain other useful information about test preparation, financial aid, and links to qualitative campus information.

Interactive Search Engines:
Use your academic and extracurricular history, as well as your preferences, to search and explore colleges that might suit your interests.

  • College Navigator - Enables you to build an online list of schools for side-by-side comparisons, to save your search criteria for using or editing later, and to export your search results into a spreadsheet.

Alternatives to Rankings:

  • NSEE - The Center for Post-Secondary Research at Indiana University annually conducts a National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in which college students at over 1,200 colleges and universities are asked about their learning and personal development experiences while enrolled in college. While some colleges provide the survey information on their websites, comparing institutions has been difficult because NSSE has left it up to the participating colleges to decide whether to share the survey findings with the public. Due to collaboration between USA Today, NSSE, and the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), a searchable database of key NSSE indicators for 245 colleges and universities is available."
  • What Will They Learn? provides information about which colleges emphasize general education for undergraduates to learn basic knowledge and skills by requiring the study of core subjects."
  • The Alumni Factor highlights colleges which rank highest for alumni financial success, intellectual development, career preparation and more.
  • The Outcomes Survey "Provides rich insights on how recent grads fare immediately after commencement and at three, sics, and 12 months after finishing their studies at specific schools."

Majors and Careers

Other Useful Websites

  • Western Undergraduated Exchange (WUE) Program provides information about the WUE program in which students in Western states may enroll in participating institutions of higher education as a reduced tuition level.
  •  National Collegiate Honors Council provides a list of Honors Colleges located at larger public and private universities. The goal of the colleges is to give top students enriched resources and opportunities within the larger university setting. At many universities, this includes special housing, priority registration, extra consideration for merit scholarships, and other benefits such as special opportunities for internships and research projects. Another important benefit of many programs, however, is access to smaller classes and a stronger sense of community within the large university setting.
  •  Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) schools belong to a group of 40 colleges and universities — two public and 38 private from 24 states and with enrollments ranging from 350 to 4,000 — each of which is unique in its own right. Education writer Loren Pope describes these schools as sharing "two essential elements: a familial sense of communal enterprise that gets students heavily involved in cooperative rather than competitive learning, and a faculty of scholars devoted to helping young people develop their powers, mentors who often become their valued friends".
  •  Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (CIEL) schools put innovation and experimentation at the core of their mission, organization, and everyday work. Member institutions have histories and practices indicating a willingness to take risks and take leadership positions in higher education in order to advance their practice beyond campus borders.
  • provides search tools for exploring colleges and careers, planning and paying for college, meeting admission and transfer requirements for schools in California.
  • National Catholic College Admission Association enables you to find information on academic requirements, finding financial aid, and hunting for the right college. If you prefer browsing off-line, you can download the Official Catholic College and University Guidebook to begin looking into Catholic higher education.
  •  University and College Accountability Network provides concise, user-friendly online information for comparing individual private colleges and universities.
  • CollegeXpress features many search tools.  One of the most popular sections is the lists of types of colleges (taken from Steven Antonoff's "The College Finder")--from those good in a particular major to those with excellent school spirit or generous merit aid.  Search by college and see which lists it is featured on as a way to learn about the culture of a college.


- College Admission: from Application to Acceptance, Mamlet & VanDeVelve (overview)

- Admission Matters, Springer, Reider, & Franck (overview)           

- The Fiske Guide to Colleges, Fiske (reviews)

- The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges, Yale Daily Press (reviews)

- Colleges That Change Lives, Pope ( (reviews)

- Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges, Rugg (majors)

- The College Finder, Antonoff (majors and culture) 



Cernobori, Sandra College Advisor, A-K
Deggelman, Ann TA Program Co-coordinator
Gyves, Meri Teacher, Work Experience
Laguna, Crystal Outreach Specialist, Community College & Career Advisor
Larson, Karla Guidance & Career Voc Ed Assistant
Ludemann, Krissy Registrar
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