5 Free Online College Resources
by Geena Garcia
As a soon-to-be first generation college applicant, I have found that there are many free online resources that have aided me in navigating the crazy world that is college admissions. These five websites and tools help with everything from choosing the right school for you to finding out your chances of admissions to getting a sneak peak into life at your choice schools.
College Confidential is a website that hosts forums on every aspect of college admissions. Posters are most often prospective students and parents, and forum topics range from financial aid to student life to final admissions decisions. Because the forums are started by everyday people, information is not always 100% reliable. Still, College Confidential is an easy and fun way to talk to other students going through the same process as you.
Khan Academy is a nonprofit educational organization that offers free lessons and practice in many courses taught at a high school level. They also offer free SAT practice and have a series dedicated to explaining the college admissions process, before, after and during.
My favorite of the list, YouTube offers a diverse range of content all about college admissions. You can watch hundreds of “How I Got Into _______ University” videos in which students explain what they did in high school to get into a certain college, or you can watch more formal videos like those uploaded on channels dedicated specifically to college admissions. My favorite channels include Supertutortv, GreatCollegeAdvice, and YesReneau. And if you need a bit of inspiration, you can watch super emotional videos of people’s reactions to getting into their dream schools.
The creator of the SAT, the CollegeBoard offers a tool that allows you to compare colleges through their BigFuture series. The tool allows you to choose three colleges at a time and gives you a side-by-side comparison of each school’s location, campus life, admissions rate, average SAT and ACT score, and tuition.
Last but not least, each individual college’s website provides a vast amount of information about admissions and student life on campus. Since the information is on each school’s official website, you can be certain that all of the information is correct. Many schools will also provide their admissions officers’ contact information, so you will be able to ask your regional officer specific questions you may have.
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