It’s intimidating when families hear that there are thousands of colleges and universities in this country.
It’s equally unnerving when families try to grapple with this question: Where do you find ideas?
This week I hope to share some suggestions on web resources that can help you start collecting college candidates. The first one to the plate is College Results Online. I’ve written before about this site, which is a service of The Education Trust. It’s where I head when I want to find a school’s four-year grad rate.
College Results Online, however, can also help you generate ideas in a variety of ways. Let’s say, for example, that you’re interested in Drake University, a mid-sized, master’s-level institution in Des Moines. You’d like to also know about similar schools. To find them, call up Drake’s profile and then click the Similar Colleges Button in the upper right-hand side of the website.
For another example, I used Willamette University, a liberal arts college in Salem, OR. Here is the list of peer institutions that the site generated for Willamette:
Advanced Search Feature
When hunting for schools, I’d also urge you to play around with the site’s Advanced Search feature. You’ll find the tab in the upper right hand corner of the website:
With this tool, you can direct the site to find schools based on your criteria. For instance, I used it to search for private institutions with at least 500 student that had a six-year graduation rate between 80% and 100%. Only 111 schools made the cut. Here is the top of the list:
There is a slew of other search criteria that you can use to find schools on this site. You can assemble lists of schools based on price, standardized test score ranges, grad rates of subgroups of students such as by race/ethnicity, freshman retention rates, location, size of student body and more. Here are the main categories that you can explore in your search: