How do teenagers find great colleges?
Traditional ways have included buying a copy of one of those big, fat guidebooks such as Princeton Review’s The Best 371 Colleges and the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Or teenagers look at US News’ college rankings.
Today, however, you can discover higher-ed possibilities by turning to online college matchmakers. Here are two popular matchmakers:
These free online college matchmakers have borrowed features from Facebook that should appeal to teenagers. On both sites, for instance, teens can create their own profiles and showcase their talents, activities, passions and goals to a audience of hundreds of colleges and universities.
Colleges use the search function to look for promising applicants whether they are flutists, computer wizards, soccer players or students from distant time zones.
A traditional way that colleges have found teenagers is through the makers of the SAT and ACT, which sell names to schools. In contrast, the matchmaker sites allow students to take an active role in reaching out to colleges rather than waiting to be discovered.
It strikes me that students who try matchmaking could assemble a list of colleges that’s far more interesting and promising than if they use the traditional methods. And what’s more, this method puts less emphasis on a teen’s standardized test scores and all I can say to that is: Amen.