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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Navigating Your Way to the Right College
Ever had a ton of questions about a college that you didn't want to ask? Is it a party school? Does it have a big sports program? How much will it really cost? What is its home city really like?

High school students and their parents may have entirely different sets of standards when it comes to selecting a college. Parents may zone in on things like cost, retention rate, and transparency of post-graduate employment—the sort of things that cause young students' eyes to glaze over. I remember applying to a couple of schools because a friend told me to. Back in those days, there was no internet to give us the real scoop.

This is why sites like the National Center for Education Statistics' "College Navigator" are so fantastic. (Don't let the source or dry title fool you). Their website allows students to easily search colleges by geographic location, and multiple filters—private vs. public, four-year vs. two-year, tuition and fees, mean SAT scores and more. Within those parameters, students (or parents) can put each of these schools under a microscope. The NCES is also an objective resource-something that is often difficult to find in the college admissions process.

In addition to general information about costs and majors, College Navigate allows users to research crime statistics, veteran/active service member benefits, and even the default rate of student borrowers. In short, it offers answers to questions you may not have even thought to ask.

In an era of pricey college consulting and ever-increasing competition, websites like these can be invaluable. For a start, it's completely free. Students who've already vetted their desired college can use this to refine their search. For those who don’t even know where to start, it is the perfect preamble.

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