Researching Colleges


Recommended Web resources:

  • Collegeboard - Use the college search application to research campuses using your preferred criteria.
  • Naviance - if your high school offers this online service.
  • The Princeton Review - Use its search application (through "Admissions link at top) to research campuses using your profile from answers to a set of questions.  Access college profile information equivalent to the "The Best ### Colleges" guidebook described below.  You can also search colleges by majors.
  • College Scorecard - Where families can learn individual campus statistics: graduation rates and salary after attending and how each compares nationally, as well as financial aid statistics: typical total debt, typical monthly loan payment, and percentage of students who pay debt down compared to national average.  
  • College Navigator - By the National Center for Educational Statistics, the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the United States.  Excellent college search and comparison tools.
  • - Best resource for researching all CSU campuses
  • University of California - Admission information for all UC campuses
  • - Research ALL California 2 & 4 year colleges, excellent locator map and CSU campus information
  • Fairtest - List of test optional colleges: schools that do not use SAT or ACT in admissions
  • Niche - college reviews by students.  We love their "best of" and "worst of" for campuses to help students make informed decisions.
  • College Results Online - information on college graduation rates for nearly any 4-year college or university; see how grad rates have changed over time and compare graduation rates of similar colleges serving similar students.  Use the "Advanced Search" to compare graduation rates for a group of colleges that you select based on specific student and institutional characteristics.
  • CollegeWeek Live is an excellent resource for an online college fair and discussions with admission reps.  Also offers video webcasts about student life at various college campuses.
  • We recommend avoiding College Confidential as there is much mis-information posted.


recommended College Guidebooks:

These are excellent resources for non-biased campus information, but you don’t necessarily have to purchase them.  Just plop yourself down on the floor of a good bookstore in the college section and read up!

  • Fiske Guide To Colleges (by Edward B Fiske)
  • The Best ### Colleges (by The Princeton Review)
    Or save money by using their website at
  • The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges (Yale Daily News)
  • Colleges that Change Lives: 40 Colleges That Will Change The Way You Think About College,  (by Loren Pope) (CTCL website link) 
  • Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers
    (by Elaina Loveland)
  • The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or ADD/ADHD
    (by Marybeth Kravets, MA, and Imy F. Wax, MS for The Princeton Review)