Resources for researching colleges?
For some time, I've been looking around at different colleges to get my bachelor's in. I've found several that I've liked, and I'm still looking around for potential options. Besides the colleges' websites and college tours, what are good ways to research a college? Are there any platforms in which students discuss their experience at the college? Which college rankings are the most highly regarded? Finally, are there any really good platforms which discuss the aspects of different colleges?
Hope this helps.
This site is used by college students to put in ratings for both their school and their individual professors. This can be a great way to look at people's experiences at a school and what they like and dislike.
You could also search on Reddit for discussions about particular schools you're interested, there's often lots of information from students perspectives.
I remember being in your same position a few years ago. Since you have found some that you like, something that helped me rank my colleges was looking at things like graduation rates (the higher %, often times the more support students have), rankings not just for the school but for the specific undergraduate program I am interested in.
I wasn't always super confident in what I wanted to major in but I found a program where the 3 different areas of study all ranked highly so I knew that even if I changed my mind, I would still be at a good school with the resources to help me succeed.
Here are some sites I recommend:
You can hear about student experiences on YouTube or visiting sites like: https://virtualcollegehelp.wixsite.com/home
I think it was also helpful for me to see what kind of jobs they're Alumni are in so I would also go to LinkedIn and search Alumni to see where are they now.
When you do go on college tours, ask at least 3 students on campus about their experience. Go prepared with at least 3 questions to ask. examples: how are the professors here? Are there resources for tutoring? do students stay during the weekends or go home?
Most important thing to remember about college rankings is that they can be biased towards some schools that are most popular. Best way to assess the school is determine what is important to you in a school and find ones with those things you want - examples - urban, suburban, rural areas; have classes in your major or areas you are interested in; extracurricular options, etc.
Best of luck!
1. Is the college legitimate and accredited? There are cases of online and in person schools not being legitimate, and students most of the time don't get their money back for being scammed.
2. How can I keep costs down? I advise to stay out of much debt as you can! Narrow your top 3 4-year schools, and 1 or 2 community colleges; apply, and see which one's you can get a scholarship or full-ride. There is *no* benefit getting 100K in debt for a degree your unsure you even want to major in, or have a 40k salary.
3. Considering factors that Noone will tell you:
A. College is what you make it, whether a 4 year or 2 year- get involved in clubs, make friends, and you will have a "college experience"
B. When you graduate from a community College- majority of universities will accept your transfer! Most colleges stats for being competitive are driven by high school entrant stats, not transfer students. If you have a good GPA- you can transfer majority of the time to anywhere.
4. Does the college have the degree program you're interested in? This will eliminate many schools when researching.
Best of luck! This advice comes from personal experience and knowledge from friends.
If you are interested in know more detail about your candidate, Reddit is what I would go for for those specific questions. For example, if you are interested in Harvard just search "Reddit Harvard".