Websites That Can Help in the College Application Process

Bookmark These Sites to Answer Questions as They Arise

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The college application process can be daunting indeed. There are so many things to learn, questions to ask and answer, and deadlines to meet. Parents and students who are unfamiliar with the process often spend a great deal of valuable time conducting their own research online, when there are so many reputable sites that already have this information available. Here are just a few that should be bookmarked and accessed often:

  1. Guide to the College Admission Process: Assembled by the National Association for College Admission (NACAC), this free guide serves as an invaluable resource for students as they search for and select a school.
  2. Government Resources: The federal government has several useful websites available including:
    • Federal Student Aid: This is the official Department of Education website for all information pertaining to federal financial aid and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    • College Scorecard: This website utilizes the vast data resources of the federal government to provide information about annual costs, graduation rates and post-graduation salaries. This information will enable parents and students to make their own comparisons of colleges across the country.
    • Better Make Room: Part of the Reach Higher initiative, this website is aimed at younger students, ages 14-19. Students can visit this site to find out information about signing up for the SAT and ACT exams, filling out federal financial aid forms (FAFSA), and applying to college. It will also be a kind of social media center, where students will be able to share stories about their goals and progress and tell others about what is inspiring them to go to college.
  1. Financial Aid Applications: Most colleges use either the FAFSA or CSS/PROFILE to determine their applicants’ eligibility for financial aid:
    • FAFSA: The federal government’s official site for completing and submitting the FAFSA. There is no charge to complete an application.
    • CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. The PROFILE is administered by The College Board’s College Scholarship Service (CSS). The College Board does charge a small fee for the PROFILE.
  1. Testing Resources: There are two primary tests involved in the college admissions process:
    • SAT: The SATs are administered by The College Board. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school. Because of upcoming changes to the SAT format, the College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to provide free test preparation materials. Income-eligible students will receive fee waivers to apply to four colleges for free.
    • ACT: The ACT test consists of four multiple-choice tests in English, mathematics, reading, and science. There is no penalty for guessing. Beginning in the fall of 2015 the additional writing test will also be enhanced.
  2. Applications: Some colleges have their own application while others use online resources. Check the college’s website to be sure about what is needed for each school, as some supplemental information may be required:
    • The Common App: This application is used by a majority of colleges, but be sure to determine if each specific college requires any supplemental information.
    • Universal College Application: Launched in 2007, this application consists of five main data entry pages which students must complete to submit their applications online. This application option currently serves over forty colleges.
  1. College Scholarships:
  2. Student Loans: