College Admissions Resources

Resources

There are a variety of online resources for students and parents to use as they move through the college admissions process. We have compiled a list of frequently used websites, as well as some of our favorites. Browse through the sites to gather information about colleges and the college admissions process.

College Applications

  • Common Application. The Common Application is the most well-known college application. Over 600 colleges and universities in the United States accept the common application.
  • Universal Application. 46 colleges and universities accept the Universal Application. A wide array of colleges use the Universal Application including public universities, small private colleges, and Ivy League schools.
  • CSU MentorIf you are interested in applying to one or more California State University campus, you will need to visit the CSU Mentor website. CSU Mentor is the only way to apply to a CSU campus.
  • University of California Application. If you’re interested in applying to one or more University of California campus, you will need to submit the UC application for admission. It is the only way to apply to UC campuses.

College Search

  • Collegeboard’s Big Future. This search tool comes from the people who also offer the SAT. The search results will not only give you a list of colleges, but also general information about each of the colleges on the list.
  • College Navigator. This website is brought to us by the Department of Education. All data comes directly from the official data colleges submit to the Department of Education.
  • College Raptor. This is a brand new search tool I really like. Unlike other search sites, this site also includes estimated true cost of attendance and match category. True cost takes into account the amount of financial aid a student may be awarded if they attend the college. Match category places the college into categories that tells the student the likelihood of being admitted.
  • Chegg (formerly Zinch). We like to compare Chegg to a social network for colleges and prospective students to connect. In addition to get a list of colleges that meet your preferences, many colleges use Chegg to connect with students.
  • Cappex. Cappex allow students to compare colleges, find tuition and admission information and discover their admission chances from more than 3,000 schools.

Testing

  • SAT. The SAT is administered by the College Board. Currently the test include three areas of testing (Critical Reading, Math, and Writing) with a total score of 2400. However, soon the College Board will be introducing a new testing format with a total score possible of 1600.
  • ACT. The ACT is administered by ACT, Inc. The test includes four required areas (English, Math, Reading and Science) with a maximum score of 36. There is also an optional Writing section.
  • Advanced Placement Tests. Advanced Placement (AP) Tests are administered by the College Board. Students can choose to take AP tests after taking AP courses in school. Some colleges give college credit for passing scores (3-5) on the AP Tests.
  • Fairtest.org. Many colleges have stopped relying on standardized tests to make college admissions decisions. Fairtest.org is an up-to-date list of all colleges that do not require tests for college admissions purposes.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • FAFSA. Also know as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for federal aid programs, such as the Pell Grant and Direct Loans. The FAFSA is also used to determine the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Colleges use the EFC to award financial aid
    • #AskFAFSA Office Hours on Twitter. Each month FAFSA holds an office hour for anyone to ask questions about the FAFSA and federal student aid programs. The Twitter Chat typically happens the last Wednesday of every month at 2 p.m. Pacific Time.
  • CSS Profile. Over 100 colleges also require the CSS Profile to determine financial aid.
  • California Student Aid Commission. CSAC is the state agency for financial aid for the State of California. It is the agency that awards the Cal Grant.
  • Federal Student Aid. A department of the U.S. Department of Education. This is the place to go to learn about all types of financial aid options including the federal pell grant, work-study programs, and federal student loan programs. The website also provides detailed instructions on filling out the FAFSA and aid eligibility information.
  • Fastweb. Fastweb is one of the most respected scholarships sites available. Users of the site can create a profile and be notified when new scholarships are included in which they meet the requirements.
  • Scholarshipexperts. Unigo is a scholarship search site with a large database of scholarships. Students can either create a profile and be notified of new scholarships, or search the database for scholarships. Unigo also offer a fun scholarship competition each month.
  • Finaid.org. A nonprofit organization that is a comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools.
  • Meritaid.com. A comprehensive directory of merit scholarships and academic scholarships from colleges across the country.
  • Cappex. In addition to providing college information, Cappex also has a large scholarships database. Students can create a profile and be notified of scholarships in which they meet the requirements.

College Fairs

  • NACAC. Events are sponsored by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Typically hundreds of colleges attend the college fairs sponsored by NACAC.
  • WACAC. Events are sponsored by the Western Association for College Admission Counselor. College fairs happen in California and Nevada. Typically at least one hundred colleges attend the college fairs sponsored by WACAC.
  • National Christian College Fairs. Events are sponsored by the National Association for Christian College Admissions Professionals. Only Christian colleges attend these events.
  • CollegeWeekLive. CollegeWeekLive sponsors numerous online college fairs every year. The online college fairs are like physical college fairs where students can explore the different colleges in attendance. Students can also have live chats with college representatives if they have questions about the institution.
  • Colleges That Change Lives College Fairs. Based on the book Colleges That Change Lives, member colleges travel throughout the country for specific CTCL College Fairs. There are 40 member colleges and university of CTCL and most are small colleges that offer unique opportunities for students.

College Athletics

  • NCAA Eligibility Center
  • NJCAA. National Junior College Athletic Association.
  • NAIA. National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics is the governing body of small athletics programs.

Gap Year Programs