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So Many Colleges, So Little Time
by Matt Solomon, Staff Writer

As many juniors and seniors are (or at least should be) starting their extensive, exhausting and often frustrating college searches, any guidance or suggestions become more and more valuable. In the hopes of making this arduous process a little easier, the staff has polled the student population and guidance departments to find out their opinions as to the best way to handle the college search. We compiled a list of the top resources, rated from best to worst, for the various aspects of the college-finding ordeal. The results follow:

#1- This is an excellent resource for nearly all college-related research and questions. After registering on-line (completely free), you can register for the college entrance exams and check your scores as soon as they're available. You can also search a wide range of colleges and scholarship opportunities.

#2- Petersons- Offers searches for all aforementioned criteria, plus offers extensive info on the schools it suggests. Allows searches specific by school name and majors.

#3- Newsweek- Newsweek's special edition "College Issue" offers information on choosing a college, applying for financial aid, and getting the perfect roommate, plus extensive information on 15 high-level colleges and statistics for America's 328 "most interesting" colleges.

#4- Collegeview- Allows a search specific to school size, religious/ethnic preference, region, school type, areas of study, and sports offered.

#5- COIN- COIN is a program on the library computers that offers searches for colleges, occupations and scholarships. Generally the results are very limited and the search factors are extremely outdated (for example, it lists the highest price for a college at $20,000 per year, which is unfortunately extremely low).

We also polled West G's seniors to find out what their post - high school plans are and what they are doing to find colleges: plus what they look for. Here are the results:

Plan to attend 4 year college: 95%
Have visited a college campus: 60%
Value Academics: 80%
Value Athletics: 23%
Value Tuition/ Financial Aid: 30%
Value Social Life: 45%

Clearly, if you feel you are behind or haven't quite gotten around to visiting campuses, you're not alone. Nonetheless, we emphatically suggest you start your search, as campus visits and interviews must be scheduled ahead of time and are extremely important. All of this applies just as much to juniors as well as seniors since its great to get ahead of the game. Try some of the resources we suggested and hopefully your search will be easy and successful. Good Luck!

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