How Can I Find a College Online?
Several comprehensive college databases allow students to easily find and research colleges online. Three reliable and accurate tools for finding colleges online are the College Navigator, the 'Best College Rankings' by U.S. News and World Report and The College Board's College Search.
Finding the Right Online College Overview
Searching for the right online college can be a daunting task, but there are number of resources available to perspective students. Outlined below are some available resources and some details concerning them.
Important Facts About Online Colleges
|Degree Levels||Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees available|
|Prerequisites||Varies, depending upon the intended program of enrollment; bachelor's degree programs typically require a high school diploma, or equivalent|
|Concentrations||English, public health, psychology, sociology, information technologies, business administration, accounting, marketing, finance, history|
|Possible Careers||Graphic designer, budget analyst, cost estimator, teacher, technical writer, software developer, computer programmer|
The National Center for Educational Statistics offers College Navigator, a site that provides comprehensive information on accredited colleges and universities around the country. Users can find colleges by state, zip code, major, degree type and institution type. Altogether, the College Navigator lists more than 6,500 colleges. Advanced search options allow students to search by student population, housing options, tuition costs, distance learning programs, athletic organizations and geographical campus settings. By searching with these factors, users can easily identify university and college options.
Each college listed on the College Navigator has contact information for the college, including website address, physical address and phone number. Students can locate the college on a small interactive map and get directions from an additional location. Each college listing has accreditation information, the types of majors offered at the school and financial aid information. Additional information listed on the profiles includes:
- Admission deadlines and procedures
- Specialized learning opportunities
- Enrollment information and demographics
- Retention rates
U.S. News and World Report's Best College Rankings
Each year, U.S News and World Report releases an in-depth analysis of the country's best colleges and universities. Users can view the broad list of top universities or view colleges by specific area, including business, health, law and engineering. Undergraduate and graduate schools are ranked separately for easy navigation, and each list can be organized by location, admission processes, tier information and environment.
A free version of the rankings provides basic college information, and a paid, premium version provides more analytical information. The free version, however, provides contact information, application deadlines, selectivity information and estimated expenses. The premium version provides access to campus life info and detailed ranking reports. The site also provides information on:
- Majors offered
- Various academic services
- Campus security information
- Student demographics
The College Board's College Search
The College Board, a nonprofit academic organization founded in 1900, offers a College Search website that helps students, teachers and parents find accredited colleges. The College Board assists more than seven million students looking for academic information, and the College Search is a popular online search tool. Users can create, save and organize college searches. Colleges can be searched by location, major, financial aid information, overall costs and housing programs. Students can find small, medium and large schools in urban, rural and suburban settings.
With 3,854 colleges listed, the College Search is considerably smaller than the College Navigator offered by the NCES. The College Search is an innovative tool, however, providing campus profiles, information on college testing, college planning steps and admissions assistance. Users can even sign up for a free account and create detailed college lists based on academic and financial interests.