Whether you’re a high school student wanting to look into your college options or a parent trying to get ahead of the game, the college research and application process can be confusing. With 4,000 degree-granting institutions in the United States, how are you supposed to find out which one is the right fit for you?
Luckily, ED has a great resource that makes the process of finding a college easier. The College Navigator helps you find, organize, and keep track of the schools that are best suited for you. Here’s a list of the top 5 ways to use this tool:
1. Cost Calculator
The Navigator estimates student expenses for each college, including tuition, books, supplies, and room and board. Also provided is the net price of attendance and links to each school’s calculator.
2. Financial Aid
College Navigator reports every college’s financial aid awards, breaking them into categories such as number of students at the school who receive aid and average amount of aid received.
3. Graduation Rates
Data are presented on color-coded graphs that make the numbers easy to understand whether students are staying in school and completing.
4. Student Loan Default Rates
You can see whether former a college’s students are repaying their student loans. If too many are defaulting, it’s a sign the school isn’t preparing them for success after graduation.
5. Compare Your Favorites
Add colleges and universities that you like to a My Favorites tab. You can compare two or more schools and export results to a spreadsheet.
The college application process is an important one, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. With College Navigator, you can narrow your search and stay connected to your prospective schools’ admissions offices. Before you know it you’ll be on your way to college that’s right for you.
Alexandra Strott is a student at Middlebury College and an intern in ED’s Office of Communications and Outreach