Top 10 College Websites for Finding Great Schools

Want to research colleges, but not sure where to start?

It’s no surprise. When I just typed “college” into Google, I got 634 million college websites. To make your job easier, I’m sharing wonderful websites that can help you assemble a great list of colleges.

If you want to research specific colleges, here are my Top 10  College Websites:

College Navigator

This monster database, which belongs to the U.S. Department of Education, contains valuable statistics on colleges and universities across the country. I’ve shown plenty of students how to use the College Navigator search function so they can generate a great college list based on a teenager’s own criteria.


This is a cutting-edge collegiate matchmaking site that brings together high school students and colleges in a new and interactive way. Zinch’s 700+ school participants includes such heavyweights as MIT, Yale, Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago and Stanford.


Like Zinch, Cappex is a great interactive collegiate matchmaking resource that, in addition, maintains a valuable database of more than 79,000 college scholarships.

College Board

I use the College Board’s College Search function all the time to check facts on individual schools. I can get a quick sense of a school’s financial aid practices, the typical SAT or ACT ranges and an institution’s exclusivity in less than a minute.


On this site, you’ll find tons of student reviews, photos, videos and forums that focus on specific colleges. Unigo  recently began a partnership with The Wall Street Journal.

College Results Online

Many parents and teenagers are surprised when they learn how bleak the four-year graduation rates are for most colleges and universities. I turn to this site all the time to find four-, five- and six-year grad rates of any college. You can also get grad stats by gender and ethnicity.


Hey, it’s not just teenagers and twenty-somethings on Facebook anymore. Nearly all four-year colleges and universities have a Facebook presence. Facebook can be particularly helpful to teenagers once they whittled down their college list or are interested in meeting other accepted student to a college.

National Survey of Student Engagement

The NSSE asks freshmen and seniors at colleges and universities across the country each year to assess the quality of education at their institutions. You can find student engagement report cards for lots of school on USA Today’s web site.


On U-CAN, you’ll find information on more than 700 private institutions courtesy of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

College Portrait

The College Portrait of Undergraduate Education provides information on more than 300 state colleges and universities.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch. Follow me on Twitter.

Let's Connect

Leave a Reply

  1. Forget Loans There are Free College Grants to Pay Tuition

    College tuition increases will continue as the economy continues to falter. Most people believe that a good college education will be the answer to their prayers and many institutions capitalize on this. Cost do rise as we all know, but the cost of an education seems to rise more quickly than other expenses. Every parent wants to see their child graduate college and certainly does not want to be responsible for their failure to get a degree because of money. The first source of funding usually is to apply for a student loan. But a better course of action would be to first try and get a college grant or scholarship.

    That being said, there are other alternatives to finance college tuition in scholarships, grants and awards that should be reviewed to see what you may qualify for.

  2. Hi, this site is very helpful with finding the right college, prospective students should also check out, which is a site that helps students to collaboratively study together and exchange ideas and reviews about everything that goes on in a college. It is a great platform for groups to virtually learn and make their academic career more interactive.

  3. Hi, Thank you for this very informative list. Many aspiring students are going to benefit from this. There are a lot of schools to choose from and it would be hard to select the right one. I would like to enroll for an online MBA program. I would definitely use the tips that you’ve given. These could make it easier to find information. Internet is such a big pool of information. Thank you very much for sharing this! I’m very glad that I came across your site. It’s very useful. I’ll be happy to read more interesting articles from you.

  4. A good list , well done !, I think the main issue is separating the bogus colleges from the genuine ones. It’s easy for an academic to differentiate between the 2 but how does a parent go about doing it ?

  5. Students should also check out This website offers students and colleges the ability to create profiles that can be searched, but morethangrades also offers students the ability to find scholarships not listed on all those mega-search sites using one simple term search. Morethangrades also provides students with the ability to ask guidance counselors questions which are individually answered. MoreThanGrades students can also access MyCollegeCalendar directly within their MoreThanGrades profile, providing students with the most comprehensive source of college related information on the web. It should be on every high school students must use list for college admission.

  6. is an excellent resource for students to use. It is a scientific survey that uses not only interest but ability to suggest your top ten compatible majors.

  7. Hi; I am a parent of twin college Jrs. Tried to use Zinch; registered as a parent, hoping to start a search but the registration seemed to think that I was interested in graduate school or internships (because I completed my own personal college info, which the instructions told me I had to do to register).

    Just wanted to inform you and warn your users that this site appears to have bugs if you want to use as a parent.

    1. Hi Howard,

      I have a suggestion for you to use Zinch as a parent. Create a new gmail account and then pretend you are a parent. That’s what I did when I used Zinch. Maybe someday Zinch will have a resource for parents, but it is a very cool tool that’s worth exploring.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

  8. A new free utility to find colleges is the College Suggestor – unique in that it is based on the real college choices of 600,000 students. You type in a college of interest and then it finds actual colleges other students who applied to that college also choose.

    While other Web sites offering recommendations often base their college list on Web clicks, College Suggestor is based on a proprietary database of information about real choices. Go to