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One-hundred percent of college applications can be completed online, either on the college's website or at these sites.
Common Application - The Common App is used by over 400 colleges and universities across the U.S. Seniors can complete the Common App online, then forward it to multiple colleges. Remember to complete supplements for individual colleges who use the Common App.
Universal Application - The Universal App is used by almost 80 colleges. Similar to the Common App, it allows students to send one application to multiple colleges.
Nowadays, you don't have to actually visit a campus to get a sense of what it looks like. These websites can "take you there." But nothing beats setting foot on campus to personally witness the community and gain a better understanding of the school's personality.
Campus Tours - Campus videos and interactive campus maps
Youniversity TV - College and career videos
eCampus Tours - 360 degree campus tours
Career and College Major Exploration
Seems like everyone asks, "So, what do you want to be when you grow up?" or "What do you plan to major in in college?" Not sure? You're not alone. These websites may help you explore your options.
Career Key - Comprehensive career information, including the Career Key Test
Distributive Education Clubs of America - DECA offers career information for students interested in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship.
Engineering - This website about engineering and engineering careers helps young people understand better what engineering means, and how an engineering career can be made part of their future.
Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) - Promotes engineering as a career
Occupational Outlook Handbook - The most recognized source of career information, updated every two years.
Illinois Career and Labor Market Information - Illinois' career website. Check out median salary information.
My Majors - Do you need to find a college major? MyMajors.com provides useful advice for students on finding a college major based on your interests. Take the short college major quiz and find your best fitting college majors!
College Search Engines and Lists
Naviance provides some wonderful search engines to sort through the many college options available to you. These websites are also useful.
Counselor-o-Matic - Provides "safety," "good match," and "reach" schools, based on student's criteria
Unigo - An easy college search, with "insider" opinions on the colleges
Colleges That Change Lives - This site expands on colleges highlighted in Loren Pope's book "Colleges That Changes Lives."
Colleges of Distinction - Associated with CTCL, but deserving of its own website, Colleges of Distinction focuses on small to mid-sized schools by state and region.
College Blogs and Articles
The Admission Game - Peter Van Buskirk, former director of admission and author of Winning the College Admission Game, writes a monthly blog from both a parent's and insider's perspective. Excellent advice for students and parents alike. Take Peter's College Planning Quiz to test your knowledge of the process.
The Choice - Making a college list, filing applications, and marshaling the resources to afford an education can be intimidating. But it need not be. Join Jacques Steinberg, New York Times education writer and author of The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College, as he and his colleagues examine all facets of the college admissions process.
Class Struggle - Jay Mathews, education columnist at The Washington Post, covers a broad spectrum of education topics, many related to college.
Colleges Outside the U.S.
Braintrack - Lists over 10,000 higher education institutions in 194 countries. Click on "Colleges by Country" on the right to link to specific institutions all over the world.
British Council - The British Council website offers information on the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission System) application process and individual schools in England.
TASS - The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme program links student-athletes with specific colleges in Britain.
Unistats - Use Unistats to compare and review universities and subjects in order to help you choose the best UK university and subject for you. View a range of university statistics and see how 220,000 students rated their university experience in the latest National Student Survey.
Association of Colleges and Universities of Canada - This site offers comprehensive information on all Canadian institutions and their application process.
These sites provide a good orientation to financial aid, how colleges award financial aid, and how to determine your Expected Family Contribution.
CSS Profile - Some colleges require the Profile in addition to the FAFSA. This site provides a list of colleges who require the form.
FAFSA4caster - This form will help you determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
FinAid.org - Comprehensive financial aid resource
Student Aid - How to prepare academically and financially for college
College Zone - The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is a one-stop financial aid center, offering a comprehensive array of programs and services. ISAC administers most of the key state and federal grant, scholarship, loan and prepaid tuition programs available to postsecondary students, annually awarding close to $750,000,000 to nearly 250,000 qualified applicants.
Managing College Cost - An excellent website that offers instructional videos on all aspects of the financial aid process as well as planning for college finances. Frank Palmasani, founder of the website, will be speaking at LHS in Spring 2013.
Taking a Year Off - This website offers many great resources, including websites and books, for students who are considering a "gap year" between high school and college.
Why Take a Gap Year? - Watch this podcast sponsored by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling which discusses the merits of taking a gap year.
The Gap Year - This booklet, compiled by New Trier High School, offers a comprehensive overview of the many gap year programs available.
Guide to Gap Year Programs - An online guide, compiled by TeenLife, offers information on a variety of gap year programs, along with information on why students choose a gap year.
Illinois/Midwest College Resources
State Universities in Illinois at a Glance - This excellent guide provides a summary of minimum high school course requirements for freshman admission to Illinois public universities.
Private Illinois Colleges and Universities - PICU is dedicated to educating transfer students about the numerous benefits available at Illinois private colleges and universities.
Associated Colleges of the Midwest - A consortium of 14 academically excellent, liberal arts colleges located in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Colorado.
Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities - These 20 schools in Wisconsin are each different in their mission and courses, but all emphasize the success of the individual student by offering small classes taught by professors.
NCAA Eligibility Center - Register with the NCAA Clearinghouse, and learn how the NCAA eligibility process works
NCAA - Information on Division I, II, and III sports and schools
Link Athletics - Links to college teams, listed by sport
NAIA - The National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics
NJCAA - The National Junior College Athletic Association
Rankings and Student Opinions
As with any rankings or opinion websites, do your own research on how the rankings and opinions are generated. In other words, take them with a grain of salt!
Formula for U.S. News & World Report College Rankings - Curious about college rankings? Check this website to learn more about how the editors at U.S. News & World Report arrive at their results.
Alternative to Rankings - The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) conducted annually by Indiana University provides a comprehensive overview of outcomes for participating institutions.
College Prowler - Like the guidebooks of the same name, College Prowler "grades" many features of individual colleges, based on student reviews.
Students Review - "Uncensored" college reviews by current students
Fastweb - The largest national scholarship database out there
Scholarships.com - Another large national database
Scholarship Experts - Yet another database
Student Scholarship Search - Yet ANOTHER database
Merit Aid - A comprehensive directory of merit scholarships and academic scholarships from colleges across the country
Choices - This site assists students with disabilities with their post-high school planning. It has been developed by the CHOICES committee, a group of Chicagoland high school representatives, including LHS.
Christian Colleges - The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities provides information on individual Christian colleges
LGBT - An index of colleges friendly to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities - Information on colleges that serve a high percentage of Hispanic/Latino students
Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Information on individual HBCUs across the country
Hillel - Information on Jewish resources and demographics at select colleges
Trade Schools - This online directory offers information on trade schools across the U.S.
Summer Programs That Have Received Accolades from LHS students
Camp Cardiac - An ideal introduction for any high school student interested in exploring a career in medicine.
National Security Language Institute - Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the National Security Language Institute offers full scholarships to students who want are looking for a language immersion program.
Click here for 2012-13 ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, AP, and Prairie State Exam test dates.
Test Optional Colleges - See the rapidly growing list of accredited four-year colleges and universities that do not require the submission of ACT or SAT scores as part of their admission process.
ACT/SAT Conversion Chart - Now that every college in the country accepts either ACT or SAT scores, you might be interested to see how your results compare.
Click here to see what colleges require the Writing portion of the ACT.