How college search engines can help find the college for you

So, you've made the decision to fill out a college application – congratulations! Choosing to attend college and earn your degree can be one of the biggest decisions you will have made at this point in your life. With so much to think about, you might need some help narrowing down a list of prospective universities to apply to. This is where a college search engine comes in.

College search engines function similarly to the ones you use to navigate the internet, with one exception – they provide information relating solely to higher education. As little as 10 years ago, these tools were not readily available – think of all the extra work you'd have to do to find the right college for you. Luckily for modern students, these powerful websites allow you to find relevant, reliable information on potential schools quickly and easily.

One of the handiest features of college search engines is their customized results functionality. You can narrow down a list of schools to apply to based on several criteria, in order of what's most important to you.

For example, in today's challenging economy, cost is a major issue for many students. Using a college search engine allows you to look for colleges based on the rate of tuition, room and board, and even course materials. You can find results based on one or more of these costs, or all of them combined. In addition to finding basic financial information using a college search engine, many universities provide prospective students and their parents with loan calculators to give them a better idea of exactly how much they'll need to pay.

Another important search tool provided by many college search engines is the ability to filter results based on distance. Choosing to study at a university closer to home or out of state can be one of the biggest decisions you'll have to make during the whole process, and college search engines can help simplify this choice by providing you with a list of schools in your area or within predefined distances.

Many college search engines also allow you to search for specific majors. If you're interested in studying a scientific subject such as physics, chemistry or biology, for example, you can search for the colleges that are renowned for offering these majors. Similarly, if you want to find the best performing arts schools, you can base your search criteria on this.

Combining one or all of these criteria can be a powerful tool in helping you find the college for you. Filling out multiple college applications, applying for financial aid and scheduling visits to prospective university campuses can be time consuming. Using a college search engine can help you narrow down a list of potential schools quickly, leaving you with more time to get on with studying.

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