It’s no secret that college application season can be stressful. Despite all of the teachers, counselors and other resources at your school, at some point you’re going to have to do some research and manage your applications on your own.
Luckily, there are plenty of easy-to-use college websites that guide you through the process—whether you’re looking for help with writing essays, finding scholarships or just narrowing down your list of schools. If you’re not sure where to get started, check out our list of the best college websites for managing applications.
1. The College Board
If you’re looking for quick facts on deadlines, admission standards and application options, The College Board is your one-stop shop. “College Board was my number one go-to for basically my entire senior year of high school,” says Malone Ryan, a junior at John Carroll University. “The site provides every piece of information on a college you could ask for, including how to pay for college, college application essays and how they view various different test scores. You can narrow your college search based on factors important to you, such as type of school, campus and housing, support services, diversity, test scores and selectivity and so much more.”
The website’s College Search page is arguably the most organized and detailed of any college website. The more information you enter, the more narrow your search results will be. It goes beyond the standard GPA and SAT scores to include personal preferences like size, geographic location and what student activities are available.
If you're an indecisive pre-collegiette still having trouble narrowing down your long list of schools, The College Board is perfect for you.
If you’re the pre-collegiette that's obsessed with being organized, look no further than the college section of the Chegg website. Not only does the site allow you to make lists of the schools you’re applying to, but you can organize your lists of schools by specific qualities such as major or whether it’s public or private.
"I've always been one of those people that's obsessed with keeping lists," says Danielle Hensley, a sophomore at Indiana University. "Using Chegg throughout my senior year helped me to keep an organized list of all the schools I was applying to."
Additionally, Chegg offers a Facebook sign-in feature, which makes it easy to set up a profile and provide some basic information about yourself for college recruiters to see.
Unlike many college websites, Peterson’s goes beyond just providing statistics and basic facts about schools. The Get Prepared section of the website offers expert advice on essay writing, resume building, financial aid and more.
“During my senior year, one of the guidance counselors showed me the Peterson’s website,” says Allison Underhill, a sophomore at Indiana University. “It turned out to be a really great resource throughout the application process, and it really helped me stay organized.”
If you’re stumped by an essay prompt or aren’t sure what activities to put on your resume, Peterson’s is a great place to look for answers. Their helpful articles provide step-by-step advice on writing personal statements, asking for letters of recommendation and finding the perfect scholarship.
When you’re stressing about applications and essays, it can be easy to overlook one of the most important aspects of applying for college—looking for scholarships. Luckily, websites like Cappex make it easy to work scholarships into the process.
Not only does Cappex provide an easy-to-use search tool and fast facts about thousands of schools, but it also connects you to thousands of scholarship listings. You can organize these listings based on different award criteria, such as ethnicity, gender and major of choice. Cappex even awards their own scholarships to users who write short essays or fill out a profile about themselves.
If you're the pre-collegiette that prefers to multi-task and accomplish several things at once, then Cappex is the best application site for you.
5. Make Me a Freshman
For the pre-collegiette that just wants to keep it simple, look no further than Make Me a Freshman. Instead of overwhelming you with endless features and pages, the site helps you make a quick and easy checklist to follow as you embark on the application process.
Upon entering the site, you’ll be asked to enter the name of a school. From there, Make Me a Freshman creates a checklist based specifically on programs, scholarships and deadlines that are specific to that institution. You can check items and applications off as you complete them, and you never have to worry about missing a deadline again!
These sites are great starting points if you’re looking for help managing your applications, but don’t be afraid to branch out to other Internet resources as well. Teachers, school counselors and admission reps can all make recommendations for helpful sites based on what tools and advice you’re looking for. Best of luck collegiettes, and happy application season!