College prep can feel like an endless task. One day you stumble upon a school that seems like a dream come true, and the next day you find its rival—which also seems pretty great.
It’s seemingly impossible to avoid having questions throughout this process:
How do I prepare for the college admissions interview? What do I write about in my college admissions essay? The list goes on.
Luckily, the internet is home to a ton of free college prep websites that you can utilize during your search. Rather than blindly searching for the right college, dig into these free resources, and go to town.
1. College Basics
Looking for that website offering all you need to know about college planning? College Basics provides tips and exclusive information—and these include details about financial aid, applications, admission essays, and the interview. You can think of this resource as your college prep guru.
2. Khan Academy
If you’re searching for extra academic practice outside of the classroom, Khan Academy is a must. This free website offers worksheets and exercises in a range of subjects, with content for every age group. With Khan Academy, you can track your progress and ensure you’re feeling prepared for your upcoming college courses.
3. The College Board
The College Board is an excellent resource for students seeking guidance in the transition from high school to college. Many people recognize The College Board as the hub for anything related to the SAT—which makes sense, since The College Board administers the test.
This website offers extensive SAT prep and practice tests including videos, sample questions, and helpful strategies. Plus, if you’re not even sure you want to take the test, and are trying to decide between the ACT vs. SAT, this website can be incredibly helpful.
On top of SAT prep, The College Board provides AP courses for college credits, a college search database, and a college scholarship program.
If you’re interested in summer school but can’t afford—or aren’t interested in—in-person classes, check out edX. Providing a range of free, interactive online courses, edX is perfect if you’re looking to expand your knowledge or stay on top of your work before college. You can even use the resource to try out an unfamiliar subject to see whether it could be a good fit for you.
5. College Navigator
College Navigator is a vast database that offers detailed information about colleges and universities around the country. On the navigator, you can enter any school in the search bar and learn information about the school including (but not limited to):
- Awards offered
- Campus size
- Campus housing
- Student population
- Student-to-faculty ratio
- Religious affiliation
- Student services
- Special learning opportunities
- Credits accepted
- Tuition, fees, and expenses
- Financial aid
If you’re looking for assistance with scholarships, Unigo is an essential tool. Unigo acts as a guide for students through the scholarship process. Unigo is also helpful if you’re looking for general college information. You simply have to fill out a profile, and then Unigo matches you with schools and potential scholarships based on their information.
In addition, Unigo provides college reviews, which can be a helpful tool when trying to find your match.
Cappex is a bit like speed dating, but with schools. On the website, you can create a profile based on where you are in their search: just starting to explore colleges, looking to see your chances at specific schools, or looking for scholarships.
Based on this information and other factors such as budget, majors, and size, Cappex determines potential college matches. Notably, Cappex enables you to determine where you stand—that is, your chance of getting into specific schools.
For many students, exams and test prep are the most difficult part of the journey from high school to college. If you experience test anxiety, this part of the process might seem incredibly daunting.
If this sounds like you and you’d love extra support in the test prep area, try Peterson’s. This website provides test prep for a wide range of examinations for students including:
- SAT IIs
Peterson’s offers comprehensive test preparation support and aims to help improve scores—wherever you are in your preparation, this website can be useful. Peterson’s offers prep in the form of practice tests, online courses, videos, and flashcards.
Founded in 1995, Fastweb was actually one of the first college scholarship search websites ever. Fastweb acts somewhat as a middleman between students and the scholarships they’re seeking. In essence, Fastweb aims to eliminate unnecessary time and effort when searching for scholarships.
Niche is game-changing for students who have difficulty narrowing down their college choices. Plus, the website makes it much easier for students to stay organized throughout this chaotic time.
By analyzing data, ratings, reviews, and other factors, Niche assists students in a) comparing colleges and b) finding their best match.
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