Online Tools for Comparing Colleges

Online Tools for Comparing Colleges

If you’re planning to continue your education after high school, you may be wondering: how do 2- or 4-year colleges and universities stack up against each other? Are they affordable? How likely are their students to transfer—or to graduate? How diverse are the faculty and student populations?


Several websites have tools for comparing data from public and private post-secondary schools. The sites allow users to search by state, school name, school type, and other variables. These sites include the following:


          College InSight ( highlights data on schools’ affordability, diversity, and student success. Users can browse and compare data from four sources at the college, state, and national levels, choosing search criteria to focus in greater depth.


          College Measures ( aims to improve higher education through better access to information. The site draws from multiple data sources to show schools’ performances in areas such as student success, school efficiency and productivity, and graduates’ pay and debt.


          College Navigator ( help college-bound students find the right school. Using data primarily from a program for the National Center for Education Statistics, the website allows users to build and compare lists of schools, export search results to a spreadsheet, find schools

using an interactive map, and more.


          College Results Online (, a Web

tool from the Education Trust, provides information about college graduation rates. The site lets users compare colleges by many criteria, including graduation rates, financial aid, student cost, and admissions data.


Data on each of these sites is available for free, without registration. Other sites, however, require registration for some searches or may filter search results to benefit their advertisers or sponsors. As with using any online search engine, consider the source when evaluating


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