Here are 17 Sites to help you get the inside scoop on colleges and the towns those colleges are in.
- Facebook. Duh! Search for the school you’re interested in to find both the “official” pages and (most likely) lots of “non-official” pages created by students, student organizations, alumni, etc. If they’re open, browse around for awhile. What you read (and see) might surprise you.
- For parents, CollegeConfidential.com is the place to go to get the inside scoop on a school from a parental perspective. It’s an extremely active message board that covers pretty much any school in the country. Lurk for awhile and read what others have posted and then ask questions if you’d like more clarity on a particular topic.
- Want to know what it’s like to take a class from that famous prof that the college that’s trying to recruit you mentions at least a dozen times per conversation? Head on over to RateMyProfessors.com and find out what his or her students really think of him or her.
- YouTube. Like Facebook, another “duh!” Just search YouTube using the name of the school you’re interested in to see what’s sure to be an interesting mix of “official” videos and…err…more uncensored views of life at the school.
- LinkedIn. While certainly geared more towards the “professional” end of the spectrum, linkedin.com is a great place to find successful alumni of a school you’re thinking about applying to. You may have to work your own network to get to them…LinkedIn is pretty protective of allowing random strangers to contact their members out of the blue…but once you make one connection it becomes a lot easier to make more.
- Looking for some REAL “behind the scenes comments, pictures, and videos about life at a particular college?" Search for the school on CollegeHumor.com.
- Read random snarky gossip: jezebel.com.
- Check out what’s really going on at the school by browsing the Chronicle of Higher Education. Pay close attention to the job listings to get a feel for what direction the school’s going in.
- Peruse the (somewhat useful) “scorecard” the Federal Government’s put together for every college in the US.
- Forget tuition, room, and board: can you afford to even go out there? Use this Cost of Living calculator and find out how much more expensive (or how much cheaper) it really is to live where you’re thinking about going to school compared to where you live now.
- Worried about crime? Check the crime statistics for every college and university in the US.
- Troll twitter by looking for hashtags related to schools that interest you by looking for them on Hashtags.org or try searching on related educational hashtags.
- Get the weather stats for a whole year and even compare them to other areasat weatherspark.com.
- Read reviews written by students: campusdiscovery.com.
- Read even more reviews written by somewhat bitter students: studentsreview.com.
- Use Twitter to see the current “mood” in the area: twittermood.org.
- Find out if the school might show up on the next episode of Breaking Bad: National Clandestine Drug Lab Register.
Were any of these sites helpful to you? Which ones?Getting into College Prepare for College What to Expect