College Search and Sources

How do you learn more about your colleges of interest?

Students are often driven to learn more about colleges through websites like College Prowler, College Data, US News World & Report, and much more. Although these sites can be very helpful, they can also provide information that is inaccurate. So, how do students know what to believe and where to go for the correct information? I hope that my suggestions below will clarify these questions.

  1. What is the source data?
  2. How old is the data that you are reading from?
  3. Are the comments or information valid?
  4. Where are the comments and information coming from? And Why? Is it a thread of questions, is it straight from a university, and/or is it from an upset student?
  5. What is the reason for the author’s bias?

If you are reading an online article or a talk thread, be sure to find out when it was published, who wrote the article and why or why not is it a source of good information. Some articles are strictly feedback from angry students, upset parents or even the other side, happy consumers! When someone criticizes a school or anything about the community, it could be a lack of understanding on a particular circumstance, issue or problem that occurred on campus. Different authors have different opinions. It is important to challenge your own biases by gathering current information from the university. Therefore, visit the college’s website, speak to the Admissions Department and/or Department of interest. A great suggestion is to have the same three to five questions for all of your schools and compare them by answering the questions and verifying your source. Good luck!

 

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