If you have decided to continue your educational journey and attend college, you may be wondering if there is a college planning tool that can help you with the next steps.
Luckily, there are various college search tools designed to help students plan for higher education. These tools vary from online apps to websites dedicated to college planning.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
We’ve rounded up some of the best online tools to help you out with the college application process, from finding scholarships to learning what your odds are to finding college degrees that pay well. If you’re ready to put down the pen and paper for good, you can click on over to these great sites.
Online College Planning Tools
College planning tools can help you get a sense of what you need to do throughout the process and how to apply to various colleges. Not only that, but they can also point you in the right direction for scholarships, financial aid, and more. The following planning tools can help in your journey in researching both on-campus and online colleges:
- College Scorecard
- BigFuture by College Board
- Peterson’s College Search
- Common App
- Federal Student Aid Estimator
- College Planning Calculator
You may find that using more than one tool is helpful. One planning tool online may be ideal for reviewing various schools while another tool may help you stay on the right track and hit all of your deadlines. Regardless, these tools can make your life easier as you plan your future.
College Scoreboard is a U.S. Department of Education online planning tool that allows you to compare schools across various statistics. Not only can you compare schools but the tool also allows you to compare fields of study. The tool shows data including median student loan debt for various schools and post-graduation median salary for various majors, among other statistics.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
You can also ask the tool to show you multiple options, like schools near you or schools with high admittance rates. If you’re looking for a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a certificate, you can choose your option and the tool will show schools that offer specific degree options.
BigFuture by College Board
BigFuture by College Board is a planning tool dedicated to helping you prepare for college applications, scholarships, or grants.
The website is full of helpful information for a current or prospective student. Not only does it give you multiple resources when planning for college, but it also provides you with resources for paying for college, like a scholarship search, a cost calculator, and information on financial aid.
You can even explore careers and take a career quiz to help you find the right path for you. It also compares various majors.
Peterson’s College Search
There are so many decisions that go into choosing the perfect school, such as which required classes you have to take as well as which are the fun college electives.
So how can you narrow it down a little? Peterson’s College Search is a detailed search tool that makes it easier to find a great selection of schools. You can view detailed profiles for thousands of colleges and run searches based on criteria, including location, majors, and cost, to find the schools that fit your needs.
Common App is a free college planning tool that focuses on preparing you for college and guiding you on what is important to be successful. It’s never too early to start thinking about your future, and this tool allows you to start as early as 9th grade with various tools.
Not only does the tool break down possible paths to college and paying for college, but it also provides guides for applying to college. Whether you’re a first-time or transfer student, this tool offers various guides to help you on your way.
College can be very expensive. Financial aid and scholarships can really come in handy when trying to afford and pay for tuition.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
Fastweb offers students a free database of available scholarships. It is a search platform that aims to connect you to scholarships and various financial aid tools. This tool offers information on scholarships, financial aid, student loans, student discounts, and internships. It also offers resources for educators and parents so that they can help guide you on your journey as well.
Federal Student Aid Estimator
Federal Student Aid Estimator helps students estimate the amount of federal aid that they could be eligible for. In about 5 to 10 minutes, this college planning software will provide you with an estimated idea of how much federal aid you could qualify for and how much you’ll pay out of pocket.
This tool can be instrumental in helping you understand if you should apply for more aid, in the form of scholarships or loans. There is a link to the FAFSA form, along with links to various loan and grant programs. You can even take your planning one step further and learn about loan repayment and loan forgiveness via this free tool.
College Planning Calculator
Sallie Mae offers a few different college planning calculators to help students achieve their goals. The College Planning Calculator helps you create a plan to start saving for your college education and also provides you with various ways to pay for your cost of college.
What’s unique about this free tool is that it breaks down the entire cost of college, not just tuition, and factors in savings, scholarships, grants, and loans for you so you get a clear picture of your plan.
Other College Planning Resources
While the college planning apps listed are great for calculating costs, choosing majors, and planning for your college education, there are many resources that can be helpful too.
- College Readiness SAT Practice is available as you plan for the SAT test. This tool helps you prepare and practice for the test and also offers resources to help you study and meet your goals.
- Know How 2 Go is a resource for students that details steps to take to help with college readiness. Applying to college can be overwhelming and this tool aims to make the process easier to understand.
- Career One Stop Interest Assessment from the U.S. Department of Labor offers information to students on various careers. This tool can help you choose a career path that fits your goals and skills.
It’s sometimes helpful to also create a checklist for your college education. StudentAid offers various checklists depending on where you are in your educational journey.
Planning for College Online
You can use as many college planning tools as you’d like to meet your needs and goals. You can choose to use one to calculate your financial aid and one to calculate your student loan payments.
You can also use one to search by major and then one to narrow down your options of accredited colleges once you have decided on a major. Luckily, the best tools for college students are free and are available to help you on your way to meeting your goals.
Some of these tools also provide various resources to guide you on your way to scholarships and applications. It’s never too early to start planning for your college education and set goals for your future. If you’re in 9th grade, 12th grade, or going back to school as an adult, there’s no better time to get started than now!