My College Advocate

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Web Resources for Your College Search

Sometimes it is hard to know where to start, so we have compiled a comprehensive reference list of some of our favorite resources and frequently used web tools.

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Standardized Testing

Should I take the SAT vs. ACT? Do I need to take both? What do they all mean? These are all good questions that many students ask on a daily basis. It’s true, standardized testing with all of its acronyms can be very confusing. We have included below helpful web resources to better explain the unique attributes of each test and which ones may be best for your application process.


Where to register for the ACT test—a multiple-choice standardized test that covers four skill areas: English, Reading, Math, and Science—and an optional Writing section.  This site also offers helpful tips on college planning, financial aid, and career planning.


Where to register for the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, College Level Examination Programs, and Advanced Placement; do an online college search using BigFuture, and fill out the CSS Profile, a financial aid form required by some colleges.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

A standardized test that measures English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers wishing to enroll in US colleges and universities.


Test day tool kit for students taking the digital SAT and AP exams. This resource also offers practice tests for the SAT and resources to prep for AP exams.


Using the latest research in cognition, memory, and motivation to help students achieve a higher level of success with standardized test preparation. The tutoring process caters to each student’s specific strengths, needs, and schedule.

Fair Test

This website provides a list of colleges and universities that are test-optional and do not require the ACT or SAT in the college application review process.

College Search and Application Process

With the power of the Internet, there are numerous resources to consider when approaching your college research. Below we have included a few of our favorite sites that can help students deepen their experience in the search process.

College Admission Glossary: Learning the Lingo

A quick and easy glossary that can help you better understand important terms and language related to your process.

Common Application

The Common Application is an undergraduate admission application that applicants may use to apply to any of its 517 member colleges and universities.

Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL)

Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process. This website includes a host of resources including college profiles, articles, and book recommendations on a variety of college topics.

BigFuture by CollegeBoard

An interactive site that allows students to do online college searches, research college majors, career interests, and learn more about scholarship opportunities.


Provides detailed information on college searches, scholarship information, and internship opportunities.


An interactive search engine to explore college reviews, rankings, and statistics.

A great resource for interactive maps and virtual tours of college campuses.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Information

Understanding all aspects of financial aid can be daunting at times with various forms to fill out and important deadlines to meet. Below are some helpful web tools to help you navigate the financial aid process as well as search engine resources for scholarship opportunities.


The official site for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is used to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid, which may include grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans.

Net Price Calculator

An online calculator that helps students and families understand what their “net price” is to attend a specific college or university.  This website provides helpful information on how to use the net price calculator and to locate specific net price calculators for colleges and universities throughout the United States.

CSS Profile

Located on the College Board website, this is an online financial aid application that is required by some colleges (in addition to filing the FAFSA) to determine family contribution and financial assistance packages.


Finding the perfect scholarship based on the award amount, deadline, eligibility and academic requirements, and anything else you need to know.


A comprehensive online resource for scholarship searches as well as other financial aid advice and helpful college planning tips.


A comprehensive resource for advice and helpful tools about student financial aid, scholarships and loan programs.


Scholarships360 is an online platform connecting students to vetted scholarship opportunities through data-based matching.


Helping students to discover the best scholarship fit utilizing resources from colleges, universities, private companies, and foundations.

Recommended Reading List

There are a lot of great books out there to help you learn more about the college process and where it can take you. Here is a quick reading list of some of our favorites.

  • Fiske Guide to Colleges by Edward Fiske
  • College Essay Essentials: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Successful College Admissions Essay by Ethan Sawyer
  • Colleges That Change Lives – 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges by Loren Pope
  • How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims
  • Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania by Frank Bruni
  • The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Amy Ellis Nutt and Frances E. Jensen
  • Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic–and What We Can Do About It by Jennifer Breheny Wallace

Specialty Resources

Whether prepping for the important audition or contemplating the benefits of taking a gap year, there are many helpful websites out there to better familiarize you with these uniquely identified specialty areas.

The Arts and the Audition Process


Billed as the world’s largest arts network connected to over 5,000 programs, Acceptd is an online platform where students submit a portfolio to be reviewed for college admissions and other arts programs including workshops and festival opportunities.


Offers an extensive online database for college theatre programs. This site also includes information on college audition tips and helpful resources for writing, producing, and training.

Comprehensive information on music schools, the audition process, scholarship opportunities for music majors and career opportunities in music.

The Recruited Athlete


The official site for the National Collegiate Athlete Association. Also, this is where you will find important information about the recruitment process and understanding NCAA eligibility.


The official site for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics–an association of small athletics programs that are dedicated to intercollegiate athletics.

Taking A Gap Year

American Gap Association

A comprehensive online web resource to learn more about gap year programs and summer learning experiences, whether immersing oneself in a single subject, gathering field experience or engaging in service-learning.

Rotary Youth Exchange

Study abroad exchange programs for students of the ages 15-19. Exchange programs can be for a few weeks or a full year and are hosted by local Rotary clubs.

USA Gap Year Fairs

Provides information and advice on gap year programs, fair schedules, and suggested reading materials.