Free College Explorer Adds Cost Analysis
- By Dian Schaffhauser
has updated a free tool that helps students identify a good college
fit for their areas of interest and academic strengths. The new
version of the College
includes major category and cost analysis features and is
appropriate, the organization said, to be used as early as fifth
grade. NWEA is a nonprofit provider of assessment solutions.
idea is to help students begin to envision possibilities for careers,
understand what's needed and work on developing a plan to put their
post-secondary dreams within reach. The tool links NWEA's MAP
scores for students in grades 5-9 with national benchmarks to
colleges and universities and specific majors, based on the median
ACT and SAT scores of students who gained admittance and then
enrolled in those schools.
tool offers profiles of 7,000-plus institutions of higher learning,
incorporating data from the U.S.
Department of Education's College Scorecard
and the College
such as admissions rates, academic profiles and average advertised
and actual cost to families at various income levels. Students can
filter their searches on RIT, SAT or ACT scores; school name;
location; degree focus; and population focus (such as religious
affiliation or status as an historically Black college or
site also lets students browse majors and the median SAT score for
those who have indicated that they plan to major in that field of
study and find median starting salaries for graduates pursuing those
careers after college.
up, there was limited information available to me on the different
career path options that aligned with my interests, and this was an
obstacle to attending college for me," said Gregory King, a
research scientist at NWEA's Center
for School and Student Progress,
and lead developer of the tool. "College Explorer empowers
students with information that helps remove many of the roadblocks to
college that they can face--from knowing how they will need to grow
academically to succeed, to locating schools that match up with their
Explorer is openly available on
the NWEA website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.