Five College Planning Research Sites to Bookmark

It’s Finally Here

My daughter is a senior in high school. The year we’ve been preparing for is finally here: Her last year before college, and heading out to stretch her wings and figure out Who She’s Going To Be.

Her father and I have done a pretty good job creating an independent, intelligent, secure young person. Does she have her moments of doubt? Of course. We all do. I am daily, it seems lately, especially as she starts considering more universities she may be interested in that weren’t exactly on my radar (Rhode Island what?!)

As a writer for a college website, though, I have a pretty good arsenal of tools and websites that I use in order to get a good picture of what we’re facing as we finalize the “exploration” phase of college planning, and head into the “application” phase. I want to know what to prepare her, and myself, for — financially, emotionally, and travel-wise!

Five Great College Planning Research Sites

So, here’s my insider secret list of college planning research sites for parents who are sometimes-pilots-sometimes-navigators on this college journey. Yes, we have a lot of good advice and information on how to find colleges at SCV, but we don’t have ALL the data!


CollegeData has a great college search, detailing the overview, financials, and average student snapshot, in handy-to-save tabs. Create your account on there, and keep a running list of schools. Their scholarship finder and net price calculator tools will come in handy for me soon too.

The University Network

TUN, as it’s called, has a great scholarship search page, as well as student budgets and guides. I love their “student life” and “student resources” articles as well.


Yes, the plain ole College Board is a great place to spend some time. Not only will you be kept up to date on SAT test dates (and if you’re a senior, you have to get a move on there) but there’s AP information, and their “Big Future” section, with a variety of tools to find, pay, and plan.

Federal Student Aid

The Federal Student Aid website has a ton of financial information, and as a part of the U.S. Department of Education,  it has a ton of information on types of aid, who is eligible for aid, and everything you ever need to know about the FAFSA.


Unigo is a network created by current and future students for current and future students. It has a huge online community of members, and it’s worth a visit.

We’ll keep you up to date on other great sites we find, as we find them!