Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taking the Right Road with My College Options

College-bound kids agonizing over what course to take and what college to attend can get a sigh of relief to know that there are websites they can visit for most of the information they need for make a sound decision. One of them is My College Options.  As the name suggests, it presents valuable resource options primarily aimed for students in making more informed choices to get them through college admissions and college life in general.  And by way of assisting them in their career planning process, the site also features sections for parents and secondary educators and counselors as well.

What the Site Focuses On

Created and maintained by the NRCCUA (National Research Center for College and University Admissions) which has been in the business of assisting students and high schools since 1972, the My College Options site offers a free online and offline college planning resource that basically helps the student get through a college admission in a college that is right for his aptitude and interest.  
  • If you’re a graduating student in senior high, the site provide and in-school questionnaire that your counselor can administer to your class to gauge your match with any of the 5,000 colleges and universities in the country.  If you missed this, you can simply finish its online profiling questionnaire that does the same thing. Once complete, the site returns with a recommended post secondary program that matches your academic aptitudes and interest.
  • The site provides a search resource for a wealth of relevant information such as colleges by state, name and major course.  More importantly for students who are financially challenged, the site offers a nearly inexhaustible listing of available scholarships which you can comb through by state, ethnicity, religion and majors.  Its latest feature will even make a match between your academic profile with the right scholarship package that’s available.
  • What spices up the site is its “fat Envelop” blogging advice and tutoring section for students, parents and teachers that contain articles from professional educators covering just about all aspects of college admissions, most popular courses today, featured colleges,  tips and other blog posts to get you through the hurdles you can expect to face in post secondary education.
Strength and Weaknesses of the Site

The site looks more like a commercial site than a serious stiff looking academic site but this is a trifle caveat for the wealth of information that not only enlightens but provides practical assistance to students, parents and educators. If there’s one site to visit to help you in your planing for a college career, this has got to be it.  You get information about the colleges in the country, career options as well as financial assistance options in the form of loans and scholarships. Its matching service provided by the NRCCUA can be most enlightening in terms of your post secondary education options.

The site claims to be interactive, but filling out the online profile sheet to open an site account and get your college match started has more interaction requirement with your school as it would need some data from them to complete the profile.  But once the school’s participation is done with, you have a wealth of useful information and tools to make your start your college life in the right footing.
For sure, the website’s aesthetics can stand some improvement.  For one, using orange for highlighted text on white background must have been done by a color-blind web designer as it can be a real strain to read.  Next is the rather bland text-intensive layout which is simple enough to read but suffers a paucity of images to enhance the visual appeal that the teenage crowd, it main readership, looks for in websites.


My College Options is a veritable one-stop shop for just about anything you need to get you though what is arguably the first major milestone of your adult life – a college admission.  The college and scholarship search alone is worth the visit.  Outside of a boring and cheap commercial look, the site is a standout in terms of the information and assistance it provides.

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