Researching Colleges and Universities

This guide provides information on finding colleges and universities, along with resources pertaining to other aspects of college attendance and college life.

Internet Resources

American Council on Education: College is Possible (CIP)
Provides resources on preparing for and choosing a college as well as financial aid resources.

Colleges that change lives

Compliment to the book Colleges that Change Lives by former New York Times education editor Loren Pope. Provides an overview of 40 undiscovered liberal arts colleges that have a reputation of preparing students well for graduate schools and careers.

College Reviews: Student Reviews
Provides candid student reviews of over 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States. Students write about the social atmosphere of colleges (including the amount of drug and alcohol abuse), classes, and the administration. The reviews offer prospective students and parents a unique glimpse into what it is like to be a student at a particular college or university.

University and College Accountability Network

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities offers information on private colleges and universities. The profiles include information on graduation rates, diversity, the middle 50% SAT range for admitted students, academics, and career services.

The Princeton Review
Offers free rankings of colleges in the areas of academics, politics, quality of life, demographics, extracurricular, etc. Offers students comments on colleges and universities academics, campus life, and student body.


Contains information on the average debts of graduates from college.

College Prowler
Publisher of college guides offers some quotes about college life from students and an overview of schools’ academic programs. Although visitors have to pay to access all the content, the creators of the site provide some helpful information for free.

The Foundation for Independent Higher Education
Offers links to groups of private colleges. The Foundation provides facts about private colleges, including graduation rates compared to public universities, and tips for students searching for a college or university.

US News and World Report

Provides college and graduate school rankings. Also offers rankings of schools that provide the most need-based aid and rankings of the schools’ retention rates.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities
A web page that lists state colleges and universities by state.

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
Lists its members by state.

The American Association of Community Colleges
Lists 2-year colleges by state.

College Trends
College Trends matches you with colleges based on your personal interests, test scores, GPA, and location.


Offers extensive information on planning for college, campus life, and paying for your education.

Multicultural Resources

American Indian College Fund
The American Indian College Fund sponsors 2 and 4 year tribal colleges. The colleges are located in the following states: Washington, Montana, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, and Michigan.

2007-2008 Guide to the Top 25 Colleges for Hispanics

Hispanic Magazine offers a 79 page guide that describes the top colleges for Hispanics, scholarships, and the different aspects of the college admissions process.

Black Enterprise magazine provides a list of the top 50 colleges and universities for African Americans. The schools were ranked based on a combination of factors: the percentage of African Americans, the graduation rate of African American students, and the assessments of African Americans in higher education.

LGBT – Friendly Campus climate index
Campus Climate Index provides students with rankings of colleges based on a number of factors including LGBT Campus Safety, LGBT Student Life, and several other categories. Campus Climate Index is operated by Campus Pride (http://www.campuspride.org/).

Private Colleges Sponsored by or Affiliated with Religious Organizations

Many colleges sponsored by churches do not require that students be Christian and warmly welcome students of other faiths. Other Christian colleges only welcome practicing Christian students who accept the belief system of the college and/or the sponsoring denomination. Those researching church-affiliated schools should closely research the colleges by looking at their websites and talking with current students to determine if a school is a good fit for the student.

The Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities
Offers information about Presbyterian colleges and scholarships.

The National Catholic College Admission Association

Offers students the opportunity to search for Catholic colleges and universities by region, campus setting, and undergraduate programs.

The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
Consists of 102 members that only hire faculty members of the Christian faith and that integrate Christianity into the curriculum. The CCCU also sponsors several semester programs, which are described on the site http://www.bestsemester.com/

Church of the Brethren
Affiliation with five colleges, one university, a seminary, and a study abroad program called Brethren Colleges Abroad.

Assemblies of God

Endorses several colleges, universities and seminaries.

The Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion
Provides a list of institutions affiliated with the Episcopal Church.

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
Part of the United Methodist Church and lists Methodist colleges and universities.

Disciples of Christ
The Christian Churches support fourteen colleges.

Lutheran Colleges
Lists 42 private colleges and offers information on their programs.

Mennonite Church USA

Affiliation with three colleges and two universities.

The Church of the Nazarene
Sponsors colleges and universities in the United States and around the world.

TheReformed Church in America
Supports three colleges and two seminaries.

The Southern Baptist Convention
Provides a list of affiliated colleges.

The Guide to Jewish Life on Campus
Provides information on Jewish groups on campuses in the United States and around the world.


The Council for Higher Education Accreditation
Recognizes and oversees quality for 60 accrediting organizations.

The U.S. Department of Education
Provides information on accreditation and financial aid.

Campus Safety and Student Health

Security on Campus, Inc.

Founded by the parents of Jeanne Clery, who was raped, beaten and murdered on the campus of Lehigh University in 1986. Because of the efforts of the Clerys and their nonprofit organization, several laws were passed to improve campus safety, including the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The Act requires that colleges report crime statistics.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education
Provides crime data for colleges and universities in the U.S.

College Parents of America
A national nonprofit organization has an interesting section on health and safety on college campuses. Topics include campus safety, fire safety, meningitis, vaccinations, emergency transportation, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, and eating disorders.

The American College Health Association

Offers free recommendations and position statements on health-related matters. Topics covered include preventing sexual violence, tobacco on campus, meningitis, Hepatitis B, STDs, suicide, stress management, and tuberculosis screening.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Free Application for Financial Aid
All students who want to apply for federal loans, grants, and work study programs must fill out the Free Application for Financial Aid.


Offers students the opportunity to search for “local, national, and college-specific scholarships.” Provides access to internship listings.

Provides information on loans, scholarships, military aid and saving for college. FinAid has received an award from the College Board, and the FinAid’s founder has been interviewed by USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other publications.

Mapping your future
Mapping your future is sponsored by a nonprofit organization that provides information on student loans and succeeding in college.

Student Aid on the Web

Contains information on choosing a college and paying for your education.