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A Better Online Tool to Help in the College Search Process

May 01, 2023 1 min read
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Preparing to go to college is an exciting time in your students’ lives, but it can also be hectic and stressful. With so many concerns to balance in today’s postsecondary educational system – academics, finances, changing admissions requirements and more – the process can be anything but straightforward for students, regardless of their personal circumstances. When you combine those factors with an information marketplace that’s crowded with tools and rankings services that often give conflicting information, it’s no wonder that students, parents, and college counselors can feel overwhelmed.

As an educator or counselor, you play a crucial role in providing students with the tools to succeed academically, socially, and even professionally. Being involved in a student’s college search process is a relationship built on trusting your expertise, your knowledge, and the strong relationships you’ve built. As your students come to you for advice during this process, we hope you will consider introducing them to an innovative new search tool: can help address issues such as:

  1. Organizational Hassles

  2. Entrepreneur and father Bill Townsend created College Rover as an answer to issues he and his daughter experienced during her search for colleges. With multiple tools and resources recommended by counselors and friends, as well as multiple schools under consideration, they were told to make a spreadsheet to compare and evaluate 15-20 schools. While useful in theory, creating the spreadsheet was both time-consuming and frustrating. Then, as the school list changed, the upkeep of the spreadsheet itself required even more time. Staying organized during their search was a constant struggle.

    College Rover helps prevent organizational hassles in two ways.
    1. First, its innovative search tool is versatile and allows users to customize their search based on what matters to them, with a wide range of relevant information available about U.S. colleges and universities. Instead of needing to keep track of multiple logins for multiple tools, juggle different accounts to find and collate information, or spend time finding a tool that closes the gaps, it’s possible for users to do more in one place.
    2. Second, College Rover allows users who subscribe to generate and save spreadsheets to compare schools and keep track of multiple different groups of colleges. These automatically generated spreadsheets can easily be shared and accessed offline.
  3. Difficulty Accessing Relevant Information

  4. Popular (and expensive) college ranking resources are a frequently recommended option for students, but rankings never tell the whole story about a school’s academics or the institution’s suitability for an individual student. In fact, due to troubling limitations inherent in the ranking system – including the tendency to penalize schools for having high numbers of graduates who end up working in less-lucrative public or nonprofit positions – several prestigious programs have recently declined to participate in some of the major nationwide ranking systems.¹

    Instead of relying on limited or potentially biased information like rankings, College Rover allows users to search for information that’s relevant to their unique needs. Users can search for specific schools and choose what they’d like to learn about, whether that’s tuition cost, location, student body size, HBCU status, or other characteristics. Users can also filter to find schools that fit a specific set of criteria, which can help them find more colleges they may not have considered. It’s also possible to compare a set of schools based on the characteristics the user chooses, rather than someone else’s interpretation of the facts. Students, parents, and college counselors can all have separate collections of schools and facts about each school. For users who are looking for a specific major or degree program, there’s a separate search interface to find and filter schools that match those academic or professional goals.

Another aspect to consider when recommending a resource is affordability. Some popular rankings and informational services charge a high flat fee for access, which may not be feasible for students who are already dealing with the expense of application fees. College Rover is free to try, and subscribers can access premium features, including unlimited comparison, search, and automatic spreadsheet creation, for only $2.99/month or $23.99/year—and the monthly fee can be canceled at any time. Whether you get an account for yourself so you can weigh in on your students’ searches or you recommend this powerful tool to your students who are looking for user-friendly resources, you can rest assured that a College Rover subscription is an affordable option for most budgets.

Visit to test the powerful search functionality for free. While no tool can surpass the value of involved educators like you, we hope it will be an asset to your students in their college search journey.

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  1. Marcus, J. “As colleges quit US News rankings, how do you pick a school?” USA Today.