Navigating college websites can be challenging – and frustrating – especially when you’re not familiar with the terms used on those websites. To make it a bit easier, below you will find the places on a college website where you can usually find most of the information you are looking for, as well as get some insights into the school itself.
- About: This page may not answer your most pressing questions, but it can give you vital information to consider as you decide which schools to apply to. Here you will often find the school’s mission and philosophy, history, and profile of recently admitted students, as well as important news and press releases. This is an important place to check out when you’re trying to get a feel for a school.
- Academics: Look here to find the majors offered at a college, as well as information about specific departments, requirements, faculty, classes, and special programs that may be offered. Don’t be confused when clicking on “Academics” takes you to “schools” or “colleges”. The departments and majors are within those schools/colleges. Reading the names of the schools/colleges should help you figure out which one you’re looking for. If nothing seems to fit, click on “Arts & Sciences”
- Admissions: Here you will find the info you need about the requirements for admission including the courses you must have taken and testing requirements. You will also find application deadlines and a link to the schools’ online application. Some schools also have general instructions for the application here. This page often has links to the other pages mentioned in this article.
- Financial Aid: This page will provide you with information about the cost of attending the school including: tuition, fees, and room and board. It may also give you an estimate of what the total cost will be when you figure in books, computer, etc. It is very important to check this page for financial aid deadlines. All financial aid sites also offer a “Net Price Calculator” to help determine what your aid package might be or how much merit aid you might be eligible for. In most cases, you will also find a list of the scholarships that are available to freshmen.
- Student/Campus Life: This is where you will find info about housing, organizations and clubs on campus, and upcoming campus events. In many schools, this is also where you find information about career counseling, internship opportunities, and study abroad programs.
- Contact Us: Want to know how to get on the school’s email list? Set up an interview? Who your regional admissions rep is? Usually, most of this info is on the admissions page, but if it’s not there, you can scroll down to the very bottom of the page where the “Contact Us” button is often hiding. Be careful not to overuse this. Search the admissions site thoroughly before you start calling or emailing with questions.
- Prospective/Freshmen/Future Students: If a schools’ website offers this as an option, start here. You will usually find links to all the information listed above, as well as important info about visiting the school, tours, and special events for prospective students.
While the places mentioned will probably lead you to the information you are looking for, they are not the only places you should be familiar with. It all depends on what else is important to you. For example, if you are an athlete, you should explore the Athletics page.
Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Try typing a key word into the search bar at the top of the page.