There are a number of websites that have tools that allow you to estimate the chances of your student getting accepted at a specific college or university. Here is a list of a few of the more popular sites:
A student’s GPA and SAT or ACT test score serve as the key data points to determine your student’s chances of being admitted. A few include additional data points like gender, high school, ethnicity and academic rigor in their algorithm to further enhance their estimator. And some allow for a comparison of student’s acceptance rates from their specific high school or geographic information (i.e. zip, city). While most of the tools use data from multiple government and private sources, plus information provided by the schools themselves, those that show acceptance rates from your student’s high school or geographic area rely on students who have been accepted or rejected at colleges and universities to self-report their outcomes. For the latter, a parent/guardian or student should look at the history of their high school’s use of the tool and the accuracy of the self-reported information.
Each tool offers a range of additional information about each college/university. This includes the common majors, application due dates, student ratings/reviews, in/out of state tuition estimator, virtual campus tours and other useful information.
Websites like www.CollegeFindMe.com, www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org, and www.Naviance.com also allow the high school student to discover colleges/universities based on preferences that they enter. The information a student can used to narrow down their list is extensive and can introduce them to a number of post-secondary institutions they may not have considered. Here is a list of some of the data points they can search on:
Tuition and Fees
On Campus Housing
Public or Private
Great College Towns
With a narrowed down list you compare your personal data, like GPA and test scores, to the information provided by each college/university to determine if there is a fit.
Each of these websites stress that they are not a guarantee for admissions or rejection. There have been many an instance where you hear about two similar students applying to the same school, with one getting in while the other did not. There are too many objective as well as subjective reasons for admissions officer’s decisions that could never be discovered. As a parent/guardian or student you should use these tools primarily as a resource to learn more about a college or university that could be a fit, offers the most financial assistance, as well as a means to identify where your time and application fees should be directed to achieve potentially the most positive outcomes.