Navigating a College Website

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Navigating a college website can seem unnecessarily complicated, especially to the student who has no agenda when visiting the site. That’s because college websites need to offer a plethora of information to a number of different students. So to have the most success navigating a college website, know what you want to find on it. Here are a couple of suggestions for objectives you might like to meet when visiting a college website. 

First of all, being as specific as possible about what you’re looking for when navigating a college website can save you a lot of time and energy. Do you want to know if they have a specific major? More about the faculty? Tuition or financial aid options? Study abroad? Coming to the website with specific questions will save you a lot of aimless wandering. Plus, the more specific you can make your inquiry, the more likely you’ll be able to find it using the website’s search function.

If you are just looking to know a little more about the university, but don’t know if you want to put in the resources for a visit just yet, visit pages that can give you a feel for the college. Check out the college’s virtual tour page, the student life and newspaper pages, the career center, and other pages that can give you a sense of what it’s like to be at that college.

College websites also offer extensive information on the application process and how much it will cost to attend. Know what a website offers when it comes to these sections. Most students will simply look for college tuition numbers, but many university websites also offer financial aid information, cost calculators, and other financial information. Browse through the website’s map to gather as many pages as you can about applying or about finances, and then dig into those pages once you have them all together.

Sometimes simply browsing a college website can be useful. If you’re in the earlier stages of the college application process, then you may not know what you’re looking for in a college yet. In this case, just start clicking on whatever interests you, and take note of where you end up. Do you want to focus on particular majors, or take a strong interest in extracurriculars? This can give you information about what you’re looking for, which in turn can help you find more specific information on that topic down the line.

When you’re navigating a college website, either with a specific goal in mind or just to look, be sure to save any pages that are of interest to you. This is especially important if it’s not an obvious page, or it took you a number of clicks to reach it. After you gather all of your information like this, it’ll be that much easier to refer back to it quickly once you’re in application crunch time.

Questions? Let us know!