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How to Use the College Board’s College Matchmaker

Higher Education Articles December 20, 2012

Students in college or high school are probably aware of the College Board, a company that has devised placement tests facilitating college credits that can be earned by students in high school, regardless of whether they are seniors or juniors. The college board has devised a method to determine how students can put the college credits earned to optimal use. One such device is the College Matchmaker that helps match existing schools with the abilities and interests of different students.

Facilitating the Perfect Match

Equipped with an initial pool of 3,924 schools, the College Matchmaker works to reduce the choices down to schools where a student is most likely to do well both socially and academically.

How Exactly do They Accomplish All of This?

They employ a school selection software program that is arguably the most complex one available online; best of all, students do not have to pay a penny to use it. College Matchmaker is like no other software, considering the volume and diverse range of questions it seeks to answer. The software program has eight screens fielding information on topics that include questions on the type of schools students prefers, the preferred location of the school, and several others. A student narrows down on their choice of schools; they eliminate many choices, and schools that match their interest decrease in number as well.

The College Matchmaker is comprehensive in the range of questions it seeks to answer; for instance, a student is required to disclose what sports they may play in college. Apart from such comprehensiveness, the software plays another essential role that causes students to think hard about what they want from the school, it narrows down on a list of schools that students can seek admission. The students are asked about the tuition fee they are willing to pay and the nature of financial aid they will need; their level of performance in SAT, ACT and other standardized tests in high school, and the degree they seek in the school of their choice. Prospective college students who submit their answers to the College Matchmaker have to consider both what they want and what they are capable of getting. Overall, when students choose to utilize College Matchmaker, they can expect to answer questions relating to the following topics:

  • The type of school preferred by the students.
  • Do they prefer a public or private school?
  • Would they want to enroll in a two-year or four-year program?
  • How many other students would they want as classmates? Would they prefer a school located in a rural area or a city or its suburbs?

Region

Students are shown a map of the U.S. divided by region and asked to choose states of geographical regions for their preference. Students can opt for a location outside the country, if that is their preferred choice. Students can even submit their zip code and define a radial distance that they want their school to locate.

Fields of Specialization

They provide students with a comprehensive list of majors that include sub-major categories. For example, students who are interested in majoring in Mathematics; they can opt for a subcategory such as calculus, projective geometry and trigonometry.

Tuition Fee and Finance

Students are required to specify the maximum amount they are willing to pay in the form of tuition fees, relating to schools located both within their state and outside along with the amount of finance they seek in the form of aid.

Admission Criteria

Students can specify how demanding they expect the school to be in terms of admission criteria, including details about test scores and GPAs sought, as well as additional accreditation and placement choices offered at the school.

Extracurricular Activities

Students can choose the extracurricular activities they seek in the school of their choice.

Accommodation

What type of living accommodation do students seek? Do they prefer to stay off-campus (this may not be allowed at some schools)? Do they prefer to go abroad to study or double major?

Specific Preferences

Students can ultimately provide information about specific preferences they may have, such as how they want the campus to appear, are they looking for a coed institution, any disability-related demands, if they are looking for a religion-affiliated environment, whether they need a campus with a sizeable minority population, etc.

The Best is Yet to Come

Once students have provided the information required in these eight screens, they will get schools matched with their preference listed in alphabetical order. That is not all; there will be a detailed profile on each school’s site with contextual information relating to the eight sections of questions answered by students. With respect to each school, a clickable link will be provided to help students find out whether or not they have satisfied a sufficient number of admission requirements while in high school. Another link will be provided to help students find out how they stack up in comparison with the school’s academic performance averages.

Students can maintain their individual customized profile in College Matchmaker, apart from a free account with College Board; they can maintain lists of favorite schools that they can add to. Additionally, students will be able to make a side-by-side comparison of three schools in a document styled like a spreadsheet, provided students are sufficiently specific about their choice of schools, the process will help list many viable options. If their hunt for a college is just the beginning; they can use College Matchmaker to conduct a preliminary look at some options.

If students have gone further in their selection of schools and simply want to use College Matchmaker to help determine by comparing their selected colleges, this software is just what the doctor ordered. It equips students with thorough details regarding academic and cost options when they select a higher educational institution to join. Importantly, it will not cost students a penny. So, a student who plans to enroll into a college program, College Matchmaker is the perfect solution to start the search.

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