college websites

Top Websites for College Students

July 24, 2015 in Alive Campus, Tech

College students will always find ways to avoid studying for as long as possible and find others way to entertain themselves. With laptops and tablets becoming the dominant ways of taking notes, it’s impossible to not want to browse the Web during class or simply when you’re bored. There are certain websites that most college students have visited for entertainment or information at some point. Here are just a few that I think all college students should know about:

Reddit: This informational and entertaining website if perfect for those who enjoy keeping up to date on the latest news or interesting stories. There are always some exciting pieces of entertainment to click on, whether that’s someone taking a cool photo or simply an interesting story about their cat. Whatever it is, Reddit can certainly become addicting!

Buzzfeed: I personally enjoy taking the Buzzfeed quizzes because they’re scarily accurate sometimes! It’s a great source of entertainment to pass time late at night when you can’t fall asleep, or during class when your professor can’t stop talking about Shakespeare.

YouTube: It’s basically become the biggest site for college students to learn life skills. If you have no idea how to do laundry your first year of college, or if you simply do not know how to fry an egg, that’s what YouTube is for. If you ask almost anyone how he or she learned to do something on his or her own, at least 50 percent of the time, the answer is YouTube.

StudyBlue: This is an efficient and portable way to take notes and eventually use them down the road, either for a big midterm or final. With so many students utilizing computers and tablets during class, it’s probably the better option as opposed to keeping all notes on paper, which is also easy to lose sometimes.

Quizlet: I have used Quizlet multiple times, especially for online classes when the questions on the test were very specific to certain key terms. This site can be a lifesaver if you need to study last minute and have no time to make yourself a study guide. The best part? It’s free!

RateMyProfesor: It’s becoming more common for students to check in on the rating of their professors before signing up for a class. We’ve all experienced that one class where the professor simply did not want to assist the students in earning high grades. Checking in on RateMyProfessor is a great way to read firsthand reviews on the class as a whole and if the professor will be of your liking. Remember that just the instructor of the class can make or break your grade.

Alive Campus: This site is perfect for students who want to receive firsthand advice about college. It basically provides personal perspectives and real information about specific colleges, as well as college in general. The best part is that all of the articles all written by students who are currently in college, so all of the information provide is accurate to firsthand experiences as opposed to just a general outlook.

With all of these sites to keep in mind, it’s time to open up the tablet and start browsing once again.

Rate My Professor is ideal for students who want prior knowledge of their professors.

Rate My Professor is ideal for students who want prior knowledge of their professors.

I want to hear about personal experiences on the college lifestyle!

July 17, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

College Life

College Life

College confidential is a website that many students can use to see what college life is like at other schools. It offers articles featured on colleges, ask the dean section where users can submit questions about the college process. It’s a great tool that many college students can use but at times it felt very clunky and hard to find material.

On their home page, they have a busy set up that you lose sight of the material on the site. I think they have a good idea of offering a bunch of information for the user to use, it’s just difficult to access that information.

As I journeyed my way through various pages of the website I finally found some user generated content that I thought would give me a glimpse into what college was like for them. I was sadly mistaken. It appears that they only offer a message board which is a complete letdown.

Here are some things that this website could improve on to improve their functionality:

Accessibility – Users are coming to this website to view content and learn about other’s experiences. That should be the main focal point of the site. Unfortunately it was buried in multiple pages that I had to find. If I was really looking for insight into the college experience I would have moved on to another website after figuring out the layout.

Generalized – I really like to hear about the personal, college specific stories. Each college varies so much that you can really have a one-size-fit-all plan that can give you insight into the college experience. When you apply to school you aren’t applying to a random school, you’re looking for a school that will fit your needs and what you want out of the college experience.

Visuals – Some of their article posts don’t have any visuals. To engage your reader you need another aspect other than the content to keep their attention. Chances are if it is a college website geared towards high school seniors they aren’t going to want to read massive amounts of text without a visual.

Personal Connection – Some of the articles didn’t have a listed author and didn’t share a personal experience. With many college lifestyle sites I would want to have the feeling of hearing the author’s voice in their article. What their experience was like when they were going through the process and what information I should know about this particular school that would help me.

The website wasn’t all negative, they had a bunch of really great features such as an in-depth college profile viewer that gives plenty of stats and figures on: enrollment, tuition, and other key aspects of the college experience.

If they were able to focus on their key features and the wants of the users that come to their website it would be an incredible resource for people looking at the right college for them. They should have specific stories and shared experiences of specific colleges it would only help out the popularity of their site.

Finding Your Perfect College Match Online: College Confidential

June 9, 2014 in Alive Campus, Colleges, Tech

College Confidential

College Confidential

I can’t begin to tell you how many of my friends and acquaintances pored over college websites and blogs my senior year of high school. I was never one of those people; I asked teachers and guidance counselors for schools that 1) had strong English and Psychology departments, and 2) had a competitive women’s soccer program. Apart from these two major factors, I didn’t really care about where I was, how big the school was, the ranking, etc. Most of my friends, however, did use these sites to confirm whether the colleges they were applying to/choosing, were a place they really wanted to be. Among a slew of resources, collegeconfidential.com was one of the most popular sites used to learn about a prospective university.

College Confidential offers a variety of tools to learn more about a school. It has 6 main tabs running across the top of the site, labeled: “College Discussion,” “College Search,” “College Admissions,” “Paying for College,” “College Life,” and “Ask the Dean.” Under each tab there are helpful suggestions and links to articles that can further aid in the college process.

College Life

For example, one of the reference articles under the “College Life” tab is about roommate selection. In this article, the author offers several interesting insights about large vs. smaller schools, the different types of housing offered (smoke-free, alcohol-free, etc), and the benefits of having a roommate who may be similar, or vastly different from you. My only complaint is that the author’s names are not listed! I wish I could know if a current student, university administrator, or website supervisor wrote the article. They also list several valuable book titles about college life – acclimating to a new place, what to do with your new freedom, meeting friends, and other topics.

College Discussion

I particularly enjoyed the tab about “College Discussions,” because it was a place where both students and parents could offer their insights about aspects of the college experience. Additionally, there are sub-topics, which allow the viewer to narrow their search down even more. If you have a question about Graduate School, then you go to the Professional and Graduate School section. If you are unsure about majors or study abroad, you can look under College Admissions and Search. Although there are numerous questions/answers about academics, SATs, internships, and graduate school, the site seems to lack a section where prospects can read articles or get tips from current college students. The site is very informative and formal, yet the honest suggestions from students themselves seem to be missing. On second look, there is a link called “CampusVibe,” where students can post videos or write comments about their experience visiting a school, but it still does not include an inside perspective.

 

If, however, you are looking for extensive information about the school’s population, campus groups, housing, athletics, majors, athletics, and more, then definitely check out collegeconfidential.com! I really enjoyed the option of sending a particular school’s dean your very own question – how cool is that?!

College Confidential Website

College Confidential Website

 

 

Sweet Site: A review of CollegeCandy.com

April 12, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

College Candy

College Candy

College Candy is a website designed for college girls.  It is written for students by students.  The site is divided into seven main sections, “Style”, “love”, “Lifestyle”, “Body”, “Entertainment”, “Authors” and “shop”.  The authors are mostly female, but there are some male writers for college candy. Something to take note of, there is lots of content and pictures that is not appropriate to look at in a workplace.

Style

The style section has two tabs, ‘fashion’ and ‘beauty’.  The section has typical style articles, “5 Ways to Wear Boyfriend Jeans Without Looking Like a Slob” but often puts an entertaining twist on them.  For example, and article about wearing sequins is titled, “The Simple Guide to Wearing Sequins Without Looking Like a Disco Ball”.  These articles are well written and entertaining.  There are also about how to style hair, makeup, what to wear to Coachella.  I like that they have an article on a current event because I can come back to this site for other events (ex Halloween) and they will most likely have content for it.

Love

The love section has two tabs, ‘guys’ and ‘love’.  There are reoccurring sections, “Ask a Dude”, “Diary of the Undateable”, “Bold Girls Bible”, and “Ask a Slut”. There are also articles about dating, secrets of happy couples, how to deal with ex-boyfriends in different situations, etc.  From scrolling down the page, my favorite title has to be “27 Pieces of Relationship and Sex Advice From R. Kelly”.  The love section is pretty typical of a college website, one thing I did notice was all of the articles were geared toward straight girls.  There were no articles about how to find a girlfriend or how to dress for a first date with a special girl.  I wouldn’t boycott this website because of this, but it is something to note.

Lifestyle

The lifestyle section has a tab for ‘college’ and a tab for ‘post grad’.  I am graduating in May, and it is nice to see post grads recognized.  I know that there will be some time before I get a job, and I will probably spend a few days browsing the Internet, and I will come back to this site.  In this section, “Twenty-Something Rules” is a reoccurring section, featuring a picture of a girl holding huge balloons.  She looks happy and the picture really makes me want balloons.

Body

Under the body section there are ‘fitness’ and ‘health’ tabs.  There are articles about eating healthy, exercising on the go, etc.  There are also articles about how to have a healthy and safe spring break, advice about how to make periods more bearable, and other entertaining yet informational articles.

Entertainment

The entertainment section has three tabs, ‘celebrity’, ‘music’, and ‘TV and film’.  The articles range from music news and information to Beyonce to Amanda Bynes to just about everything in between.  These articles are well written and hold my attention.

Overall, College Candy is a fun and entertaining college website. I would recommend it highly to my friends.

Best Online Resources For College Hunting

March 22, 2014 in Admissions, Alive Campus, Colleges, Reviews

College is just around the corner!

College is just around the corner!

When searching for prospective colleges, the initial search can be overwhelming. There are so many different books and websites to search from, it’s hard to know where to start. While books are helpful, my advice is to check out some college websites. When I was searching for potential colleges to apply to I used a few different websites that would be helpful to any high school student on the college hunt! Even if you have no idea what type of college you’d like to go to, just start searching and you’ll be sure to narrow down the options! Below is a review of the college websites that I used when searching for my perfect college, Boston University.

1. College Board

My go-to website to search for different colleges was College Board. You can easily search for any college by simply typing in the college name into the search bar. After finding the college you’re looking for, you can see everything from SAT and ACT scores, number of undergraduate students, the different backgrounds of students, etc. What’s great about College Board is that you can easily find quick facts about any school.

2. College Prowler

Another awesome website is College Prowler. It’s made for students by students, so you know the reviews and rankings are real! You can easily search for a specific college and search for different scholarships with an easy click of a button. Once you type in a college name, you can sift through an array of information including information about the students, campus, and location of the college. More specifically, admission requirements, the different majors offered, diversity among students, housing, nightlife, Greek life, and more.

3. College Navigator

Upon first glance, the homepage of College Navigator isn’t anything special. But, this federal website contains more information and facts than any other college website out there (at least for the time being). If you type in a school name in the top left hand corner of the homepage, a long list of information and facts about the school will pop up. General information like the schools website, what type of college it is, the student population, financial aid, and tuition and fees are among just some of the facts that you can find on College Navigator.