Audience: Students, counselors, parents
Focus: Online college-readiness events and live chats
Big Picture: It should be College Day Live, because this site provides users with some kind of live online experience nearly every single day. Students complete a quick sign-up and then have access to daily live chats with select universities, live college-prep presentations during key weeks out of the year, and online admissions and scholarship applications. Counselors who register can access lesson plans that can be used to guide students through site usage, as well as the entire college-planning process. And parents can participate by not only joining in live events with their kids, but also scheduling talks tailored for them by experts.
Big Challenge Solved: By focusing on live, interactive information-gathering, the site gives students opportunities to chat with not only college admissions officers, but currently enrolled students as well.
Must-Use: Educators should take advantage of High School Connect, which allows them to not only find schools that are best fits for their students, but actively schedule live chat sessions between students and admissions counselors from those schools.
Most Unique Tool: In the Planning for College section of Resources, students can follow the link to a College Planning Timeline, which takes users to a succinct walkthrough of seasonal planning steps, starting with the beginning of junior year.
Best Middle-School Student Tool: Once registered, students can click on Meet Universities to search for colleges from all over the world based on their interests—and many of them include video presentations for maximum engagement.
Best High-School Student Tool: The Scholarships tab gives students access to a handful of free applications to general awards contests, as well as more than $5 million in university-specific grants—and testimonials of past winners are right there to provide appropriate motivation.
Protip: Since it’s all about live video and chat streams, users should head right to the FAQ to make sure their computers are optimized to take full advantage of the site’s primary reason to exist.