Powered By: The College Board
Focus: Motivation (for going to college)
Big Picture: Another hip, savvy web resource put out by The College Board, this one mostly geared toward getting students psyched about going to college. It’s an effective blend of personal accounts and statistics, with a left-to-right navigation that builds an engaging narrative for students to experience. Users can learn what the biggest benefits of a college education are, watch energetic videos of kids whose life challenges didn’t stop them from getting to college, search for schools in their areas, and get solid advice on how to proceed. The site offers links to other, deeper College Board websites (it is, after all, mostly motivational in tone) and even has a section of resources for educators.
Big Challenge Solved: All the college-prep resources in the world are to no avail if students have no interest in going to college in the first place. YouCanGo! makes a compelling case with lively language and style—users of all ages easily get the message.
Must Use: Teens get firsthand accounts from their peers about how anyone can go to college, no matter how hard it seems—the videos in the Student Stories section are easily digestible and thoroughly compelling.
Most Unique Tool: Why Go? presents the user with five strong reasons for attending college, each one an animated statistical analysis. It’s an ideal flow of information to build a compelling case for attending college, offered up in an engaging fashion.
Best Middle-School Student Tool: Take a Next Step lets students select their grade level, then presents them with a page that’s a jumping-off point for a handful of clear “next steps” for learning more about college and what it takes to get in.
Best High-School Student Tool: Find Nearby Colleges gives students a map of schools in their area, and encourages them to set up a campus visit—it even provides them with a checklist of things to do and ask about when they arrive.
Protip: The strength of this site lies not only in its engaging presentation, but in the flow of its information. The top left-to-right navigation has intentional design—users are encouraged to move through it in order for maximum effect.