Essential College Counseling Online Resources

Looking for one spot where you can easily access the most important links to college applications and related resources?  Here you go!


Common Application – can be used for over 900 colleges and universities. The majority of private schools and many public institutions use this application. Note that many schools have a supplemental application found on the platform that students will need to complete.

Coalition Application – can be used for 150+ colleges and universities. Only one school is “Coalition exclusive” – Univ. of Washington, Seattle. Students can store documents, artwork, and video content in their Digital Locker, beginning in freshman year.

Common Black College Application – can be used for 65 member HBCUs. Cost is $20 and students can apply to as many of the schools as they would like, ranking their top four choices.


The University of California System (UC)

The Cal State University System (CSU)

California Community Colleges

New York:

Apply SUNY

Apply CUNY


Apply Texas

United Kingdom schools:

UCAS – (some, like St. Andrews, accept the Common Application)

Note that there are some schools that require their own application for admission. Examples include Georgetown, MIT, and many regional colleges and universities.

College Admission Testing

The National Center for Fair and Open Testing (up to date list of test-optional/blind schools) 

SAT Registration

Free SAT Prep on Khan Academy

College Board Resources for Counselors

ACT Registration

TOEFL Testing

Financial Aid 

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – all students seeking aid MUST complete this form

CSS Profile – supplemental aid form required by some private and public institutions

FinAid – comprehensive financial aid website including a financial aid calculator

Financial Aid Resources from the U.S. Department of Education

Domestic Need Based and Merit Aid Offered By Institution

75 Colleges That Meet 100% of Financial Need

Colleges and Universities with Loan-Free Policies

Scholarship Websites





Financial Tools for Students

Net Price Calculators



Admissions Data

Early and Regular Decision Admit Rates (updated July 2021)

Common Data Set – Google “name of school + CDS” and find a list of factors that a particular school takes into account when evaluating applicants

UC Freshmen Admissions Data

UC Information Center

General College Search Resources

College Xpress: fun and simple way for students to research colleges 

Colleges That Change Lives – good information about the college process as well as CTCL schools

Fiske Interactive Guide – online version of the Fiske Guide where you can research schools, create lists and track deadlines ($20)

Big Future by The College Board

National Survey of Student Engagement

College Navigator


College List Building Tools

ScholarMatcher – awesome search tool for low-income/first gen students

Corsava (sign up for a free counselor account) – great first step to building a college list

College Equity Index – tool to help Black students build their college lists

The Hundred-Seven – searchable database of HBCU academic programs

I’m First – guide for first-generation college students and their families

Campus Pride – resources for the LGBTQ+ community 

Women’s Colleges – learn more about options for female-identified students

Men’s Colleges – learn more about options for male-identified students

American Indian College Fund – list and descriptions of tribal colleges and universities

Catholic Colleges and Universities – list of U.S. based institutions

Resources for Undocumented Students

College Advising for Undocumented Students

DACA Guide to Overcoming Financial Barriers

DACA Financial Aid Options

Virtual Campus Visits


Virtual College Tours


UC Campus Virtual Tours

In addition, many colleges/universities now have their own campus tours listed on their websites

Gap Year Opportunities and Summer Programs




International Gap Year Programs

Jobs in Great Places

Employment, Cultural Exchange and Volunteering

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Have a resource not listed here that you can’t live without?  

Email [email protected] with the name, description and why you find it valuable.

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