The Pros and Cons of Top College Resources

College Confidential

Pro: It’s an open forum where everyone can share their personal experiences in high school, ask and answer questions about college life and seek advice from both high school and college students. In some College Confidential threads, students post outlines of their actual college applications–sharing their extracurriculars and academic statistics–and their college admissions results.

Con: The credibility of the posts may be questionable since users post anonymously; the experiences and resumes of other students may be exaggerated. Thus, students may become discouraged by  the  potentially fabricated  achievements of others.


Pro: It provides key facts about any college in the nation, including the average GPA, SAT, ACT, and SAT II scores of previously accepted applicants. PrepScholar gives critical information like tuition costs, deadline and early admissions policies, SAT subject test requirements and SAT/ACT score choice policies (i.e. whether or not the college offers “superscoring”). The website also calculates the percent chance a student will be accepted into specific colleges; pupils simply enter in their SAT/ACT score and weighted GPA. With that information, PrepScholar will also offer a list of recommended colleges that the student is qualified for (“same level” schools), overqualified over (“safety schools”) and underqualified for (“reach” schools).

Con: The admissions verdict is solely based off of the pupil’s academic statistics and does not take into account their personal statements and extracurriculars–a tremendous portion of the college application. Thus, college calculators can result in either false security or over confidence. Other vital factors about the colleges, such as organizations, special services and school size are not accounted for.


Pro: Cappex allows pupils to explore colleges by majors and geographical locations and it plots their chances of acceptance on a scattergram.  Cappex aids the college search by considering crucial preferences in regards to the school size, institution type, grad rates,  living environment (i.e. the weather), majors, tuition, and housing costs. Students are also offered free counseling tools and the ability to connect with other Cappex students for further support and suggestions. A Campus Visit Planner tool is also provided  to help students  plan college visits.

Con:  Cappex, like other online college admissions calculators, does not account for the personal statements and extracurriculars on a college application. Students may develop a false sense of security since the website only accounts for GPA and test scores; a myriad of students meet the requirements to get in but end up getting denied. College selectivity is not based purely on the numbers.


Pro: In addition to the typical college admissions calculator, CollegeView takes a plethora of other factors into account, such as the  student’s political preferences (i.e. liberal or conservative), the school’s greek life, the gender and ethnicity mix, graduation rates etc.  It also includes a category of historically black colleges (HBCUs) which may satisfy certain cultural preferences.

Con: Despite the fact that CollegeView intends to provide an abundance of information on college student life,  it does not provide student testimonials or an open forum where college and high schools students can share a line of communication.

By Lisa Shen, Opinion editor

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