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Deciding what college to attend—or even apply to in the first place—is one of the first potentially life-changing big decisions many young adults make. There is a ton of information to sort through, and a number of factors to consider, from the size and location of the campus to whether your test scores make you a viable candidate.
Google hopes to make that process slightly less painful though, with a new feature specifically for college admissions searches.
Now when you search a four-year college, Google will automatically surface stats such as admissions rates, total cost, and information about student life directly in Search. A survey by New America found that 63 percent of recently enrolled and prospective students found the college admissions search process confusing. This redesign, which sources data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, should help make comparing colleges a faster, more transparent process.
The new search results interface first offers an overview of the college, but has tabs to dive deeper into specific topics. These tabs, situated below the search bar, include admissions, cost, majors, and outcomes. Within these sections, you can better understand the financial ramifications of a particular school on your family based on your average household income. You can also examine average income 10 years post-graduation, to estimate when you may be in paying off your student loans.
Google will also show you a list of the institution’s notable alumni, as well as similar colleges you may want to consider.
Google is first rolling out this experience on mobile, and then will be bringing some of these features to the desktop. For high schoolers embarking on their college admissions searches, this update should be a welcome way to save time and narrow down their prospective universities.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.