“The Big Future” is a brand-new college planning site that looks pretty impressive — for English Language Learners and mainstream students alike.
The New York Times published an article about it. Here’s an excerpt:
The College Board, the nonprofit association of colleges and universities that oversees the SAT and Advanced Placement program, has introduced a new college planning Web site that it hopes will help a wide range of students, including first-generation college students who may not know much about the college admissions process.
BigFuture, which was introduced last Tuesday, includes a college search tool revamped from the organization’s previous planning site, as well as a scholarship search tool and a customizable action plan for students about to embark on journeys through the college admissions process.
“The old site did have a lot of information,” said Roy Ben-Yoseph, who led the development of BigFuture, “but this was completely rewritten with students in mind.”
The new site is the product of a multimillion-dollar investment and has been two years in the making, said Sandra Riley, a spokeswoman for the College Board. Both the SAT and A.P. program, among other products and services sold by the organization, have links on the BigFuture home page.
I’m adding the info to The Best Sites For Encouraging ELL’s To Attend College.
This is yet another example of “old wine, new bottle” with absolutely nothing in the way of relevant information that isn’t already out there. If it weren’t for the well-known (if not well-worn out) brand names (Thacker, College Board), it is hard to believe that the Times would give it so much positive exposure.
What about CollegeStraightTalk.org, a new in-development site that will use the results of large-scale satisfaction and outcomes surveys with recent college grads as the basis of unique on-line mechanisms for college intenders’ use in identifying their best-fit colleges? It is at http://collegestraighttalk.org/.
The site is specifically designed for college aspirants who may be relatively clueless about the college choice and application process; according to the website, it features a straightforward, 6-step methodology for their use in systematically narrowing down their searches until they identify the colleges that best meet their own, unique needs and wants.
Among other things, the site will enable college aspirants and their families to develop college short lists using a large number of different filters (e.g.distance from home, urban/rural setting, desired net-price range, GPA/SAT/ACT requirements, and many, many more) and – yes! – TO COMPARE THEM SIDE BY SIDE.
Then – and here’s the really interesting part – it will let them generate their very own, personalized college rankings on the basis of 1. how much importance they and their families place on a variety of college characteristics, combined with 2. how highly (or not) recent alumni have rated their own alma maters on these same criteria.
CollegeStraightTalk is a service of The Center for Alumni Satisfaction and Outcomes Research. Unlike the College Board, it truly is a non-profit – and one with a unique structure, at that.