New Google Search Tool Helps College-Bound Students Compare Options

I may have made a mistake when I chose my college.

OK, so it’s not as dramatic as it sounds — I actually am glad I took the path I took in life.

Still, had I actually looked into other schools rather than settling so quickly on the one I attended, I might have made a different decision.

Why? Because there are just so many factors to consider when choosing a university.

Everything matters, from the financials to the dining-hall options, the football team, the dorms, the average cost to attend, campus life and how close it is to (or far from) your parents’ house. It all matters.

But it can be really, really confusing trying to sort through all the information as you try to decide — and that’s why Google created a tool that will help you make a more informed decision on which college is right for you.

Google’s New College Search Feature

On Tuesday, Google announced the rollout of a new feature — similar to its job search feature from last year. A search function that will help students more easily navigate the process of finding the right college.

With the new tool, when you search a four-year U.S. college or university in the main Google search bar, information about things like the cost of attendance, student life and admissions (like the typical SAT and ACT scores of admitted students) will appear at the top of the page below the search bar.

From there, you’ll be able to explore data on graduation rates, see the average cost of attendance after financial aid has been applied (with breakdowns based on household income and both in-state and out-of-state tuition) and things like the typical annual income 10 years after enrollment.

There are also tabs for rankings (the University of South Florida is No. 17 on the list of best graduate public health schools, for example), and the different majors students can pursue (including a breakdown of how many students graduated with degrees in those fields last year).

Plus, if that’s not enough to help you make your decision, you’ll also be able to see information on notable alumni and statistics about the student body, along with similar colleges so you can compare information and make a fully informed choice.

This new feature is already available on mobile devices, with select features available on desktop.

Grace Schweizer is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.