Created By: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Audience: Students, parents, high school advisors
Focus: College readiness (through comparative analysis)
Big Picture: This thorough, easy-to-operate web resource allows users to select Texas colleges and universities and compare a variety of information about them. To find schools, users can generate a list of either two-year or four-year programs, using interactive sliders to contract or expand ranges in three categories: average tuition and fees, percentage of applicants accepted, and percentage of students who graduate in less than six years. Users can also simply select schools directly from a list. All selections can then be saved to a “My Colleges” shopping-cart-style repository, where they can be cleanly compared by student demographics, costs, and graduation success.
Big Challenge Solved: The name says it all—users who know they want to stay in Texas when it comes to college can simplify their search efforts by coming here with either specific schools to compare or a clear sense of criteria with which to narrow the focus.
Must-Use: The site has been fully ported to mobile viewing, so utilizing this resource on a smartphone is very clean, simple, and efficient.
Most Unique Tool: We love the use of sliders to adjust criteria—control is pretty precise, and search results expand or contract dynamically as modifications are made.
Best Middle-School Student Tool: Once you generate a list of colleges to compare, users can click the “Show Map” button at the top of the list and immediately transform it to an interactive map—it shows where all the schools are in relation to each other within the state.
Best High-School Student Tool: Search results allow users to check out the individual school’s Compare College TX profile, or link out to the school’s official website—choose both, and you’ve got two sources of info to help expand knowledge.
Protip: Users would do well to get schooled on how to interpret the site’s data by first checking out the Metric Definitions in the About Us section. It’s a concise and clearly-written description of relevant terms and their associated meanings.