Google Search is getting an update today that will put data about colleges front and center when you search for a schools name. The idea here is somewhat similar to what Google did with its job search feature. In this case, the company aggregates data about a school thats typically hard to find and then presents it in a single widget. One caveat here, though, is that this only works for four-year schools. So if youre looking for data about community colleges, for example, this new tool wont help you. Finding all of this information about cost, acceptance and graduation rates, available majors, stats about the student body and other details like the typical annual income of graduates after 10 years can be very time-consuming. This new widget puts all of this data right into the sidebar (on desktop) or at the top of the page (on mobile). Google is mostly getting this data from the U.S. Department of Educations College Scorecard and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. The company notes that it worked with research and nonprofit organizations, as well as high school counselors and admissions professional to design the new experience. This new feature is now live and should automatically pop up when you search for any four-year school in the U.S.
This includes the ones you can actually afford. The college you choose could easily affect the rest of your life, but there aren't many tools to give you a feel for what a school will really be like, including whether or not you can afford it in the first place. Google might just help. It's introducing a college search feature that pops up detailed information about four-year US colleges (such as Spelman, UCLA or Yale) to help you decide. You'll have access to valuable info like the average cost after student aid, the annual income 10 years after enrollment, admissions and hard-to-quantify aspects like student life. The search feature draws on Department of Education data as well as help from education researchers, counselors, admissions pros and non-profits. You can use the search feature right now on both desktop and mobile. The timing is somewhat awkward if you were hoping to use it for college this fall (there are many schools that stopped taking applications months ago), but it's worth keeping in mind if you're in the hunt and want the maximum return for your education dollar.