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June 13, 2018

Google plays guidance counselor with its new college search feature

by John_A

Choosing which college to want to attend for the next four years is stressful enough, never mind all the other factors that come along with it: Finances, the campus environment, and more. To help ease the anxiety, Google added a new feature to its search engine that provides all the information needed to responsibly navigate the future.

Using public information from the U.S. Department of Education’s College and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the results include data available specifically for four-year colleges. After searching a specific school, the new feature breaks down the information into different tabs to look through admissions, cost, majors, outcomes, and other criteria.

Last year, the company debuted a similar feature for job searches on Google. By searching terms like “jobs near me” and “teaching jobs” when looking for work, the results provide users with information like the location of the job and how long ago the post went live. It also includes whether it’s a full-time or part-time position and an estimate of how long the commute will take from home.

Similar to the job search feature, students searching specific four-year schools will be able to click through in-depth information by simply typing in “UCLA” or “Rutgers University” into the search bar. That way, there is an ability to rule out options that aren’t intriguing right on the spot.

To give both students and parents a more realistic overview of what to expect over the next few years, the search tool will provide the average cost after student aid is applied, which is also broken down by household income. Other data includes graduation rates, along with the average annual income 10 years after enrollment to help students see the long-term effects of attending the school.

The search feature also lists stats about the student body, notable alumni, and undergraduate enrollment rates to help paint a picture of what attending the specific college could look like. It will even suggest other colleges that are similar to the one you’re currently looking at to expand your list of options.

Google is currently rolling out the college search feature is on mobile. Some features are available on desktop as well.

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