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Critical Comparisons
GRADE LEVEL: 11-12+, Parents & Professionals

This Web site has comparative information for a large number of higher education institutions in the United States on such topics as tuition costs, campus crime rates, and general reputation.

The site uses colors, graphs, and tables to present information in a straight-forward manner. That gives the site a professional look.

The information for each institution (cost, reputation, library, crime, services, scholarships, student body, finances, and majors) are all accessible from the navigation bar at the left side of each page. Additionally, the index to all of the schools is also located on the navigation menu.

This Web site takes a unique approach to presenting information about higher education institutions by not promoting "the best schools in America" but by offering the "most reliable data" from the U.S. Department of Education's database, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and studies produced by the National Academy of Science's National Research Council. Users can draw their own conclusions. Each report provides information (presented identically) with interactive graphs that show how that institution compares with its peers in cost, scholarly reputation, campus crime, student services, library services, scholarships, student body, majors, and institutional finances. Individual school reports are accessed from the home page index where the schools are listed alphabetically. (The site promises a search engine in the near future). The first page of an institution's report is the "Nutshell" which provides a synopsis of the full report as well as links to the analyses on subsequent pages. This is an invaluable, free site for prospective college students and their parents.