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Studying in the US: Web Redefines the College Visit

In part 23 of our Foreign Student Series, we explain some ways to learn more about American colleges in. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

This week, we visit four Web sites where students can learn about higher education in the United States. -- c-a-p-p-e-x -- matches students with colleges and universities. Students create a profile about themselves and their interests. The site then suggests ten to twenty schools.

But Cappex President Chris Long says that there are no guarantees of admission. The site is free to students. Cappex sells advertising on the site to schools and companies. has thirty thousand videos of students answering questions about their schools.

GIRL: "I would recommend honestly taking Statistics 263 with Professor Alexander. He's absolutely wonderful, the class is a great class to take and I really enjoy it."
SECOND GIRL: "I chose this school because it's in the city and it's really great and the communication school is actually, I think, ranked in the top five?"
BOY: "Yeah."
SECOND GIRL: "It varies every year but it's ranked really high. And all the colleges. And you get like a really great, well-rounded education. And the kids are really cool. You meet really fun people."
BOY: "I came here because I didn't get into NYU."

Schools pay CollegeClickTV to come on campus. But founder and president Glenn Pere says schools do not approve or reject any comments. That does not mean the site will use whatever students say; Glenn Pere says they must give reasons for their opinions. has video profiles produced by students themselves. Co-founder Sid Kromenhoek says it is a place where students can show their abilities and talents. The company says more than six hundred colleges pay to use the site to search for students. More than five hundred thousand high school students have profiles on the site.

Finally, we come to Unigo offers college reviews, videos and other content created by students. Features include "unofficial campus tours" and advice for dealing with the recession -- oh, and of course, dating on campus.

The free site, supported by ads, has a team of full-time editors. The site was launched to the public last September by a start-up company led by its twenty-six year old founder. Jordan Goldman says the site is starting with two hundred fifty of America's top colleges and will add more.

Unigo, Zinch, CollegeClickTV and Cappex are just some of the sites for college searches on the Web. Others include MyCollegeOptions, CheckMyCampus and PrincetonReview.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. Our Foreign Student Series continues next week. The series is online at I'm Steve Ember.