Empowering Your College Journey in 2023: 10 Free Resources to Take Control of Your Admissions Process


Kate Sliunkova

AdmitYogi, Stanford MBA & MA in Education



8 min read

Empowering Your College Journey in 2023: 10 Free Resources to Take Control of Your Admissions Process


As the college application cycle commences, students across the globe find themselves at a crossroads, brimming with aspirations and questions. The quest for higher education has never been more important, but it can also be daunting. The good news? You don't have to navigate this labyrinthine journey alone.

In an era where information reigns supreme, we've assembled a powerful arsenal of free resources to empower you to take the reins of your college admission process. No need for pricey admission counselors or mountains of self-help books; these tools are designed to help you become your very own admission counselor.

Embark on this journey through a wealth of resources that will not only help you choose the right college but also craft the perfect application, navigate financial aid, and gain insights from the industry's best. Your college dreams are within reach, and it all starts right here, right now.


Stanford applicants will have to write eight essays in total. This includes writing three longer-form essays (with a 250-word maximum count) and answering five short answer questions (with a 50-word maximum count). Stanford's supplemental essay prompts include the following:

1. BigFuture Your Roadmap to a Successful Post-High School Journey

BigFuture® is your personal guide on the journey beyond high school. Drawing on the experiences and insights of students like you, as well as the unparalleled expertise of the College Board, BigFuture's tailored dashboard simplifies the complex path ahead. It breaks things down into three key areas: Planning for College, Financing College Education, and Exploring Career Paths.

But here's where it gets really exciting for you. BigFuture doesn't just give you information; it helps you take action. Take their career quiz to uncover fields that align with your interests and strengths. Use the college quiz to find institutions that match your goals and preferences. Dive into the scholarship quiz to discover funding opportunities available to you. This is your go-to tool for making clear, strategic decisions about your education and career. From SAT prep to exploring financial aid, BigFuture is your steadfast partner on this crucial leg of your academic and professional journey.

2. College Scorecard - Your Source for Reliable College Data

The U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard stands as the most trusted resource for accurate information on college expenses, graduation rates, and post-graduate earnings. Need to compare the costs and outcomes of different colleges? The College Scorecard has you covered. Want to know how likely you are to graduate on time? It's got that too. And for a glimpse into your future earnings post-graduation, this tool yields core insights.

3. Niche - Your College Search Companion

Navigating the sea of college options can be a daunting task. That's where Niche steps in. Many students face the challenge of narrowing down their preferences during the college search. Niche excels in providing comprehensive insights into institutions. This includes authentic student reviews, detailed rankings, and pertinent campus statistics. These resources serve as a compass, offering a clear view of what each college has to offer. So, if you're finding it challenging to make that final decision, Niche can be your trusted companion in discovering the perfect fit for you.


1. College Wise- A Treasure Trove of Resources

Explore College Wise - a wealth of resources tailored to guide you through the college application process. From crafting compelling personal statements to understanding financial aid, this hub covers every aspect of your journey. Additionally, don't miss out on College Wise's new guide on “How To Make Your Common App A Lot Less Common 2023- 2024” which includes how to create and fill out every single application component from start to finish.

2. AdmitYogi - Gaining an Edge in Admissions

AdmitYogi offers two powerful tools to bolster your college admissions journey. Firstly, their AdmitYogi's Acceptance Rate Calculator provides a quick assessment of your chances at dream colleges. Input your academic and test scores to receive estimated acceptance rates, giving you a valuable benchmark.

But that's not all. AdmitYogi takes it a step further. Unlocking a single profile grants you access to a wealth of successful applicants' details. Dive into personal statements, supplemental essays, extracurricular activities, awards, and more. This unique feature lets you not only grasp admission requirements but also compare your achievements against those who've already secured their spots.This tool is your key to gaining a competitive edge in the college admission process. Don't pass up this chance to set yourself apart.

3. Khan Academy - Your Personalized College Admissions Guide

For students gearing up for the college admissions journey, Khan Academy is your go-to resource. They've dedicated an entire unit to compile insights from admissions officers across the country. This comprehensive guide helps you ace interviews, craft standout essays, and secure strong recommendation letters. Whether you're just starting or in the final stretch, Khan Academy equips you with the tools to navigate the application process. Make the most of exploring their seven-unit course from getting started to life after college, ensuring you're well-prepared for every step towards your educational and professional journey.


1. Net Price Calculator Center - Illuminating Your Educational Investment

As you embark on your path to higher education, gaining clarity on the financial aspects is crucial. The Net Price Calculator Center, offered by the U.S. Department of Education, is a key instrument in this process. It provides a straightforward means to estimate your actual expenses after accounting for scholarships and grants. By entering pertinent details, you can receive a precise projection of the net cost for a single academic year. This empowers you with actionable insights, allowing for a well-informed decision regarding your educational investment.

2. Fair Opportunity Project - Your Gateway to College Affordability and Success

The Fair Opportunity Project (FOP) is a federally-funded education nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that the path to college is accessible and affordable for every student. FOP's comprehensive guide provides indispensable, free advice for over 63,000 public educators, guiding students through the college application process.Whether you're in search of a mentor, in need of expert essay feedback, or seeking guidance through the FAFSA application, FOP is here to ensure that financial constraints never stand in the way of your educational aspirations.


1. Best on Instagram and TikTok: Live Streams with Jamie Beaton from Crimson Education

Step into the world of college admissions with Jamie Beaton, a distinguished figure in education and the co-founder of Crimson Education. On platforms TikTok and Instagram Crimson Education offers a wealth of valuable advice and tried-and-tested application strategies. Join their live stream sessions for an interactive Ask Me Anything with Jamie himself. With an impressive academic background, including degrees from prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Yale, Tsinghua, and the University of Pennsylvania, Jamie brings over a decade of elite college admissions experience to the table. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to submit your own questions and receive real-time responses, making your college journey not only informative but also highly interactive.

2. Best Podcast: College Admission Decoded

Produced by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, imagine having candid conversations with seasoned admissions insiders who share their wisdom, debunk myths, and offer priceless strategies. Whether you're curious about financial aid, want to demystify college costs, or seek insights into unique student experiences, this podcast has you covered. Let these episodes be your beacon, empowering you to navigate college admissions with confidence and clarity.


Navigating the college admissions landscape in 2023-2024 doesn't have to be a solo endeavor; an array of free resources is at your disposal to guide you every step of the way. From selecting the ideal college and perfecting your application to securing financial aid, platforms like BigFuture, College Scorecard, and Khan Academy offer invaluable insights. If you've discovered other helpful tools in your college admissions journey, we'd love to hear about them at admityogi@gmail.com—your recommendations could even be featured in our future updates!

Good luck with you college applications! Your efforts will undoubtedly pay off.

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Read the essays, activities, and awards that got them in. Read one for free!

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Stan Lee

Stanford (+6 colleges)

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Anthony Busatta

Yale (+7 colleges)

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Yale (+20 colleges)

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