Next Saturday, I’ll be waking up early (not my favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning) to drive my oldest daughter to a high school 20 minutes away. I’ll wait around nervously as she takes the ACT for the first time.
It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was taking the ACT and SAT myself and preparing to apply to college. I still can’t believe that my daughter will be a high school senior next year…and then leaving home to start her college career in such a short time.
KitKat is a very motivated (and highly intelligent) girl, and I have full confidence that she will excel in college, but honestly it doesn’t make the prospect of applying to college (and everything that goes into that) any less daunting.
As she begins her senior year, Necco, my second daughter, will enter high school as a freshman. As brilliant and creative and responsible as Necco is, she is a completely different student than her big sister, and so I know that we’ll encounter totally unique challenges as she works her way through high school and eventually lands at this same place: time to think about college.
I have 5 kids – that’s FIVE kids to help choose the right classes in high school, 5 kids to prep for the ACT and SAT, 5 kids to help write college application essays. I wonder how they’ll choose a college (or, realistically–many colleges) to apply for, what grades they’ll get, and what majors they will eventually pick.
This past week, I was introduced to a new online education resource for parents and children called Noodle.com. Noodle.com is life-long education search engine that provides users with free access to education information, interactive learning tools, education-related articles and videos. Noodle was created in 2011 by a powerhouse team of education innovators from The Princeton Review, 2U, Kaplan, Kumon and Colloquy. The company has been recognized by Forbes Magazine, as “one of the 6 fastest growing tech companies” and hailed by Mashable, as “one of the 5 startups transforming online education.”
I decided to give Noodle.com’s college search a try for my oldest daughter. We answered a few easy questions (her GPA, interests, how many AP and honors classes she’s taken, preferences for location or size of school, etc) and Noodle.com supplied us with a list of colleges that would be a good fit for her. I was thrilled that her number 1 choice for college was Noodle.com’s first choice for her – a 90% match (to tell the truth, she only wants to go to one school–to follow in mine and her dad’s footsteps). At least we know she’s made a good choice.
In addition to the college finder tool, users can search colleges, graduate programs and K-12 schools, find study abroad programs, identify the best local tutors and test prep programs, search for a guidance counselor or education consultant, and access hundreds of thousands of free learning materials.
Why Noodle.com is an important tool for students:
- Over 3 billion searches related to learning and education take place monthly, but research shows that these searches frequently end with more questions than answers
- One-third of all students transfer colleges at least once before a degree suggests that students are making costly and time consuming mistakes with their choices
- Noodle.com addresses this need for an effective internet resource to search and recommend schools, programs, providers and content for education
- Noodle.com features data on over 130,000 schools and hundreds of thousands of education providers
- Noodle.com offers content from the most credible sources, including federal and state education departments and agencies, LinkedIn, Forbes, Newsweek, YouTube Education, and US News & World Report
- Users can select from over 350,000 interactive learning materials covering an expansive range of subjects, compiled from noteworthy sources such as National Geographic, The Smithsonian, Khan Academy and BigThink
- With over 120,000 K-12 schools, 2,900 4-year colleges, 5,000 graduate programs, 135 study abroad programs and 80,000 tutoring listings, Noodle.com has the largest compilation of education resources found anywhere on the web
- Once users narrow their search selection and want to engage with friends, family and others who have shared experiences, Noodle.com enables them to share their findings from the site via Facebook and Twitter, and save their results for easy access
BONUS: To celebrate the site’s launch, Noodle Education is offering users a chance to win a $4,000 education scholarship (students may visit Noodle.com to register for a chance to win and for Official Rules)
Do you have children in high school or have your kids already gone off to college? Do you remember this stage of your high school years as clearly as I do mine? What was your experience like choosing a college?
Note: Although I received compensation for the the time I spent to test-drive and review the site, all thoughts and opinions (and parenting woes) are, as always, my own.
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