If all goes according to plan, high school students embarking on the college search process can expect to get more help beginning this fall.
A number of higher education associations are developing tools through which participating colleges will make more information available to families in user-friendly formats that are easier to compare.
At least three voluntary initiatives are in the works.
Two similar but independent efforts involve participating schools using a common Web-based template to post information. One is being created for private colleges; the other is aimed at public universities.
In a third effort, an association of 60 public and private research universities says it will collect and make public comparable data about its members.
At least two initiatives plan to include tools to help prospective students estimate the cost of attending a particular school.
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