As part of a homeschool family, getting ready for and finding colleges is a somewhat different path for me than for public schoolers.  Public high schools have guidance counselors and information about tests, colleges, financial aid, and who knows what else.  Homeschoolers, on the other hand, have to seek out this information on their own.  That's why I'm so thankful for two college help sites, one of which is

Cappex is easy to navigate and has all the tools you need to get started - or continue - your college search.  I discovered Cappex after I'd already started by college lists and looked into several schools online, but I still found its services invaluable.  I would recommend Cappex to anyone who needs any information about college!  All that a login requires is a click from Facebook or your email and name.  Once you've made an account, you fill out a profile with personal contact information, academic records (GPA, SAT or ACT results, etc.), extracurricular and volunteer activity (sports, music, etc.), and anything else you think colleges should know about you.

The first of Cappex's awesome tools is the My Colleges tab.  This is a bit like an email inbox - once you've made your profile, colleges can see your information (not contact info, but academic, volunteer, extracurricular, etc.) and send you a message if they think you'd be a good fit for them.  Then, you can read their message as well as Cappex's information about that school.  If you're interested, you click "yes!" and Cappex sends your contact information to the school so they can call, email, or snail-mail you.  If you're not, just click "no" and the message will simply vanish. :)  Underneath your inbox is a list of colleges you've clicked yes for.  (You can also search for colleges by name or criteria and add them yourself.)

Then there's the Chances and Visits tabs.  The Chances tab: Once you've added schools to your My Colleges tab, the schools' information and your profile information are compared to tell you how high your chances are of being accepted by individual schools.  The Visits tab: put in when you want to go on a trip, with who, and to what schools.  This tool then maps out the best route and gives you trip and driving time!  You can save drafts of trips, or you can complete a trip and send messages to the schools you want to visit to set up plans.

Cappex also has an Apply and a Scholarships tab.  I have yet to use the Apply tab, but as the name suggests, it's intended to help you apply to the schools on your list.  The Scholarships tab was the first one I used as a new Cappex user.  It finds scholarships that seem to match your profile, and you can see the requirements and eligibility factors.  Then you can pick from a drop-down menu whether you will, might, already did, or will not apply; if you won or lost; or if the scholarship doesn't fit you.  Cappex saves two separate lists of scholarships you will/might apply to and scholarships that you will not apply to or that don't fit, for your reference.  There are also a few scholarships Cappex sponsors, for which if you are eligible you just click enter and your profile is your application!

The Home page has lots of other tools - like the search feature I already mentioned, a merit aid dictionary, or compare colleges.  But my favorite feature of Cappex is not a tool; instead it's a fun program called the Cappex Cap Challenge. See, whenever you log in for certain holidays, use certain features of Cappex, check out Cappex's 'friend' websites, and reach other achievements, you get a virtual cap.  And once you reach a certain number of caps, you unlock a level of the Cap Challenge - from Newbie to Rising Star to College Pro to finally Rock Star.  Each level unlocks a new scholarship, and the final Rock Star level earns you an actual orange Cappex ball cap in the mail!

So there you have it - the ins and outs of one of the most helpful websites on the net!

Cappex contacted me requesting a review and promising me a Cappex ball cap in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.


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