Wrong information [In College Search section]?

Hi everyone, I’m on my 3rd college search & love this site. I have noticed some of the info listed on here is really wrong. I just happened to lookup the two colleges my oldest graduated from & the one my middle is attending now. (my youngest is considering both). One example, the info for both colleges said “ most students live off campus”. In reality, both colleges are 4 year residential schools & students are required to live on campus. It’s actually quite difficult, even as a senior, to live off campus. Had I noticed that in my first search, I may have kept looking. We were looking for residential. I did look everywhere though! Just a reminder to check more than one source in your search!

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One source should always be the college.


My opinion…that should be the first choice!


Well….yes. Of course. But I know some people look at other sources too and there’s lots of conflicting information.

I agree the ultimate source should be the college, but if CC is going to offer these tools for starting a list, they should be accurate or include a big disclaimer. As the OP said, those schools may not have made the list to research at all.

@MsAdventure, the exact same issue exists for my D’s school which requires three years on campus living. :woman_shrugging:t3:


Is this info you found on info posted by the college confidential admins? There have been reports of a lot of errors on info that was imported from heaven knows where.

If you see something like this, I would suggest you reach out to @CC_Sorin or @CC_Joy or @CC_Jon and let them know!


In some ways, this is the very definition of learning from primary texts versus learning from a textbook. Definitely see the differences between the two methods.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are more comfortable looking for a ‘textbook’ when it comes to a college search than the ‘primary texts’ - the colleges themselves.

@MsAdventure, can you please flag the exact information you think is wrong so I can alert our content team? All school info comes from Petersons, which is automatically imported into our system. If there is inaccurate data in there we will report it back to them.


I don’t use the College Search function. I tried to look up a school I am familiar with to see how accurate it was.

For admin who have been tagged up thread,

  • Can you date these write ups so people know how old they are? Some info looks like it is automatically fed into the write up (ex. mark your calendar) but that doesn’t mean that the entire write up has been updated.
  • Please capitalize the names of the schools. Ex. UC Davis. The UC Davis write up is about as generic as you can get. It looks like they took a template and checked off a few boxes to auto-populate the write up.

I don’t know how to get to the college search on my phone, but I’ll check it later when home. I previously flagged the issue with my D’s college so will see if it was corrected.

Thank you. Wasn’t sure who puts the info in. It’s when you just hit “colleges”. I’ll flag it.

Sampling the first 3 or 4 California schools, the Tuition data in the Quick Facts section on the top right never matches the Tuition data in the Facts-at-a-Glance section in the body. It seems they are either feeding from different sources, or not updating at the same time.

I believe this was pointed out to @Gumbymom who is the forum champion for the CA public colleges. And IIRC, this was addressed. Is it still wrong?

I would assume most people DO look at college webs sites first. Truly, I can’t imagine anyone not doing that & I chalked that up as a given but I’m sure it happens. Colleges websites can present a rosy, utopian unicorn & baby bunnies spin on everything though. Savvy consumers of high ticket items (because we are paying) should check multiple sources to compile information. Website says - beautiful, spacious modern dorms vs students across the board on multiple sites saying they’re abysmal. It can raise a justifiably good red flag. I like to think no one reads one bit of info/bad review & takes it as a fact but I’m sure it happens. Some sites inaccuracies are close enough to brush off but some are just completely and totally inaccurate. (even the big “college guides)- Residential vs most students live off campus. This is a great site overall. I’m a deep-dive kind of researcher personally & it’s not my first rodeo. Years ago, that wasn’t the case. Everyone starts somewhere & might need a tip.

For the record…some college websites don’t get updated frequently. You can easily find wrong amounts for costs, or an old common data set that doesn’t apply any longer.

Sometimes it’s really hard to get really accurate and up to date information.

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Right. I think you nailed it. Some people may not know where to begin at all & just start trying to make a list. I remember living in rural SC in 1989 as a hopeful 1st Gen college student - sitting there with a 4 inch thick paperback “guide to colleges”. I didn’t even know the types of colleges or really what to look up! It’s better today of course, but still. There are still searchers out there not familiar with “the system” at all.

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Same. Me either. I come for the forums! Haha I just happened to look & went “oh no!”’

That makes sense. Petersons was one of the “big college guides” that I mentioned in a reply that was really off base with some colleges I know well. Yikes. Someone else here mentioned that it looked like a template that wasn’t quite checked off right.

Remember, if you are using print versions of those college guides…they don’t magically get published instantly. It takes a year or so to get these edited and published. So understand…some information in those big fat books can be a little old as well.

I agree with @lkg4answers that you need to go directly to each school’s website for the most current information. The OOS tuition for UC Davis as an example was listed originally as the same costs as in-state but eventually corrected but the actual cost is still not reflected on the College Search function. Tuition is listed but not the required fees which are part of the tuition costs so the current number of $11,928 should actually be $13,104. Go directly to the source since the full cost of attendance is not even addressed which should include campus fees and housing costs at the minimum. Also the % of students getting FA and the average FA package is also misleading since the UC’s offer good need-based aid to in-state CA applicants but little to no FA to OOS/International applicants.