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Google unveils tool to help you find the perfect college

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Google (GOOG, GOOGL) just unveiled a new feature in Search to help users find the perfect college or university.

Citing a report by New America, Google says that 63% of new and prospective college students were confused when looking into schools and checking out financial aid options. The idea behind Google’s college and university search then, is to help make users’ lives easier.

I personally had no clue what I was doing when it came to searching for colleges and applying for financial aid. If I didn’t have my parents to help me out, I probably would have been out of luck. In other words, Google, where was this when I needed it?

According to Jacob Schonberg, Google’s product manager for search, the new tool will let you type the name of any four-year college or university into the Google search box and then provide you with pertinent information about the school.

Here’s a quick view of how the search will appear.

Schonberg explained that search results will include everything from the acceptance and graduation rates of schools to their students’ average SAT scores, available majors, demographic make-up, the average salary for graduates 10 years after leaving their school and, perhaps most importantly, the cost of going to a school after financial aid.

Google says it worked with everyone from colleges to high school students and counselors to determine what kind of information the search should bring up.

Schonberg said that Google pulls information for its searches from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The feature will roll out Tuesday for mobile and desktop.

Google’s offering is a solid option if you’re not interested in buying a pricey book or magazine for information about the schools you’re interested in.

The only problem with Google’s offering is that it doesn’t provide information on two-year community colleges, or international schools. But if you’re a prospective student, it could be a huge help in your search for the perfect college.

Correction: 63% of students were confused when looking for schools. Not 64%, as was previously indicated.

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