Lawrence thinks U-CAN

Deborah Nixon

Lawrence University has recently joined hundreds of private colleges and universities participating in a new website created as a helpful college search resource for prospective students.
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities launched the site, called the University and College Accountability Network, Sept. 26. The website, www.ucan-network.org, features information on hundreds of private colleges and universities across the United States.
Lawrence is one of the current 440 profiles provided; another 150 are expected to be added this week. Profiles are added as each school provides its information.
Each profile contains statistical information on the respective school concerning admissions, enrollment, tuition, most popular majors, student diversity, and student graduation percentage.
Only one written paragraph is displayed at the top of each school’s page, allowing prospective students to glance through data without having to read biased paragraphs. “It’s a very clear-cut way to find out about colleges,” said Lawrence Assistant Director of Admissions Chuck Erickson. “It gets through the glitz.”
If students want to look beyond the many charts and graphs, the profiles also provide direct links to portions of a school’s website. Links provide information on career services, graduates, academics, credit transfers, and student life.
A special link outlines a list of activities and facilities unique to a school. For Lawrence, this list includes Freshman Studies and Bj”rklunden.
Concerns about a school’s surroundings are settled through links to the school’s campus security measures and current security report. A link to information on the surrounding community, such as the City of Appleton website, is also provided.
U-CAN differs from sites like the College Board online search through its use of charts depicting the data, rather than simply listing the various statistics. This method allows students to take a quicker glance at a school.
U-CAN’s outside links, which are not provided on College Board, also help students navigate a school’s website, a task which can be complicated and time-consuming.
The links concerning a school’s surrounding area are also unique, as most college searches focus almost exclusively on the campus, but overlook the community as a whole.
Erickson emphasized the helpfulness of the links provided on the U-CAN profiles, particularly “What Makes Us Special,” a link which is especially important to the admissions process.
“Lawrence is not a big fan of rankings. It’s another way to capture what Lawrence is like,” said Erickson. As a class of 2002 Lawrence graduate, Erickson added, “I wish I’d had this.

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