Whether you're currently applying to college, or are just starting to think about the process, having resources available is something that all students can benefit from. I know that I constantly rely on information and guidance from multiple sources (both online and off) to help me as I counsel students--and, often, the information I get from these sources is incredibly useful.
So, without further ado, here is my list of the nine most important resources you should keep by your side as you embark on your college applications.
Looking for information about the ACT? Here's where you need to go. This is the main website for the test and the company that administers it. Even better, it also has college search, financial planning, and career planning resources.
With so many colleges (almost 500!) using the Common Application, it only makes sense that you become incredibly familiar not only with the application itself, but with the many resources and tools available on the the Common App website.
The federal government's one-stop shop for all things college and financial aid. If you're looking for federal aid, that's the place to go. And they also have the College Navigator--the U.S. Department of Education's college search website.
If you're requesting financial aid, it's a near-certainty that you'll have to complete a FAFSA (and a CSS/PROFILE, which is available through the CollegeBoard). Go check out the website and get familiar with the forms, the requirements, and anything else you need to do.
Tons of information about finding a college, applying to college, paying for college, and college life--and it has a very active discussion board section, too, where you can post questions and get answers from students, parents, and professionals who have either been through the application process, or work helping to guide students through the process.
Looking for scholarships? FastWeb is the place to start. It also has a college search but, more importantly, it has a truckload of scholarship listings for everything under the sun. Make it your first stop when looking for financial aid outside of that which your college is providing.
Very similar to FastWeb in its wealth of available scholarship opportunities, but with a twist--here, colleges also recruit you as your find schools and search for money.
Another great scholarship search engine to check out.
Very similar to college.gov, but with an additional plethora of information that your parents will find useful. Make sure to point it out to your folks as they help you with the college search and application process!
There are others, but these are my go-tos. Of course, don't forget this blog and the PowerScore SAT Free Help Area! :)