Panorama Community Schools

College Information! Search for & Research Colleges

Visit the College
Use this form the week before you visit a college campus - PHS College Campus Visit Form
There is no substitute for being on a college campus to get a sense of what your life may be like there - so we encourage you and your family to visit college campuses.  Most colleges have a web page for scheduling a campus visit.   
Tools to Find Yourself a College – these websites are loaded with search tools and information to help you be an informed shopper.
  • Iowa Department of Education's CurricUNET ( ) is tool that allows you to search our 15 community colleges by their programs; which colleges in Iowa have the program you are interested in.
  • College Board – Big Future College Search: Find colleges by major, location, type & more (CW’s favorite)
  • - several tools provided by government; use the "College Scorecard" to see U.S. colleges' yearly costs, graduation rates, typical salaries.
  • Iowa’s Private Colleges COST LESS than Public Universities!
  • U.S. Department of Defense – more than 900 civilian & military career fields & nearly 7,000 accredited colleges has been made accessible to young adults in one comprehensive site…average salaries, employment trends, advice on everything from taking tests to interviewing for a first job to preparing for boot camp
  • Consumer Reports – Find the Best Colleges for You: Focus on the information that matters
Set High Goals for Your GPA and ACT - See What Colleges Pay to Recruit Higher GPA & ACT students
Other college examples -
NWMSU, Maryville, MO Out of State Awards
Simpson College, Indianola, IA (1st year at Simpson for freshmen)
2019-20 Scholarship Grid
Interactive governmental tool Map of land grant colleges and universities of U.S.  
What are Liberal Arts?
College Graduation Rates 
  • College Completion Rates by State - (Iowa) may select colleges by categories (public, private, profit, & can see demographics of sex & race)
  • 2007: 6 Year Graduation Rates of Bachelor's Students
    • Iowa 62.9%
    • U.S. average 55.5%
    • Highest average, 69.2 for Massachusetts
    • Lowest average, 26.9 for Alaska
    • (Hawaii's average was 42%)
  1.  59% of those who start at 4 yr college in 2009 graduated within 6 years 
  2. Figure 4. College Graduation rates within 150 percent of normal time from first institution attended for first-time, full-time degree/certificate-seeking students at 2-year postsecondary institutions, by control of institution and sex: Cohort entry year 2012

    Figure 4. Graduation rate within 150 percent of normal time from first institution attended for first-time, full-time degree/certificate-seeking students at 2-year postsecondary institutions, by control of institution and sex: Cohort entry year 2012

    NOTE: Data are for 2-year degree-granting postsecondary institutions participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Graduation rates include students receiving associate's degrees or certificates from their initial institution of attendance only. An example of completing a credential within 150 percent of the normal time is completing a 2-year degree within 3 years. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded estimates.
    SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Winter 2015–16, Graduation Rates component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2016table 326.20.

Defaulting on College Loans
While some colleges do a great job educating students so they are able to get work and pay of loans, other colleges seem to struggle educating their students in way that helps their graduates pay off college loans.
  1.  Iowa college students rank in nation's top 10 for highest college debt
  2. Use this webtool to investigate college of your choosing -
For-profit-colleges? Does Iowa have any for-profit-colleges?
  1.  Iowa has 18 "for profit colleges" - example: Waldorf College, now Waldorf University, in Forest City used to be a non-profit and now delivers both 2 and 4 year degrees
  2. Become aware of different types of colleges using "The Low Down on For-Profit Colleges" (by, 
    1. Have the students read the 3 types' of colleges described AND the 2 paragraphs "Why Have For-Profits Been in The News Recently?"
  3. Become aware original costs of these types of colleges using Figure 1 bar graph of this article, Price of Attending Undergraduate Institutions (The Condition of Education; Last Updated: May 2015, Institute of Educational Sciences/ies) 
    1. assist students as whole identifying examples of each college category 
    2. 4 year public (nonprofit) in-state (examples - IA's Regent Universities)
    3. 4 year private nonprofit in-state (IA's have joined to create 
    4. 4 year private for-profit in-state (IA has 5 Kaplan College campusesAshford College, Clinton, IA is closing - but did recruit Panorama students since 2006)
  4. Become aware of government justice investigation of a private for-profit college resulting in a settlement with over $1 Million being paid to 289 students using the article Monday,  For-Profit College Kaplan To Refund Federal Financial Aid Under Settlement with United States, Jan. 15, 2015
College information sent to PHS - 
  • Briar Cliff University, Sioux City - invitation to contact letter (pdf link at bottom of this page)
  • Simpson College – Criminal Justice Program Simpson College criminal justice (pdf below)
  • Southwestern CC (Creston, Iowa) - Costs & Scholarship Awards as of March 2015, (see pdf below)
  • DMACC, Health Information Technology program begun with invite for educators & students to include as an option, salaries of $15-40/hour