About the College Portrait

The College Portrait website is a trustworthy source of basic, comparable information from over 300 public colleges and universities presented in a common, user-friendly format. The website is designed to be a tool for prospective students and their families during the college search process as well as a resource for high school guidance counselors, community college advisors, state policy-makers … or anyone interested in learning more about public colleges and universities!


Each institution’s College Portrait has a variety of information including the characteristics of students and faculty, admissions requirements, popular majors, average class sizes, campus safety, the future plans of graduates, and much more. Every College Portrait provides cost of attendance and financial aid information and an interactive tool for users to more specifically estimate their own costs at a particular institution. And only on a College Portrait can users find a snapshot of student experiences on campus and the expected learning gains of students in critical thinking and written communication.


The College Portrait website was created as part of the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) - a project specifically created to provide greater accountability through accessible, transparent, and comparable information on public 4-year institutions of higher education. Participation in the VSA is voluntary; however, over 300 institutions elected to join the VSA project and publish their information on the College Portrait website.


The VSA and College Portrait are sponsored by two nonprofit organizations in Washington DC – the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). More than 80 higher education leaders from 70 public institutions were involved in developing the College Portrait.


So bookmark our site and check back often!

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