Will I get into my college? Two websites that will help you answer that

download (6)As we come closer and closer to the time when many colleges start to inform applicants of whether or not they were accepted, you’re likely to start stressing more and more over the future.

Sure, you’ve done all you can up to this point, and it’s just a waiting game, but there’s always going to be that nervousness of if you got into your schools or if (God forbid) everything went haywire.

I’ve been looking around online to try to find websites to help answer that very same question for my girlfriend. I’ve found two very helpful sites: I’ve mentioned College Board already in another post. In addition to being the website where you sign up for SATs,

College Board provides a lot of information about both careers and colleges. When it comes to making a guess about whether or not you’ll get into a school, I recommend looking through “How do I stack up?”. Simply search for a college, and on the main page for that college, you should see a box with that title at the bottom. Just fill in the information and see how you compare to everybody else.

A new website I’ve discovered is MyChances.net. Here, you can fill out a profile about yourself and receive your chances as a percentage. The profile on this site is more extensive than College Board’s — it also asks about many other aspects of your life, including the estimated quality of your essays to hardships in your life.

How accurate are either of these sites? I can’t say, and I’m not sure if anybody can. Both sites use real data from colleges to give you the best information they can, but factors will vary from year to year. Whatever the websites show, take it with a grain of sand. Just use them to get a more realistic idea of what to expect in the next month.

Questions for your Facebook page

HOW TO MAKE VALIDATION FEEDBACK MORE ACCESSIBLE TO SCREEN READERS

Imagine you’ve found an e-commerce site which is selling a product you’d like to purchase. It follows the typical pattern of adding an item to your cart then begin the checkout process. You come to a form where you need to enter your name, shipping and billing address and credit card information.

You fill out the form and then press whatever button they make available to complete the sale and suddenly you see some text in red show up stating that you either missed some required fields or entered some invalid data and it has to be corrected before the purchase can be made. Common situation right?

Now imagine you can’t see and you depend on a screen reader to navigate the web. Say you’ve made it to the form in the last example and you fill out all the fields as you think they need to be and try submitting the form. Then the page reloads with validation messages as in the previous example only – you can’t see them… At this point, your screen reader starts reading from the top.

You might not even realize right away that the same page just reloaded. Once you realize you’re at the same form you have no idea what was wrong with your inputs. Now you have to go on a long hunt with your reader hoping to find the messages that everyone else can easily see. After finally correcting everything as best you can you try submitting the form again hoping, just hoping that you got everything right so that you don’t have to go hunting through it again…

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. I’d like to share an idea I have for this and would appreciate feedback on it. What if we, as web developers, not only put the validation messages in like we normally do but also hide a bullet-ed list of the same messages in the HTML at the very top. And by hiding I mean positioning it so that it’s outside of the viewport so that people who can see the page don’t notice the items but the screen reader still reads it out loud.

By putting it at the top of the HTML it will be read by the reader as quickly as possible giving our blind users very fast feedback. With this in place, they will be able to quickly review the items that need to be corrected and also know where to go to if they happen to forget which items need correcting. Another possible thing to add in as well is to indicate the access keys for each field that needs to be corrected so they can jump right to the fields.