Building a School List:

1. Spreadsheet from Jennie Kent and Jeff Levy regarding merit aid and need-based aid. One of my favorite resources.

2.  Choosing a school should go beyond geography and size.  Create a Corsava account and discover your deeper preferences.  Completely free.

3.   Mark Moody's Quick and Dirty School List Builder.

4.  CollegeExpress site with every list of college preference you can imagine!

5.  Midwest Tuition Exchange:  Illinois students are eligible for a tuition discount at several midwest universities.

Composing the College Essay:

1.  College Essay Guy- tons of free resources for the college planning process.

2. Essays that Worked from Johns Hopkins University.