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Get the Facts: Guides

Power 10 Guides

Get all four downloadable, power-packed guides for the early years in the college decision process:

  • “10 Things You Can Absolutely Count On” – We distill hundreds of hours of research into 10 easy-to-understand truths that demystify the college decision process.
  • “10 Worries That Are Not Worth the Worry” – Avoid unnecessary anxiety for you and your child and better utilize your college selection budget.
  • “Guide For Teens” – Provides these same facts, insights, information and guidance in an Instagram-like format for your teen.
  • “vibeXchange – A College Conversation Game” – It’s vital for parents and teens to communicate effectively and make the college search process fun for both. This game reduces anxiety and miscommunication and starts the conversation in a positive and engaging way.
Sticker vs. Actual Price “App”

What is your actual annual cost for a 4-year undergraduate degree? Our FREE app shows you:

  • Instant answers on the likely cost for colleges you’re considering (tuition, room & board, fees)
  • Get the actual average price based on your household income range
  • Find the average financial aid granted to households like yours
College Optimizer Index

The College Optimizer Index (COI) is the foundation for vibeffect’s scientific approach to identifying ideal campus features by personal traits.

Since 2013, vibeffect has been measuring thriving across US 4-year colleges and collecting granular data that allows us to identify not just how many college students are thriving, but also what qualitative factors in the campus community affect thriving on an individual level.

Each year we summarize our national findings and release highlights in the College Optimizer Index white paper.

  • Spending by families on higher education in America tops $461 billion
  • vibeffect’s database includes more than 1000 universities and colleges and representative data on every demographic of student
  • The first consumer measurement of the qualitative aspects of the investment

Get Insider Info: Subscription

vibeSubscribe – FREE for 30 days
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Join vibeffect’s community of like-minded families and learn how to negotiate all aspects of the college decision, including ending up with manageable debt from a great college on any household budget.

Gain access to vibeSubscribe for:

  • Valuable information to help your college decision process —— delivered to your inbox each week
  • Real life examples of negotiation
  • Time-saving tips
  • Early access to pioneering research that can help you
  • Knowledge that you have saved thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours of time, and countless moments of stress and anxiety

Know Your Ideal Campus: Surveys

See a demo of the vibePrimer


At this point, choosing a college has become more of a reality than ever. Your teen will have several options to consider for his or her next four years of life (and future alma mater!). vibePrimer establishes a baseline of information about the ideal campus “eco-system” in light of the strengths your teen already has. This survey is designed to:

  • Reveal the individual traits your teen already has that increase his or her likelihood to thrive in college
  • Identify the ideal campus features perfect for your child
  • Help you know that the colleges your child is pursuing correspond with where he or she is most likely to thrive
  • Allow you to tune in to what matters and push aside common but unproven myths

At the critical point when your teen is struggling with the decision of which college to attend, our vibeDifferentiator will ease both your mind and your teen’s by providing:

  • A method to determine the best features of each of your final, top-choice colleges
  • A scientifically-proven analysis of how likely your teen is to thrive at a particular college campus and why
  • A method to reduce the financial and psychological risk of ending up in the wrong place

Excel on Campus: Surveys


vibeThrive helps you optimize your college experience by identifying the campus features that are uniquely aligned to your likelihood to thrive and complete your college degree, providing:

  • Concrete direction on how you can maximize the college experience
  • Validation that you ended up in the right place during the period of greatest adjustment
  • Instructions for planning ahead based on the actual resources and opportunities presented by your college
  • A greater likelihood to make good decisions, complete college and be job-ready

For those who are following a plan towards a bachelor’s degree through community college, vibeCCBridge is an assessment that provides 2-year college students with a baseline and guidance. This solution includes:

  • A guide to the differences and similarities between “traditional” colleges and community colleges
  • An assessment that determines your likelihood to thrive
  • Helpful information on establishing yourself in a budget-friendly and academically advanced situation

For students experiencing a more difficult transition who may be second-guessing their choice — also known as the “freshman blues” — we offer a specialized product to ease the adjustment and ensure thriving throughout the college experience. With vibeBlues, you receive:

  • A straightforward method to find out what the disconnect is and how to resolve it
  • A way to avoid burnout, costly transfers, and wasted time
  • Strategies for optimizing the campus experience
  • An interactive web/mobile experience that gives constructive feedback
  • A less-costly, trusted way to adjust and tackle the problem yourself, or move on


This is VERY interesting. Most of the results seem to fit Emma well – especially the independent thinkers and frequent feedback from professors...This is a really GREAT gauging tool to use for a college search...

Amy K., Mom to Emma (age 14)

Wow, very interesting, especially the "meeting new people" thing in Roy's [traits]. Would NEVER have predicted that.

Amelia W., Mom to Roy (age 14)

We are all really interested in finding that institution [where] our son or daughter is really...going to feel at home, is going to excel, and is going to thrive... I think that some of the work that vibeffect is doing in that area has great potential.

Wayne Camara, Senior Vice President of Research at A.C.T.

Teen-Tested and Approved

Helping your teen choose a college can seem frustrating and overwhelming. So we asked a “radical” question … what if it was about finding the one college that deserves your child? vibeffect offers the power to confidently choose the campus where your future grad belongs.

Our groundbreaking guides & subscription content help your family save time and money. Our scientific surveys predict the ideal campus features that increase the probability of your son or daughter thriving, both in the early stages of planning and after enrollment. Combined, our products create a new and better framework for the college decision process.

Everything is teen-tested and approved. So go ahead, smile on.

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