How do I find where someone attends college

If not through facebook or through directly asking?
Is there a centralized database?

No, there isn’t.

There’s no database but the ways you could figure it out are pretty straightforward. This is pretty basic detective work. If you have their whole name, and home address, it shouldn’t be that hard to find out. It does make me wonder why you someone so little that you don’t even know a key fact about them but you still feel the need to know.

Is that the real question or do you really want to know how you can get mass lists of students and where they go to college for purposes like marketing?

Who do you think would pay to compile and maintain such a database? (Besides, “attends” and “graduated from” are two different things. glances at Sarah Palin)

No I just need to know where only one person with whom I’m fairly familiar but do not wish to remain in contact with attends.

Are you aware how creepy and stalker-ish that sounds?

It is a sibling, and a school’s FA office needs verification, which I will have to obtain from his college’s registrar.

That sounds creepy as hell honestly but I assume you have a better explanation than you alluded to here. You probably have an idea where they might go to college right? If they don’t live at home, they probably have an address close to a school. Use web tools to find their address or former addresses and look at a map of nearby schools. Once you have it narrowed down, use school specific resources like student directories or yearbooks to verify it. You can just buy a background check online on anyone for a few dollars. That would probably give you enough info to figure it out in 5 minutes plus a whole lot more fun facts.

I know that sounds like it makes perfect sense to you but the mind boggles even imagining how these circumstances came to be.

Yeah. Is this like for some uber-background check where you have to declare the identities and current whereabouts of your siblings, cousins, 8th grade crushes, and elementary school teachers?

Can’t you ask your parents? Is this sibling estranged from your entire family?

We’re all wandering away from the scope of the original Q, but … why would an FA office need one person to look up/verify another person’s academic records? Why wouldn’t the FA contact this other person (your sib, apparently) directly for this information? I would imagine that it is confidential, anyway, but IANAL and all that, and maybe the school’s name is less confidential than your grades. Someone else will wander over to correct me shortly, I’m sure.

It’s been a decade since I had to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, but I remember siblings in college having a bearing on the expected family contribution. The OP may need to know where their sibling attends so it can be verified.

I’d think that if the sibling is estranged, then nobody’s contributing to that person’s tuition. If they’re not estranged and a parent IS contributing, then I’d think that parent would know which school their $ is going to.


Yes there is such a database*, used to track recipients of federal student loans. And the OP’s situation makes perfect sense on the FAFSA. That’s the government’s set of opaque calculations that determine how much of a federal loan to give a particular student. All other factors being equal, a family is expected to pay more per student if only one is in college. When the younger sibling enters college, the “expected financial contribution” is less per student.

*ETA: Technically it doesn’t count people without some federal student loan, but that doesn’t exclude many people. Even students with a hefty college fund or moderately affluent parents in many cases receive some small amount of federal financial aid.

What Bill Door said, sorta. I filled out my FAFSA a few months ago, and had to indicate that there was another college-going person living in the Household. However like purplehorseshoe said the FAFSA doesn’t require you to report college-going siblings if they’re not living in the Household.
I can’t remember if the FAFSA asks specifically to name institutions siblings are attending, but I’m willing to guess that akimbo gait’s school might require it as an extra measure to prevent fraud.

There is no centralized database, and in fact, many schools have privacy policies that keep there student directory unavailable to folks on the outside. As others have said, there are several types of amateur detective work that might yield results. Start with figuring out what city the person lives in.

lazy looking at that link a little bit - isn’t it a database with accounts? and passwords? In other words, is it accessible so that any random dude (like, say, the OP) can just look up any students’ info?

Just like the FAFSA doesn’t care if the deadbeat who fathered you is contributing to your education or not, and reduces your aid by the amount they think he should be, they don’t care if your parents are contributing to the aid of your sibling.

That doesn’t sound right to me. According to this chart only 47% of undergrads received any type of federal aid in 2007-2008. This pretty much jibes with my experience. At my school, for example, something like 50% or 60% of the students had no financial aid whatsoever. Plus there are those, like me, who had plenty of money through school grants and private scholarships, but no federal assistance.