College Search Process

If you haven’t started researching schools you may want to apply to, begin now. Searching for colleges and universities that are a good fit for you may sound difficult, but it’s relatively easy. Begin by knowing that you should apply to 10 or more colleges and universities.

Below is a condensed list of recommended tasks for searching and selecting colleges and universities to apply to. The tasks are listed in chronologic order.

1. Be prepared to apply to at least 10 colleges to maximize your opportunities for admission and scholarships.

2. Think about your ideal college – This is a good starting point before beginning your college search. What are the important features colleges should have so they will be of interest to you?

3. Consider factors that are important to you when selecting colleges and universities – Basic and detailed factors include each college’s academic reputation, proximity to home, campus setting, number of enrolled students, majors offered, available social activities, and other factors.

4. Use online college search engines to find your “best fit” college or university. Input the factors you want colleges to possess (such as the geographic regions where you would prefer to attend college, campus setting, number of enrolled students, etc.) and create a preliminary list of 10 to 20 colleges of interest.

5. Search the websites of each college on your preliminary list for “official” and “unofficial” information to narrow your college selections to approximately ten colleges and universities.

6. Compare the college factors of your final ten schools to prioritize your colleges and universities. Fill out the Table of College Factors to help visualize the differences between schools.