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Selecting a College

Your first step should be an honest self-assessment of…

  • your academic profile (classes taken, grades, test scores)
  • your family’s financial situation (what’s affordable)
  • other characteristics you bring to the college-search process (for example, your interests and goals, athletics, special talents, volunteer experience, other extra-curricular activities)

The second step is to develop a list of criteria for colleges you might be interested in learning more about. Think about…

  • location
  • size of school
  • size and variety of classes
  • residential life
  • selectivity (how many applicants are admitted)
  • retention rate (how many first-year students continue for a second year)
  • graduation rate (how many entering freshmen graduate 4, 5, or 6 years later)
  • majors you might be interested in pursuing

The third step is to gather further information about colleges that sound interesting to you. Use all the resources available:  school websites, information websites, college guide books, and family and friends.  The best way to understand if a school is right for you is to visit and ask questions.  

These are also many college search websites that can be useful.  Here are a few to get you started:

  • General College Information:
  • Information Aimed at Students:
  • Specific Categories: