It's never too early to start thinking about college! And, although you don't HAVE to have a major completely set in stone before attending college, it's always a good idea to start thinking about your interests, both socially and academically, and which post-secondary program is the best fit for you based on your interests.
As you explore colleges and universities, there is a document at the bottom of this page containing questions that you may want to ask college representatives.
COLLEGE ADMISSION UPDATE: This document provides Admissions Information for several colleges nation-wide. This publication is courtesy of the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling.
Get Set for College: This great document from ACT includes tips on preparing for the ACT, helps you to rank characteristics that you may be looking for in a college (enrollment size, cost, location, athletics, etc.), college admissions information, information you want to ask colleges when you go to visit, a worksheet to help you compare colleges, a financial aid planning worksheet, and much more information!
What Can I Do With This Major?: Not sure where a certain major will take you? This website lists a variety of different job opportunities for most college majors.
TeenLife: This is an excellent resource to connect students with volunteer experiences, summer programs, and other college programs.
Unable to visit a college? Check out the Virtual College Tours!
Out of State Colleges that Offer In-State Tuition: Illinois is a member of the Midwest Student Exchange Program. Through this program, several colleges in Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin will offer in-state tuition rates to Illinois students. To learn exactly which school participate, visit http://msep.mhec.org/.
DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHICH COLLEGE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? BELOW ARE COLLEGE SEARCH ENGINES:
USCollegeSearch: This is a college search tool that also provides trends on careers.
College Greenlight: This is a college and scholarship search engine. They also work to connect under-represented students and first generation students specifically to college and scholarship opportunities.
College Navigator: Courtesy of the Institute of Education Sciences, this site helps you search for institutions by size, location, major, athletics, religious affiliation, and other variables. The site provides a significant amount of data, including admissions profiles, cost of attendance, graduation rate, and financial aid information.
College Scorecard: Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education, this site helps you search for institutions by size, location, major, religious affiliation, and other variables. The site then helps you compare data of selected colleges, such as average college cost, graduation rate, and average salary after attending. The site also provides a significant amount of information pertaining to each institution, such as admissions profiles and financial aid information.
BigFuture from the College Board: The BigFuture College & Career Readiness suite contains information on the college search and selection process, exploring careers and majors, financial aid, scholarships, & much more!
CollegeGo Mobile App: This is an EXCELLENT tool to use in addition to the core counseling lessons you receive in class!
ACT Profile: ACT Profile Beta is a new, evolving, and free college and career planning social networking site. This site offers: an interest inventory, a values inventory, an abilities inventory, military career exploration, and detailed career exploration (an outline of high school coursework, post-high school training levels and coursework, salary and detailed career roles and services). This site also offers the ability to search for colleges based on degree-level offered and state location.
Online Colleges Database: A directory of U.S. Colleges. This includes a guide to applying for college as well as a college search engine database.
Career Cruising: Username: west Password: prairie Log in and create a profile for this website, and use a password you are sure to remember! This site contains an inventory that will ask you questions about what type of a college you are interested in, and then it will generate a list for you. This site also contains a career search tool.
NextStepU: This is another comprehensive post-high school planning site that includes career information, a college search tool, and a scholarship search engine.
Iowa Private College Week: If you are interested in learning specifically about private colleges in Iowa, visit thinkindependently.com for information on several universities in one place!
UsNews: College rankings from all over the country. This is the most comprehensive ranking tool. Works GREAT for students who: Need more options or want to compare schools. These rankings may give you names of schools you may not otherwise know. Less helpful for students who: Are easily overwhelmed or want specific information.
Kiplinger's: Best values in public colleges.
Forbes: College rankings that focus on the return investment for students (such as future salary, debt upon graduation, and graduation rates). Works GREAT for students who: Are future focused and have financial concerns. Less helpful for students who: Want information to help them through the admissions process, rather than after graduation.
College Prowler: Rankings that are put together by students for students. The tool relies heavily on student surveys and is updated weekly. This is geared towards specific issues, such as transportation, athletics, campus dining, and safety. Works GREAT for students who: Have specific wants or concerns. Less helpful for students who: Want a comprehensive source.