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How To Narrow Your College Choices

Don’t begin your college search in a whirlwind. Take time to sit back and carefully assess the kind of characteristics you seek in a college. Think clearly and be honest with yourself. Think about Basics: First consider all the most basic questions you should ask yourself about the college experience you want. Give full thought to each item.

Once you figure out the characteristics you are looking for in a college environment, then begin your college search on Naviance.  Use the "SuperMatch College Search" tool under the "Colleges'' tab.  CLICK HERE to login to Naviance.  Plus, check out other college research websites to get even more college information!!  For a complete list of top college research websites CLICK HERE

  • Do you want to stay near home or travel several times a year? (Consider how much travel expenses will cost, especially during holidays)
  • Do you want the fast-paced life of a metropolitan campus or easygoing serenity of a small town college town?
  • Is it import for you to be nearby mountains for skiing or oceans for swimming, etc?
  • What kind of weather do you like?

Student Body:
  • Is a single sex or coed school more your liking?
  • Are you looking for a student body drawn from across the nation or from a smaller geographic area?
  • Do you want to be surrounded by thousands of classmates or only a few hundred?

Academic Requirements:
  • How do you realistically view yourself as a student?
  • Do you have the academic record to be seriously considered by highly competitive institution?
  • Do you want an academically demanding college program or would you prefer a school where you can make respectable grades without knocking yourself out?
  • Do you expect to be aiming for graduate school?
  • Do they have the major you are interested in?

Academic Structure:
  • Do you feel attracted to a larger university encompassing many schools and colleges or to a small single-purpose institution?
  • Does a liberal arts or a professional curriculum seem more in line with your career interests?
  • Do your interests require specialized facilities?
  • Are you looking for a specific major?
  • Do you need a highly structured academics framework in order to work effectively or can you work with a curriculum that allows for independent projects or has no requirements at all?
  • Do you need the incentive of grades or would you work equally well under a pass/fail or comment grading system?

Campus Life:
  • Do you want to live in a dormitory or off campus? How much are the dorms? What is the availability of off campus housing?
  • Is it important to you that there be something happening on campus every minute or would you be happiest in a more leisurely setting?
  • Are you interested in fraternity or sorority life?
  • Are you in a inveterate joiner who is looking for a school with a wide assortment of extracurricular activities?
  • Can you live with restrictions and regulations?
  • Do you want an extensive athletic program?

  • Is your family able to pay the generally higher tuition of a private college (or can you get a scholarship) or does a public college seem more feasible?
  • Are you interested in work-study programs, in which the college officially combines or alternates periods or employment with periods of study? (cooperative education)
  • If you are sure you won’t quality for scholarship assistance, would you be willing to work part-time and/or take loans to pay for your education?