Step 3: Spotlight Specific Colleges
Once you have a list of colleges to explore, how can you find out more?
Visit the college's website. After you hit the homepage, look for a link to Admissions, Prospective Students, or Apply. It should be pretty prominent. You'll find out things like the college's application process, admissions requirements and deadlines, and program highlights. Look for a virtual tour link or information about student life.
Insider Tip: If a college looks like a good fit for you, consider completing their online form to request information. This shows interest, and they will reach out to you about open houses or special prospective student events.
Find the college's profile on College Board's Big Future by entering the name of the college in the search box. Each college's profile has information in several categories.
Majors and Learning Environment tells you what the most popular majors are, about special academic programs (like study abroad or co-ops or honors colleges), and the graduation and retention rates.
Campus Life tells you about housing options, student demographics, sports and activities, and support services for students with disabilities.
Applying gives you admissions deadlines and requirements, statistics on recent entering students, and tells you whether your AP scores might earn you credit.
Paying includes the costs of attending, as well as information about what financial aid forms are required and what kinds of aid is available.
Insider Tip: If a school seems like a good fit for you, click the "see similar colleges" link on Big Future. You might find another winner there!
Look for a video tour on one of these sites:
Check out the college Facebook page or Twitter feed
Insider tip: Liking or following a college on Facebook or Twitter is another way to show interest and will get you more informal insight into student life.
Review the college's profile on one (or more) of these sites:
- Princeton Review provides lots of campus life information based on surveys of current students. Some of it's serious; some of it--not so much.
- Noodle brings together content from multiple sources across a number of topics. There's also a list of comparison schools you can use to broaden your search.
- College Navigator is for you data nerds. Unlike other sites, the information here is all straight from the US Department of Education. Cool pie charts and bar graphs, and "just the facts, ma'am."