Jennings College Consulting

Discovering Colleges

Discovering Right Fit Colleges

With over 3000 colleges and universities in the US, there are bound to be a few you've never heard of. How can you discover places that could be the right fit for you?

Step 1: Track down possibilities using an online college search engine.

You may already have an account with College Board to register for the SATs. Try using their Big Future college search. You can filter your search using a number of variables, but the first time out, be as general as you can and generate lots of options. You can be pickier later.

If you love data and want more control over your search, check out Custom College Rankings and their ginormous spreadsheet. Again, the first time out, just choose one or two columns for your sort, so you end up with lots of results.

Another option might be to use a college search engine that's part of your school's college guidance program, like Naviance.

Insider Tip: There are dozens of college search sites online, but most require you to establish an account first. Why? To gather data about you to sell to advertisers. Don't fall for it.

Insider Tip: Search sites are often supported by advertising. Sure, you can ignore the ads, but realize that schools also pay these sites to ensure that their results come up first, or have enhanced graphics. Don't fall for it.

Step 2: Drill down deeper in the categories that matter to you.