Confused?! It is very hard to pick just the right list of colleges to apply to when there are over 4,000 to choose from. You can get bogged down trying to research a majority of them to make sure you sample everything that is offered before making a decision, or you could end up focusing on too narrow a group of colleges when you research for a good fit. Are you trying to include too much, or are you not seeing all the possibilities?
It might help you to know what things to think about for college picks. What should you research for? The major things are to match your interests in
- academic studies and programs,
- where geographically you might like to be located, and
- what the cost of a college will be.
These are the essentials.
Other things to think about are the feel of the school:
- Do you want a public or private school,
- a school where you can get a four-year or a two-year degree,
- how many students do you want to be rubbing shoulders with, and
- what type of campus do you want, an urban high rise dorms type of campus or a treed-lined mall type?
Social aspects of a university can count, too. Think about:
- the party scene, and
- the type of town or city that you have access to next to your campus.
Then there are special considerations, like
- disability services,
- religious affiliation,
- GLBT-friendliness, or
- gender mix on that campus.
Once you have an idea what you might want to know about a school, you now have to get lists of schools. One place to start all this is a tried and true website, College Confidential.com. Here you can choose the factors you think are important to you and then rate them and order their importance. At that point College Confidential will select a list of colleges for you to start to research that offer some of the things you are thinking about. You can also go back, once you have done some initial research, and change your factors and their importance to you and generate a whole new list. This process can help you find college and university names quickly so you have a place to start right away and won’t waste time spinning your wheels.
So start now. Let yourself explore, but let a site like College Confidential help you get a leg up before you are mired in too much information.