Planning Your College Search

Juniors: With the new year, if you are planning to go to college, it’s time to get started on your college search! Do you know where to begin? If not – it’s okay! We’ve put together a quick checklist and some tools for you!

A piece of paper that says "checklist" with lines underneath and a pen sitting on top.

Ask Yourself Questions

Asking yourself some questions to start off your college search is a great way to identify the perfect schools for you.

What Atmosphere Best Suits You?

 First, you need to identify what you would like in a school and city. Here are some questions to consider

  • Would you like to attend close to home or further away?
  • Would you like smaller, more intimate classes or large lecture halls?
  • Do you want to live in a city, town, or village?

What About Your Major? 

 Of course, your major should play a big role in your college decision. Ask yourself:

  • What do you want to major in?
  • What classes or major is needed for your desired career path?
  • Is further education required for your major beyond an Associate’s or Bachelor’s?
  • What should you minor in?
  • What goals do you have during and after college?

Other Things Should You Consider.

A few other things you should consider when planning your college search are:

  • How much do you want to spend on a school?
  • What extracurriculars, clubs, or sports do you want to attend?
  • What matters to you most in a college or university?

Start Your College Search

Once you have a good outline of what you would like in a college, it’s time to start your search! College Raptor has a college match tool that allows you to put in your wants, needs, and interests and comes back with results that best fit what you’re looking for in a college.

You should be keeping track of each school that interests you, even just a little bit, so you can compare them later. This will help you build your college list that you can work from!

Talk To Others

There are a few other ways to identify good colleges or universities for your future, and that includes talking to others. You can:

  • Ask your teachers.
  • Talk to your guidance counselors.
  • Talk to your parents or other trusted adults in your life.
  • Attend college fairs.
  • Meet with or email college representatives.

One thing we don’t recommend is simply going to the school your friends, boyfriend, or girlfriend is attending. While this may seem like an excellent idea right now, it’s important to identify what is best for you, your education, your goals, and your future. You may have a vastly different career path than the others in your life, and you don’t want to stunt your potential. You can always keep in touch with your friends over social media and text!

Getting started on your college search can feel like a daunting task. Using the right approach – by asking yourself the right questions, taking advantage of college search tools, and talking to adults you trust and college representatives – can make the entire process much easier.