Search Smart Not Hard: The Best Way to Look for Colleges

How to look for collegesThe time to search and apply for colleges is just around the corner, so searching smarter rather than harder is key. Doing so can save you plenty of time and headaches, in addition to saving you money on applications to schools that are less than perfect for you. Here are some of the best ways on how to look for colleges:

Narrow Down What You’re Looking For

Before you even begin to start thinking about what colleges to apply to, you have to look at yourself. What are you looking for in a college? Some things you should know and write down are your high school GPA, your intended major, your desired career path, what extracurricular activities you want to participate in, what type of community and area you want to live in, and any other interests you may have.

Creating this list will help ensure you don’t apply or even look at colleges that don’t have your major, you don’t qualify for grade wise, or are in a large city when you’d rather be in the countryside. Ensuring you are comfortable matters just as much as your education.

Use Online Search Tools

Now that you’ve created a profile for yourself, it’s time to start the search for schools. There are many tools available out there for you to use, including College Raptor’s own search and map tools.

By entering your data into College Raptor, you can see what colleges best fit your needs, allowing you to narrow down the search even more. Each school profile will have a rundown of majors, safety information, academic statistics, aspects of campus life, cost, and more. Using this data alongside yours makes finding that perfect school easy!

Create Lists

After you’ve narrowed down what you’re looking for and started your search, you can create lists of what colleges fit best into your profile, both interest and education wise. Some colleges will be better fits for you than others when you compare lifestyle and education. Write down the pros and cons of each. What makes one school better than another, in your eyes? Does one have a higher 4 year graduation rate than another? Does the other have a better first year retention rate? Take note of this information and more.

Once you have these lists created, it will be easy to see what schools jump out at you. Apply to these colleges that best fit your education and career goals, interests, and lifestyle. College Raptor’s search tools will also create similar lists for you and present you with the best choices based on your data. Make sure to add those perfect schools that match what you’re looking for to “My Colleges.”

Your junior and senior years of high school will be busy times for you, between your schoolwork, the college search, applying for scholarships, social life, and even perhaps a part time job. Cut down on the amount of research you have to do by following these tips when it comes to searching for the perfect college. Make sure to check out College Raptor’s match tool to get started!

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