College Search Guide

finding your college

Once you have decided to go to college - and what you want to study - it's now time to search your college or trade school that fits your career objectives.

Below are four (4) quick summary tasks for college search:

Page Topics:

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To Begin Your Search

Assemble a list of colleges or trade schools you'd like to attend. Meet with your school's guidance counselor to discuss your plans and to arrange important campus visits.

There are three categories you should search:

  1. 2-3 schools that you could definitely get in
  2. 4-5 schools that you could probably get in
  3. 7-8 schools that you would like to get in

You should budget on how much you can afford for application submission. If the application submission costs for 16 or more schools is too much. Narrow your search to 3-3-3.

some helpful resources
view school rankings

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Understand Types of Schools:

generally smaller in size. They offer 4-year degree programs (BA and BS) and many 2-year Associate degrees.

larger institutions with specialized degrees in business, engineering, pre-med, etc. They offer 2-year, 4-year, and many graduate and professional degrees.

Community Colleges:
a small college offering 2-year Associate degrees. Many students attend local community colleges with the intent to transfer to a larger institution to further their education.

Vocational / Career Schools:
specialized schools of training for specialized trade jobs such as mechanics, computer technicians, medical assistants, etc. Programs may vary requiring only a few weeks to complete while others may require a year or more. Upon completion, graduates will receive a license, certificate or an Associate Degree.

Online Programs:
programs and degrees that can be taken online. The advantage of these programs is that you can take classes from inside your home. These programs are great for part-time students and continuing education.

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Keep Track of Your Search

Use these helpful tools to keep track of your college search. These notes will help decide which college you would like to attend after making several comparisons.

The college search sheet includes the following items:

  • career/college major planning
  • college selection and admission information
  • academic and cost comparison
  • college entrance requirements
  • financial aid worksheet

File Type: pdf

Helpful Tools

Some helpful tools for making decisions:

off-to-college map (pdf print file)
college cost comparison worksheet (excel file)