9 Steps to Choosing a College
Before you even get started with this whole process of thinking about
where you want to attend college, relax. Yes, it's an important decision,
but it's also a chance for you to find a school that is perfect for you.
The intent of this article is to provide you a 9-step framework that will help
you choose the college that is right for you.
One piece of advice before we begin: It's best to start this process as
early as possible, ideally in the junior year of high school
(although some experts say to start even earlier). Not sure what you should be
doing in your junior and senior years? Take a swing through our
High-School Junior-Year Planning Calendar and our High-School Senior Planning Calendar.
Ready to begin?
Here are the nine steps:
Step 1: Think about possible college majors.
(Because even the largest universities don't offer all majors.)
Step 2: Develop a list of criteria for evaluating colleges.
(Because you'll want to narrow your choices and weed out colleges.)
Step 3: Compile a list of possible colleges and universities.
(We'll give you resources to help develop your list of prospective schools.)
Step 4: Gather all your resources and information about each school.
(You'll want to make sure you have plenty of data on each college.)
Step 5: Use the criteria from Step 2 to narrow your list.
(Your goal should be bringing the list down to a manageable number.)
Step 6: Visit the colleges on your list from Step 5.
(Ideally, visit in person, but you can tell a lot from DVDs and Webcams.)
Step 7: Apply to the schools that make the cut.
(Each person is different, but typically apply to no more than 10 schools.)
Step 8: While you're waiting, start searching for scholarships.
(If you're lucky enough not to need them, skip this step.)
Step 9: Make your final college choice.
(Once you have definite answers from all the schools you applied to.)
Have questions about some of the terms used here? Find some answers in the
High School College-Bound and
College Planning Glossary -- the definitive source for learning about high school,
college-bound, and college planning terms -- from the team at Quintessential Careers.
Return to My College Journey
section of MyCareerBlast.com.