Step 2: Make a List
The first step to starting your list is prioritizing what is important to you in a college. Your preferences will help narrow the search. There are many factors to consider, and they vary greatly from individual to individual. For some, academics are the most important factor. Others are more interested in sports, location or extracurricular opportunities. Other students find college rep visits and advice from family and friends to be most helpful.
Take a look at your Choosing a College - Start Here worksheet that you worked on in Identify Your Goals/Options: Choosing a College - Start Here. Circle your top three priorities. Use these priorities in the search engines below to help you begin your list.
There are many college search engines to help you generate a general list of colleges. Below are three search engines by College Board, Peterson's, and Naviance. Using their filters of type of college, potential major, and location you can get an initial list of colleges. You will need to go more in depth with other filters including degree type, selectivity, tuition, student population, setting, and housing among others to get a more manageable list. Another good way to generate a list of schools is to use "Scattergrams" on Naviance. When you look up a school you can click on "overlap" to see which additional schools FHS students have applied to in the past.
The table below lists the different filters on the search engines by College Board, Peterson's, and Naviance. We have listed the filters in correspondence to the Choosing a College - Start Here worksheet to help you match your priorities with the filters available on each search engine.
Please note that by using only one or two filters, you will get a larger list and if you use too many filters you will get a very small list. It is best to begin by using only 2-3 filters.
|Academics||Majors and learning environment
|Selectivity||Test scores and selectivity||Selectivity||My scores|
|Paying for College||Paying||Tuition||Tuition and fees|
|Location and Physical Environment||Location||Where
|Size||Type of school||Type of college
Public vs. private
|Campus Life||Campus and housing
Sports and activities
On campus housing