Before you go online to start your college search take advantage of offline resources available to you, resources like your high school guidance counselors, colleagues and relatives who’ve already attended college. Touching base with these resources may help to decrease the amount of time it takes you to find the top three to five accredited colleges and universities you’d like to attend. Knowing what you want to gain from attending college can also aid you in your college search.
If you’re still attending high school visit college fairs that your school hosts as several local accredited colleges and universities may likely attend the college fairs. At college fairs you can talk face-to-face with professionals who work at the schools. You can also pick up pamphlets and brochures on colleges and universities, written material providing you with information like how long the schools have been in operation, where the schools are headquartered, the numbers of students enrolled in the schools and awards or recognition the schools have received. Get information on as many colleges and universities offering degrees in fields you want to work in. This way you can increase your chances of being accepted into top schools.
When you start searching for schools using the Internet, pull up college and university rankings reports like U.S. News and World Report, Washington Monthly College Rankings and the Princeton Review. Using these and other college ranking reports and databases you can conduct:
- College search by state
- College search by degree
Searching for Colleges and Universities Using Naviance and Other Tools
Furthermore, tools like Naviance Family Connection college search allow you to compile information on several colleges in one location. Through Naviance you can also:
- Create goals for college, including courses you want to take and student activities you want to participate in
- Your parents can also access Naviance to learn about admissions requirements at colleges and universities you want to enroll at
- Professionals affiliated with Naviance can also partner with you to ensure you remain motivated and on track to achieving your academic goals
You need to create a login and password to access Naviance. Before registering for the program, consider creating a college search quiz so you’re prepared to ask questions like:
- What types of jobs can I get by majoring in popular courses at certain colleges and universities (have a list of schools you’re interested in attending)?
- How can I learn about financial aid offered at colleges and universities?
- How long does it generally take students to receive undergraduate degrees from the schools?
- What types of reports or documents do my high school guidance counselors have that I can receive to learn more about top colleges and universities?
- What courses can I take in high school that may best prepare me to excel in my college major?
By using online college and university ranking reports, feedback you get from your high school guidance counselors, family members and colleagues who’ve attended college, you can learn detailed information about schools. Should you want to transfer to an on-campus school, searching for colleges and universities that have both offline and online degree programs may make it easy for you to continue to take courses at schools you started out taking distance learning programs from. You’re also encouraged to search for colleges and universities that are accredited by agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education.