Choosing Where to Apply
With over 4,000 Colleges & Universities in the U.S.*, starting your college search process can seem a bit overwhelming. Remember to have fun with this process and do not be afraid to ask questions along the way. Below are some helpful tips and links to get you started, but remember your counseling team is here to help you every step of the way. Our College & Career Advisor will also be visiting classes with information about exploring post-secondary options.
*National Center for Education Statistics
How do I find a college that is right for me?
STEP ONE: Identify personal factors
Before developing a list of potential colleges it is important to do some self-exploration about potential careers you may be interested in pursuing, as well as what criteria matters the most to you. For example, is the location of a college important to you? Does it matter to you how many students are currently enrolled? Answering some of these questions will help you begin to narrow the list of potential colleges that may be a good fit for you. Remember that not all careers require a 4-year degree. Use career cruising to determine the education necessary for the career(s) you are considering. Personal factors like those listed below will help you think about what you are looking for:
* Location * Environment *Admission requirements * Philosophy
* Academic Programs * Size * Cost
* Retention * Public vs. Private * Athletics
* Student-faculty ration * Job Placement * Expenses
* Residential and social life * Single-sex vs coed * Liberal arts vs comprehensive
STEP TWO: Start researching
Visit your Career Cruising account for a full list of colleges & universities that match your career interests and career clusters. Be sure to save the schools that interest you to your plan. Other helpful college search tools include:
As you begin to develop a list of schools you may be interested in, be sure to visit their websites. Read about the campus, watch videos, explore the admissions pages, and read about their academic programs. You may want to create a college file or spreadsheet to keep information and notes from your research.
Example College Planning Spreadsheet
Example College Comparison Spreadsheet
Example College Planning Spreadsheets
As part of your research it is important to also research each school’s admission requirements. Do you have the required courses necessary to be considered? What is their average GPA & test score? (Keep in mind averages are only that. You may still be admitted if your GPA or test scores fall lower than those published. Many factors go into an admission decision.)
Free College Planning Advice:
STEP THREE: Plan campus visits & meet reps at LCHS
There is no better way to get a feel for a campus environment than to visit the campus in person. It is recommended to visit at least one large and one small campus as part of your college search. Attending local college fairs is also a great way to meet representatives from the colleges and universities you are considering. LCHS provides transportation to the annual NACAC College Fair for all juniors and seniors during the school day.
Each fall and spring multiple colleges and universities visit LCHS. Students can find a list of upcoming visits on the main counseling webpage as well as through daily announcements. To attend, students should sign up in the Counseling Center and they will be provided with a pass out of class to attend the presentation.
Can’t visit a campus in person? Below are some options for virtual campus tours: