With all of the information out there today online, some folks would think it’s fairly easy to find the best college or university for them. Log onto your computer and type “college” into any search engine and you’re guaranteed to be flooded with a huge amount of college and university websites. The fact is, any college or university can put together a website and make their school look like the greatest thing ever.
The trick is finding a college or university that fits your needs and will provide the most benefit to you academically, socially, and financially. Finding that specific information online is difficult, but if you know how to do it properly, you can find just the right college or university for you. Before you run off to search on the web, let’s look at a few things you may want to do first.
Start by Finding a College or University Counselor
One of the first things to do in order to make your search easier is to speak with a person who is trained or qualified to give advice on colleges and universities. If you’re in high school, the best place to start looking is in the office of your high school college counselor. These folks should be informed about the latest and greatest facts regarding any college or university you may wish to attend. A counselor will have a lot of material and information about a large number of schools. Many colleges and universities cater to certain career paths like Texas A&M University for an engineering degree, or Harvard University for a law degree. Counselors also know how to help you narrow down your search for a college or university that will work best for your education and career path.
Use a College or University Matchmaking Database
Once you have narrowed your search down a bit, and you’ve created a “short list” of schools that are going to be best for your particular career path, it’s time to move on to the next step. The College Board is a good example of an educational matchmaking service. At CollegeBoard.com, you will find a great deal of information on finding just the right college or university for you. There’s even a section there that will help you plan for college. This site will help you identify career and educational priorities in order to match you with schools that have similar characteristics.
Check Out The College Rankings at U.S News & World Report
Each year, this publication researches and rates the top colleges and universities in the U.S. The report is used by a lot of folks and is considered to be one of the most trusted rankings list of undergraduate colleges and universities. U.S News ranks 1,400 schools across the nation so you’re likely to find some good information on just about any college or university.
The listing is broken out into various categories including schools with highest acceptance rate, highest graduation rate, most students living on or off campus, age of students, and which schools have a student sorority or fraternity. There is also a section that provides interviews from students currently attending a particular college or university. College Click TV interviews real students from 179 schools and gives you a personal look. The Complete Guide to Admissions, also on the U.S. News website, is also a very useful tool in helping you find the right school.
College is a huge decision that can literally change the way you live your future life, determine how much you may earn, and provide friendships that will last a lifetime. Do not start your college search by looking at different colleges online or otherwise. First, take a careful look at yourself. Find out what you want, what you will need from the college experience. Then you can start looking for a college or university and determine which school is best for you. Remember, you’re looking for the best match for your particular educational and career needs.
U.S News & World Report: Best Colleges 2011
Why the Best Colleges Rankings Are Important to You
Tips for Finding Your College Match