College Search

Target Colleges

When narrowing down a college list, students should consider various factors to ensure they choose institutions that align with their personal and academic goals. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Academic Programs

Ensure the colleges offer majors or programs you’re interested in. Consider the strength of the department and the variety of courses available.


Think about whether you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural setting, and the distance from home you’re comfortable with.


Reflect on the type of campus environment you thrive in, whether it’s a small college with a close-knit community or a large university with a diverse student body.

Cost and Financial Aid

Evaluate the tuition fees, living expenses, and the financial aid packages offered by the colleges. Understand the net cost after financial aid.

Campus Culture

Consider the social atmosphere, diversity, and values of the campus community. Make sure it’s a place where you can see yourself fitting in.

Extracurricular Activities

Look for colleges that offer extracurricular activities that match your interests, whether it’s sports, arts, clubs, or volunteer opportunities.

Class Size

Decide if you prefer smaller classes that offer more individual attention or larger lecture-style classes.


Take a look at the libraries, laboratories, sports facilities, and other campus amenities.

Career Opportunities

Research the college’s career services, internship opportunities, and job placement rates for graduates.

Study Abroad Programs

If you’re interested in studying abroad, ensure the college has strong programs and support for international study.

Retention and Graduation Rates

High retention and graduation rates can be indicators of student satisfaction and academic success.


Verify that the college is accredited, which can affect the quality of education and the value of your degree.

By carefully considering these factors, students can create a balanced college list that includes a mix of “safety,” “match,” and “reach” schools, and ultimately choose a college that will provide the best environment for their personal growth and academic success.