The College Search

Basic matching information and search engines

Consider what you want in a post-secondary school, and discuss these things with your parents and counselor. There are many considerations:

  • What do you want to study? If you don’t know, don’t panic. Undecided is a very popular initial major.
  • What kind of environment do you want/need? This includes the size of the city/town and the geographic location of the city/town.
  • What kind of school is best for you? 2-year, 4-year, Vocational, Technical? Coed, serving a special population such as single sex or Historically Black Colleges?
  • What size school is best for you?
  • What student profile is close to your own? This includes freshmen data such as average test scores and average GPA.
  • What extracurricular activities do you want on campus, including athletics? Are you willing to start the organization you want if it isn’t already in existence?
  • (Although cost should not be a primary consideration for initial searching, it will have to be considered once college and scholarship offers have been made.)

Search engines can help discover post-secondary schools that meet your criteria. Some are listed below. All search engines will have some out-of-date data. Always check with the post-secondary school’s web site for the most current information as you add a school to your list of prospective applications.

Black Exel - College help network for black, minority students to gain admission and scholarships to colleges.

Chabad on Campus - A directory of Chabad-Lubavitch campus affiliates

The College Board - Numerous and detailed choice options. Information on planning for college, taking the tests, finding or searching for the right college, getting into college, and paying for college. Offers a wide variety of search parameters. Results are easy to work with.

CollegeExpress.com - Discover lists of just about anything. Although the lists represent someone's opinion, they may be an interesting addition to your search toolbox. Registration required.

College Navigator - Discover all the statistics about any college, including accreditation, security, retention and graduation rates (not easily found!) This is the US Department of Education's college search site.

Family Connection - Found in student and parent Blackboard accounts. Two types of search engines using a variety of search parameters. Scattergrams only show students from your high school so you can compare apples with apples. Links directly to college websites.

Hillel - Information about Hillel Houses

IPEDS - Federal site that searches over 7,500 colleges and universities. Parameters are: Location by region or state, Distance from a zip code, Type of institution, Instructional programs (NOT alphabetical and VERY general - need to check school for specifics!), Size, and if Title IV participating. Link to school's own website.

Virginia Education Wizard - Your connection to post-secondary educational opportunities. Includes online test prep, paying for college, exploring colleges, planning for colleges, finding careers, and a portfolio option.