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.  You want a reasonably good match. 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 All search engines will have some out-of-date data.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.

Naviance Student -

Discover which of the over 3,000 colleges match your parameters!  Naviance Student will use data from W.T. Woodson as well as national data to help you find a good match

  • Enter Blackboard
  • Click Naviance
  • Click Colleges dropdown
  • Click Find Your Fit  (When you narrow your choices, check the Scattergrams)
  • Click SuperMatch
  • Enter your parameters for each of the categories offered across the top: Location, Academics, Admission, Diversity, Institution Charastics, Cost, Student Life, Athletics, Resources.  If you have no preference, leave it blank.

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. 

Discover lists of just about anything. Although the lists represent someone's opinion, they may be an interesting addition to your search toolbox. Basic list searching is available to everyone.  Registration may be required for full access.

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.


Information about Hillel Houses


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.