Navigating High School College Look-up

After completing your high school, when you start a college search, you are likely to be overwhelmed by the choices available to you. So you should follow some steps to find the right college that suits your requirements.
 

College Entrance Requirements (A-G)

All students applying to be freshmen at a four-year college in California are required to meet “A-G Course Requirements.” This consists of a specific number of classes in History, English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, and Visual/Performing Arts. Not every class offered by a high school in those topic areas qualifies as “A-G”. To see the exact class list for your specific high school, visit the official listing at UC
Doorways here.

*Keep in mind, though managed by the University of California (UC) system, this course list is also used by California State Universities and many Private Institutions in California.

College Searching

 
Though nothing can beat an in person college visit, many students will search online to identify schools that they want to apply to.

College Search tool at BigFuture by College Board

If you know what type of school you’re looking for (size, majors, housing, etc.) you can use this tool to see what schools fit your criteria that may not be on your radar.

College Search: Get Matched tool at Unigo

If you’re not sure what type of school might be a good fit for you, consider using this tool. It asks you questions about yourself to match you with schools that would be a good fit for you. You don’t know to know what kind of school you’re looking for, you just have to know YOU.

College Scorecard

A new website from the US Department of Education, this site allows you to search colleges by location, size, program, type, and other factors. Compare average cost of attendance, income of recent graduates, graduation rates, and more.

Visit the Campus Virtually

College Search

 
Visit the website of the selected colleges to get information about the courses, campus, activities, fee structure, and student life. Many college websites also offer virtual tours. You can contact their admission officers to get the answer to your questions. Visit the campuses of the colleges you have selected to have a real-time experience of college life. If you can’t physically visit the campus you can do so virtually. Talk to the admission officer and interact with students to get a better understanding of college life and campus culture.

Analyze Your Interests and Preferences

First, you need to analyze your interests and preferences regarding subjects, type of educational institution, extra-curricular activities and environment. List them down. This helps you narrow down your search.

Discuss With Your Family

Have an open discussion with your family about your goals and interests. Ask your parents and elders about their experience at the college and the way they coped with the transition. Your parents are most likely to provide financial support for your education, so discuss the budget with them.

Begin With a List

Begin with a list of colleges that are within your reach, including the budget and distance from your residence. Numerous online resources enable you to search by location and you can also find the information about the tuition fees.

Ask Around and Get Professional Advice

Ask the people around you, such as relatives, neighbors, teachers, friends and others about the colleges they went to. By doing this, you may explore some options that you might have missed during your research. Also, consider talking to an educational counselor to get professional advice and guidance regarding your college search. This can be very helpful in clarifying your direction and narrowing your search.

Check Your Mail and Recycle

By now you may have gathered piles of brochures from various colleges in your inbox and mail. Go through all of them. They all may look fabulous and attractive, but you need to narrow your search according to your interests, goals, and budget. Flip through the pile and recycle the ones which do not fit your specifications.

Search Online and Take a Virtual Visit

Visit the website of the selected colleges to get information about the courses, campus, activities, fee structure and student life. Many college websites also offer virtual tours. You can contact their admission officers to get the answer to your queries.

Visit the Campus

Visit the campuses of the colleges you have selected to have a real-time experience of college life. Talk to the admission officer and interact with students to get a better understanding of college life and campus culture.

Put Everything Together

Use all the gathered information and make a final list of colleges that fit your needs, interests and budget. After that, get in touch with them to ask for the admission forms and other details.