The College Search

So, where to begin? Instead of sticking to the names of colleges you know, or just looking up schools in the region, it's great to begin with a wide search. Many websites allow you to input the characteristics you're looking for in a school, and will then narrow down results for you from there. Here are some examples of characteristics worth considering:

SIZE:  Do you want to attend a large (10,000+ students) university, or a small (1,000-2,500 students) school? A large school might have many resources allocated towards research and discovery, and might have school spirit that revolves around D1 sports teams. Small schools boast smaller, more personalized classes, and a tight knit sense of community. 

LOCATION: Some urban school are located right in the middle of an urban metropolis (think NYU), while others are out in the boonies (UC Merced is surrounded by farmland). And many school are located in a suburban area driving distance from a city. Is location important to you?

EXTRACURRICULARS: Do you want the school you attend to have greek life? Or certain sports or activities? Or have a particular religious group on campus? Is in imperative that your college has a college newspaper, or maybe a student orchestra?

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS: If you know what you want to study in college, fantastic! You can search for colleges by the different programs that they offer. If you dont know what you want to study, that's okay too. You might want to consider a liberal arts college, where you're encouraged to broadly explore different fields of study during your first two years of college. 

PUBLIC or PRIVATE: Public universities are funded by state taxes, while private universities are funded by endowments and tuition. While many students with financial needs are hesitant to apply to private schools, there are actually many scholarships for these students, and many private schools guarantee they'll meet all demonstrated student need. Generally speaking, Public schools are larger than private schools, and might have a lower 4-year graduation rate (there are more impacted programs and certain classes can be difficult to get in to). 


Here are some fantastic websites that will help you discover different schools and programs:

Collegeboard: This website might become your go-to for all things college related. You can register for the SAT here, and track your AP scores. They also have an amazing college search tool HERE and tons of info on what to consider in a school. Check it out!

California Colleges:
This site details the different admissions requirements, application deadlines, and more, for all community colleges, public universities, and private colleges in California. It also has a College Matching Assistant

UC Admissions: There are nine different UC campuses. Check out this website to learn which is right for you, and to learn more about the UC admissions requirements!