As you start or continue your college search, we’d like to offer some advice. Here are the top 10 things to consider in your college search process:

  1. ACADEMICS
    Does the institution have a quality program in your area of interest? How does the program prepare you for the future? What are some “success stories” of recent graduates from that particular program?
  2. AFFORDABILITY
    Does the school offer scholarships and financial aid to make it affordable for your family? What is the average out-of-pocket cost for students?
  3. ALUMNI
    Do graduates give back? Do they stay engaged with the school? Do they mentor current students?
  4. DIVERSITY
    Are there students from different ethnic, racial, geographic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds? Are all students encouraged to share their perspectives in classroom and co-curricular activities and discussions, regardless of their background?
  5. FACULTY
    Will you be taught by credentialed faculty members with terminal degrees, or graduate students?
  6. HOUSING AND STUDENT LIFE
    Is the campus primarily residential or are there a lot of commuters? What do students do on the weekends? How can you get involved on campus?
  7. LOCATION
    Do you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural setting? Are there sufficient opportunities for internships and professional experiences as well as outlets for social, cultural, and recreational activities?
  8. RETENTION AND GRADUATION RATES
    Are students happy and returning for their sophomore year? Are they performing well and graduating on time?
  9. SIZE
    Do you want to be known by your professors in smaller classes, or more “anonymous” in larger ones? Do you want a campus that is walkable, or a campus that requires transportation from one end to the other?
  10. VALUES
    Does the institution’s mission speak to you and align with your personal values?

As you continue your search and conduct your research, consider visiting College Navigator. This website, operated by the U.S. Department of Education, allows you to access and compare data from multiple institutions in order to make informed decisions.

nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator