How can you find colleges that match your interests/needs. First, identify your priorities. Next, carefully research the characteristics of a range of schools. Finally, match the two. Listed below are some college characteristics you may want to consider.

Size of the student body

Size will affect many of your opportunities and experiences, including:

• Range of academic majors offered

• Extracurricular possibilities

• Amount of personal attention you’ll receive

In considering size, be very sure to look beyond the raw number of students attending. For example, perhaps you’re considering a small department within a large school. Investigate not just the number of faculty, but also how accessible faculty members are to students.

Location, Location, Location

Do you want to visit home frequently, or do you see this as a time to experience a new part of the country? Perhaps you like an urban environment with access to museums, ethnic food, or major league baseball games. Or maybe you hope for ways to access to the outdoors or the serenity of a small town.


Today’s college price tag makes cost an important consideration for most students. At the same time, virtually all colleges work to ensure that academically qualified students from every economic circumstance can find some financial aid. In considering cost, look beyond the price tag to assistance available.

Academic Programs

If you know what you want to study, research reputations of academic departments by talking to people in the fields that interest you. If you’re undecided, relax and pick an academically balanced institution that offers a range of majors and programs. Most colleges offer counseling to help you find a focus. In considering academic programs, look for special opportunities and pick a school that offers many possibilities.

Campus Life

Consider what your college life will be like beyond the classroom. Aim for a balance between academics, activities, and social life.


Explore what you might gain from a diverse student body. Think about the geographic, ethnic, racial, and religious diversity of the students as a means of learning more about the world. Investigate what kinds of student organizations or other groups with ethnic or religious foundations are active and visible on campus. –Tips for finding your college match – 2007