How to Choose a College

When starting to search for a college or university, the first place to start is with YOU!

  • What are your interests? 
  • What are your goals? 
  • What classes and activities have you enjoyed the most?


Career interest inventories, personality inventories, and other information in the school counseling office can be helpful in considering personal and career goals.

College Characteristics to Consider

  • Type of Institution (two or four year; coed or single sex; public or private, liberal arts, technical, business, etc.)
    • Liberal arts colleges stress a broad undergraduate education rather than professional training, such as an engineering degree.
    • Universities offer mainly four year programs in both liberal arts and professional training. They grant both graduate and undergraduate degrees and are made up of a number of schools or colleges.
    • Technical and junior colleges offer one and two year vocational and academic programs.
    • Military academies prepare officers for a particular branch of the military. Most require reccommendations for admission by a member of Congress.
  • Geographic location – New England, the South, the West or Mid-coast. How far of a driving distance from home are you willing to be?
  • Setting – urban, rural or suburban. How would you feel attending school in a big city? What about way out in the country?
  • Size of institution – small, medium, large, very large.
  • Selectivity – very difficult to open admissions – and in between.
  • Cost of attendance – tuition + fees, room + board, travel minus financial aid.
  • Diversity of student body – race, religion, international, age, etc.
  • Extracurricular activities – sports, clubs, cultural, religious, educational, etc.
  • Housing – on or off campus, coed, single sex, special interest, size of room food and meal plans, roommates, house rules, car on campus, etc.
  • Facilities – sports and recreation, libraries, classrooms and labs, lecture halls, handicapped access, laundry facilities, computer availability, student unions, Greek housing, etc.