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Tips for the College Research Process

College, college, college! If you have decided that receiving your undergraduate degree is what's best for you, then now it is up to you to find the college that is perfect for you!

Researching colleges can be a drag and stressful, but ultimately an interesting experience. During the process you get to learn so much about yourself and your interests. Here are some websites to use when beginning your researching:

Make sure to ask your Money Mentor for help when compiling a list! They'll ask you a series of questions that will help identify the best colleges for your specific academic, social, and economic needs.

Major

First, if you know what major you are interested, in look for colleges that have it. If you do not know what you want to major, it is okay! Look for colleges with exploratory majors or interdisciplinary studies. Here is a good place to start.

Environment

The second step is to see if you want to go to a suburban, rural or urban college/university. Suburban is like a small town, urban is a city, and rural is the countryside. Would you like to room and board? Or would you like to commute? If you do not know, make a list of pros and cons for each. Then, visit at least one college that offers one of these atmospheres, and see where you're most comfortable.

School Size

The third step is to see if you want a big school, medium sized, or small school. You should take into account that if it is a big or medium sized school, many of the general or Core classes will have approximately 100 to even 300 students in a lecture hall. However, the classes will usually get smaller as you begin taking more specialized classes, like your Major or Minor classes. For a small school, expect less than 50 students in a class or lecture hall.

Student Body

Next, you should see how the student body is and the types of activities they have on campus. Is it diverse? Are there more females than there are males? How is the relationship between the students and faculty? Are there any sports teams? You may want to visit the college or go on a virtual tour if you cannot physically go.

Financial Match

Lastly, is the school financially fit for you and your family? How much is the tuition? How much is the room and board? Will you have to take an immense amount of loans? Are there any opportunity programs at the school? Can they help pay?

You should start getting yourself familiar with the type of college you want before you begin senior year. Good luck!