The reason this module is titled, “Preliminary College Research” is that you will be guided in exploring an array of the vast college opportunities. While you may be one of the many students who begin the college planning process with a list of schools in mind based on geographical proximity, prestige, popularity, or due to a personal affinity with friends or relatives, this module will expose you to the broad range of available college pathways. While the ‘Careers and College Majors’ activity may have provided insight into the type of college major you would like to pursue, the activities in this module, i.e., Cooperative Education Programs, Honors Colleges, Dual Degree Programs, Liberal Arts College versus Research Universities, Military Academies, Community Colleges, etc., provide insight into the wide range of available college experiences that you might pursue.

Once you have developed your preliminary college list, later activities will guide you in arriving at the group of schools that comprise your final college list.


  • Identify colleges to which you are academically matched and which provide the type of environment suited to your interests and personality.
  • Develop a list of colleges to which you may consider applying for admission based on your interests, college major, career aspirations, and financial need.

Estimated time to complete: 1 hour. 

Guiding Questions

  • What type of colleges, e.g., large institutions, liberal arts, highly competitive, special focus schools (e.g., visual arts, music, theatre arts, HBCUs, military service academies, etc.) community colleges, or technical schools would I consider attending?
  • Where can I research information about the colleges on my list and identify similar types of colleges?