Many students 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. The Careers and College Majors, Cooperative Education Programs, Honors Colleges, Dual Degree Programs, Liberal Arts College, Research Universities, Military Academies, and Community Colleges activities should have expand your understanding of the broad range of institutions and programs for which you may wish to engage in further research. Regardless of the method used to develop your preliminary list of colleges, ultimately your research must lead to a list of colleges to which you are a competitive candidate for admission and which are best responsive to your family’s financial needs.


Develop a list of colleges to which you may consider applying for admission based on your interests, college major, and career aspirations.

Estimated time to complete: 30 min. 

Guiding Questions

  • What type of colleges, i.e., 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?