Explore Your College Dreams!

Start Your College List

Native students take diverse paths to college, major, and career. It’s important to acknowledge the benefits of attending college and to think about which subjects interest you.

To start your college list, consider what your priorities for college are. Keep these questions in mind when thinking about the colleges you want to apply to.

Kinds of colleges

  • Do I want to go to a two-year or a four-year college?
  • Am I limiting my choices by focusing on whether a college is public or private?


  • How close to home do I want to be?
  • Do I want to stick to a setting I’m used to or should I try something new?
  • Am I staying near home because I think it’ll be less expensive?
  • Do I want to be near Native communities?

Campus setting

  • Do I see myself at a college with lots of students or in a smaller community?
  • Do I want to be at a college where students stay on campus most of the time?
  • Do I want to live in a dorm?
  • Do I want to be at a college where sports are a big deal?
  • Or one that’s known for its activism or hardworking students?


  • Do I have the facts about what college will cost?
  • Will I qualify for financial aid? Am I eligible for scholarships?


  • What are my favorite subjects?
  • Do I want to take classes in many different subjects or focus mainly on one?
  • Are there Indigenous studies majors or Native faculty members?

Learning environment

  • Do I learn best when I’m academically comfortable or academically challenged?
  • Do I prefer to be part of small-group discussions or to listen to lectures?
  • How much interaction do I want with my professors?
  • What balance am I looking for between studying and social life?
  • Do I want to choose most of my classes myself, or do I prefer more structure?

Next: Share these lists with a counselor, teacher, mentor, parent, or peer for feedback and additional advice about applying to college. What are their recommendations?

Create a College List

Next, dedicate some time to researching colleges that align with your interests. Use BigFuture College Search to start get started.

Enter the answers to the questions above to find colleges that match what you’re looking for, compare colleges, and save the colleges you’re interested in to your list.