5 Steps to Creating a College List

How do you figure out which colleges to apply to?

Finding colleges that fit you best begins with self-discovery — that means getting to know your interests, your goals and what's most important to you. The following five steps will get you started on the right path.

1. Ask yourself some questions

Answering questions like these will help you focus your college search:

  • What am I interested in?
  • How do I spend my free time?
  • What do I feel passionate about?
  • How do I learn best?
  • What do I think I want to do in the future?

2. Get to know the options

Visit College Search Step-by-Step, where you can learn about basic college categories and answer questions about your preferences. You'll also find in-depth information about searching for colleges, along with advice from college students and educators.

3. Decide what matters most to you

For some students, sports and activities are very important. Other students want a challenging academic environment. Look at your answers to the questions in Step 1. What do they say about you and what you may like in a college?

4. Search for colleges

Use College Search to find colleges that match your preferences. Search for colleges by location, majors, size and more. There's guidance to help you along the way.

5. Add colleges to your list

Check out individual profiles of the colleges that come up in your College Search results. When you see a college you like, click "Add to List" to save it to a favorites list. You can return to it later and refine your list as you go along. 


What now?

For more about searching for colleges, visit How to Find a College That Fits You.

For more about building your college list, download How to Build a College List