The following resources can help you and your child begin to identify which colleges and universities you want to explore, initially online and potentially in person.
College Board – This site offers a wealth of information relating to college entrance tests and easy to use search tools to help identify schools your student may be interested in. As you refine your search, the site’s comparison engines help you compare colleges and universities by geography, programs, setting (urban vs. suburban or rural), size, and many other factors.
Campus visits – You’ll learn a lot more about the feel of a college from a visit, so if you can manage it, try to visit the schools your child may be interested in. Before your visit, be sure to register for an information session and campus tour. Plan extra time on each campus and if possible, have a meal or snack — not only to sample the food but also to get a sense of the atmosphere. To be sure to make the most of your visits, use our visiting campus checklist.
Choosing a school – One strategy to help manage your college costs is to ensure that your student graduates on time. As you narrow your list of schools, consider their retention and graduation rates. Dig deep into each school’s website to get a sense of core curriculum requirements and whether any advanced placement (AP) credits are applicable, which could positively impact your college costs.
Transferring – There are costs you may not consider when transferring between colleges or universities. In some cases, credits may not transfer or may transfer only as electives and will not fulfill core requirements at the new school. Have a detailed conversation with the school you plan to transfer to about the credits you will receive for completed coursework.